No, Bill Nye, Millennials Are Not All Climate Alarmists
On a nightly show following the Wisconsin primary, science celebrity Bill Nye ("the science guy") argued that the Republican Party will need young people to win in November, and that the vast majority of millennials believe in climate alarmism. As a conservative millennial, I deny his sweeping generalization, and the data back me up.
Nye lamented that the Republican candidates for president are all "deniers," and argued that the campaign has yet to pivot to real issues. Then he made the ridiculous claim, saying the gap between alarmists and "deniers" is almost entirely generational.
I don't think the party can quite get enough votes without millennials. Climate denial is almost entirely generational. Only now and then do you meet a young person -- nobody your age is a climate denier. very few. It's all old people.
To his credit, the show's host, Larry Wilmore, was a bit skeptical. "I don't know," Wilmore replied. "I may have to disagree with you a little bit. I think a lot of it is ideological."
The numbers back Wilmore on this one. In a Harvard Institute of Politics poll released in April of last year, millennials ended up largely agreeing with their older Americans in being skeptical about climate alarmism.
While 55 percent agreed with the statement that "global warming is a proven fact and is mostly caused by emissions from cars and industrial facilities such as power plants and factories," a full 43 percent disagreed with this alarmist statement. Twenty percent held to a more moderate view: "Global warming is a proven fact and is mostly caused by natural changes that have nothing to do with emissions from cars and industrial facilities."
A full 23 percent were even more skeptical, agreeing with the statement, "Global warming is a theory that has not yet been proven."
Next Page: This isn't very far off from the views of Nye's benighted older folks.
A solid majority of young people agree with the alarmist position, but the evidence is nowhere near Nye's declaration that the skeptics are "all old people." Last March, researchers from Yale and George Mason found that 52 percent of Americans agreed that global warming is "mostly caused by human activities."
While numerous publications treat this statement as "proven fact," it is very close to a scientifically unverifiable position. How can we test whether human involvement has a significant impact on the global climate? There have been huge swings in climate long before the industrial age, and the predictions of climate alarmists have proven wrong time and time again.
So when Bill Nye declares, "These guys are in denial....They ignore all the data," he needs to check his own premises. Ted Cruz does not shy away from discussing the data, and its bias toward the warming hypothesis.
The difficult thing with global climate is that it's hard to prove causality. Even if there is no bias in the warming data, that proves nothing about why the climate is changing. Millennials have good reason to be skeptical, and the data show that a large minority of them doubt this scientific "consensus." After years in left-leaning colleges, I'd say that's quite an achievement.