Bill Nye Blames ‘The Deniers’ For American Apathy On Global Warming

Bill Nye

by Michael Bastasch

Comedian and TV host Bill Nye “the Science Guy” blames “the deniers” for keeping global warming out of the political conversation this election cycle.

“In my opinion, it’s all due to who I call ‘the deniers,’” Nye told CBS News in an interview on the 100th anniversary of the National Parks Service.

“The deniers have been very successful — surprisingly successful — because they are almost exclusively funded by the fossil fuel industry,” he said. “So this whole anti-science movement has been set up to preserve an economy that is going away.”

Nye was tapped by the National Parks Foundation to be an “ambassador” for the parks system, but Nye is also known for being an attack dog against global warming skeptics. The former science show host even warmed to the idea of jailing global warming skeptics, comparing them to Enron and the tobacco industry.

Now, Nye is doing interviews to promote visiting national parks, and warning that global warming will wipe some parks off the map. Nye said he wants to see the U.S. move away from using fossil fuels.

“The rest of the world is moving away from fossil fuels in order to do business, but not the United States,” he said. “You know, I, as an engineer, as a citizen by birth, as a patriot — I would prefer that the United States was leading the world in renewable energy.”

“I’d prefer the United States to be leading, but the deniers have been able to influence the power brokers so successfully,” he said. “The United States has hardly done anything to counteract that. The U.S. has just scratched the surface.”

While Nye is worried about global warming, most Americans don’t see environmental issues as top priorities in elections. Americans tend to care more about the economy, jobs and national security.

A February 2016 YouGov poll of 18,000 people in 17 countries found only 9.2 percent of Americans rank global warming as their biggest concern. The biggest concern for Americans was global terrorism.

A CNN poll from about a year earlier found that 57 percent of Americans did not expect global warming to threaten their way of life.

A March 2015 Gallup poll found Americans’ concerns about global warming fell to the same level it was in 1989. Global warming ranked at the bottom of a list of Americans’ environmental concerns, with only 32 percent saying they worried about it a “great deal.”

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