Bill Nye, TV's “The Science Guy,” often speaks out about climate change, something he believes is cause for much alarm. Well, he tackled the topic again in a recent video that uses “emoji” to explain climate change as part of the General Electric Emoji Science campaign. Now, late last year he did a video which attempted to teach evolution using emojis. You can read my thoughts about that video here.
In this video on climate change Bill Nye states that “climate change is a real deal.” I agree with Mr. Nye—climate change is real. Few people would deny that climates do indeed change, since changing climates are something we can observe in the world around us. For example, beginning in medieval times and ending by about 1850 there was a period of global cooling called the “Little Ice Age.” Since then, temperatures have been slowly climbing back up. So climates do change. But, while we might agree that climate change is real, Mr. Nye and I would radically disagree on the severity and alarming nature of climate change because we have completely different starting points.
You see, what you believe about the past (historical science) determines how you interpret the observational evidence. Since Bill Nye believes the earth is billions of years old, he likely assumes (as most evolutionists do) that the climate has been relatively stable for the last 10,000 years, since the end of the last supposed glacial period. Since our climate is now changing, many secularists assume that modern man must be the primary cause and, if this is true, then this certainly is cause for alarm. But as Christians we start with a completely different account of Earth’s history—the history recorded in God’s Word. According to God’s Word, the earth is only around 6,000 years old. But the climate was radically changed about 4,350 years ago when the earth was catastrophically reshaped by the global Flood of Noah’s day. This Flood even caused an Ice Age, which covered 30% of Earth’s surface with ice and snow. This transitional period then eased out to give way to the climate we now have today. So we should expect minor variations in our climate, and these changes are not necessarily man-made. So, unlike most evolutionists, we are not alarmed by reports of changing climates.
Now, in his video Bill Nye made reference to an increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere since the mid-eighteenth century. Many climate change alarmists will point to this rise in CO2 as evidence of dramatic man-made climate change. But is CO2 really the cause of climate change and global warming? Well, Dr. Alan White, an organic chemist with a PhD from Harvard University, writes in The New Answers Book 4,
We do know that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. Greenhouse gases act as a blanket over the earth. When sunlight heats the earth’s surface, the warm earth radiates some of that heat into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases slow the escape of that radiated heat. You have been led to believe that the most important greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide. It is not. Water vapor and clouds are actually responsible for about 80 to 90 percent of the total greenhouse effect. That’s right, at least 80 percent. That is why clear mornings are usually much colder than cloudy mornings. On clear mornings, we do not have that blanket of clouds to hold in the heat. The percentage of the greenhouse effect attributable to CO2 is believed to be as high as 20 percent by some and as low as 4 percent by others. Almost everyone agrees that the percent of CO2 that is man-made is only about 4 percent of total CO2. Therefore, the greenhouse effect caused by man-made CO2 is less than 1 percent of the total and may be a small fraction of 1 percent.
Despite this, many scientists today claim that the rise in man-made CO2 is the major cause of the rise in global temperatures over the past century. Just because global temperature and CO2 concentrations have risen over the past several decades does not mean that one caused the other . . . . The correlation between the CO2 concentration and global temperature is not strong, particularly between 1900 and 1950 . . . [and] man-made CO2 was not high during the Medieval Warming Period. These data are not convincing.
So should we really be alarmed about rising carbon dioxide levels destroying our climate? Well, the observational data is certainly not convincing that we should be greatly concerned.
Bill Nye then mentioned some possible ways to stop supposed man-made climate change by suggesting we need to engineer new ways to distribute and store renewable energy from the sun and wind. Now, should Christians be against renewable energy? Of course not! We have been placed as stewards of the earth, and so we need to care for what God has entrusted to us. This means that Christians should be concerned about the environment and take steps to ensure that we are good stewards of what we have been given.
Thanks for stopping by and thanks for praying,
This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.