Bill Nye ("The Science Guy") squared off with U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) Sunday in what was one of the most surreal and unlikely Sunday-morning television face-offs in recent memory.
The two — a children's entertainer and a sitting member of Congress — were debating the issue of climate change. And, not surprisingly, they didn't agree on much of anything.
Nye, who is not a climate scientist, has become something of a spokesperson for the scientific community on hot-button issues lately. Earlier this month, Nye debated a creationist about evolution.
On Sunday, he tried to convince Blackburn that scientists agree that man-made factors are contributing to the acceleration of climate change. Blackburn did not agree, saying there was "not consensus" in the scientific community about the causes of climate change. She later added that it was "unproven."
Blackburn also made the argument that it wouldn't matter what the U.S. did to address climate change, because it wouldn't make a dent globally. She said that the U.S. shouldn't make laws based on "unproven hypotheses."
"Once again, the congresswoman is trying to introduce doubt in the whole idea of climate change," Nye said in response. "What I would just encourage everybody to do is, let's back up and look at the facts."
At that point, Nye held up a map displaying the fact that the Antarctic has less ice than it used to:
" There is no debate in the scientific community. And I encourage the congresswoman to look at the facts," Nye said.
"You are a leader. We need you to change things, not to deny what's happening."
"Meet the Press" David Gregory acknowledged that state and local governments have to deal with the realities of climate change — such as the state of California, which is dealing with its worst drought in 100 years.
He asked about the costs of waiting for policy changes on climate change. Blackburn claimed that any cost analysis of the effects of carbon in the atmosphere should be weighed alongside the benefits of it on increased agriculture production.
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