This story was originally published by the Huffington Post and is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration.
Bill Nye will gladly talk to the media about climate change, but he has no time for climate change skeptics.
The celebrity scientist slammed CNN’s “New Day” on Saturday for putting together an Earth Day panel that included William Happer — a physicist who thinks carbon pollution is a myth and once said carbon dioxide was being demonized like Jewish people in Nazi Germany.
When asked about Happer’s skepticism, Nye answered by providing Happer with a few facts about the rising rates of atmospheric CO2 — but not before scolding the hosts for doing a “disservice” to their viewers.
“I will say, as much as I love the CNN, you’re doing a disservice by having one climate change skeptic, and not 97 or 98 scientists or engineers concerned about climate change,” Nye said, referring to the widespread consensus among scientists that climate change is real and primarily caused by human activity.
Happer, a professor at Princeton, had earlier stated that carbon dioxide is not a pollutant.
“There’s this myth that’s developed around carbon dioxide that it’s a pollutant,” Happer said. “But you and I both exhale carbon dioxide with every breath. Each of us emits about two pounds of carbon dioxide a day, so are we polluting the planet?”
Nye pointed that the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rising at a record rate, according to data released this year by the Environmental System Research Laboratory.
“What he claims to not understand is the rate. It’s the speed at which we’re adding carbon dioxide,” Nye said. “What you got to get is the speed at which things are changing.”
Happer later pressed Nye on global warming, saying that Earth’s “temperature is not rising nearly as fast as the alarmists’ computer models predicted.” He added: “The whole basis for the alarmism is not true. It’s based on flawed computer modeling.”
To which Nye swiftly replied, “That’s completely wrong. Say what you will, but you have it absolutely wrong.”
In the past, Happer has argued that global warming and an increase in carbon dioxide is “good for mankind.” The climate change skeptic met with President Donald Trump in January, sparking rumors that he was being considered for the role of science adviser.
During Saturday’s panel, Nye offered Happer a bit of advice.
“Sir, with some respect,” Nye said. “I encourage you to cut this out so that we can all move forward and make the United States a world leader in technology.”