February 12, 2013

WaPo Weather Editor Rips Bill Nye the Uninformed Weather Guy on NE Blizzard’s Origins

Filed under: MSM Biz/Other Ignorance,Taxes & Government — Tom @ 1:52 pm

My review of previous NewsBusters posts relating to “Bill Nye the Science Guy” indicates that he’s an atheist who doesn’t think creationism should be taught in schools and, more pertinent at the moment, such an avid believer in “global warming” aka “climate change” that he believes those who doubt it or that it’s caused by human activity are “unpatriotic.”

Nye’s belief in what I prefer to call “globaloney” appears to be based far more on faith than sound meteorological knowledge, given the alarming ignorance he expressed recently on MSNBC about the origins of the past week’s snowstorms in the Northeast. Washington Post Weather Editor Jason Samenow ripped into Nye at the paper’s “Capital Weather Gang” blog yesterday (HT Yid With Lid via Instapundit; links are in original; bolds are mine):

To educate viewers on the science of the recent mega-blizzard that socked New England, MSNBC’s Craig Melvin brought onto his program noted “science guy” Bill Nye . What followed was the one of the most flawed discussions of meteorology I’ve ever seen on a national network.

In likening the blizzard and hurricane Sandy, Nye implies both storms originated off the coast from Africa, which is wrong. Sandy formed in the Caribbean (not from an African wave) and the blizzard formed off the Mid-Atlantic coast (from the merger of two North American disturbances).

Nye then draws an absurd comparison between East Coast storms and West Coast storms in an attempt to equate them.

“If you live on the West Coast … that same type of storm is called a Sou’wester,” Nye says. “If you go to the sailboat store you can get a Nor’easter hat in New England but it’s a Sou’wester hat in Seattle.”

Big problem: storms typically hit Seattle from the west not from the south.

(presented as an update within the post) … yes, Seattle has storms that come in from the southwest, but they’re not commonly called “Sou’westers” and they have important differences from Nor’easters.

(resuming origina post) Nye then makes a convoluted comment about spin in different parts of the storm that serves as a non-sensical transition into a discussion of climate change. The climate change discussion is somewhat more coherent than his earlier comments but overly simplistic.

Why MSNBC turned to Nye for weather wisdom is headscratching, considering it has access to a stable of competent meteorologists at the Weather Channel.

If it’s generally true that the Weather Channel folks are reluctant to appear on MSNBC, it wouldn’t be all that baffling. I imagine that quite a few professionals in non-news or non-political positions would rather not enter such a leftist fever swamp full or reality deniers.

Instapundit’s Glenn Reynolds observes that “Bill Nye’s descent into partisan talking-head hackery has been painful.” It’s also should be considered potentially problematic for those using his work in the classroom or elsewhere, given that his stated mission, which is “to help foster a scientifically literate society, to help people everywhere understand and appreciate the science that makes our world work,” appears to be more than a little misleading.

Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.

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1 Comment

  1. I’m not surprised. I remember Nye once botched the explanation for how the ghosts in the ballroom at the Disney theme park Haunted Mansion attractions are done. It’s done with large mirrors and reflections (an illusion called Pepper’s Ghost), but when asked he claimed it was done with holographic images projected on smoke. If he can’t get basic science info right, why should we buy his global warming crap?

    Comment by zf — February 12, 2013 @ 6:59 pm

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