‘Tis a pity, as Henry Kissinger quipped about the Iran-Iraq War, they both can’t lose, but Bill Nye the Science-ish Guy is suing Disney for $28 million, plus more in punitive damages in a fight over profits from his 1990s TV show. A Los Angeles Superior Court just set a trial date for May of 2020, and given the stakes and the names involved, this might just be the biggest thing since Joe Biden went to war against retired Iowa farmers.
I realize that only happened yesterday, but it’s just impossible to get over how much fun we’re having watching Thievin’ Joe shoot himself in the foot… again… with his mouth. He’s special that way.
But back to Nye v. Disney.
Nye’s suit claims Disney has “a long and consistent pattern of under-reporting revenue and improperly applying deductions,” in order to avoid paying people like Nye what they’re really worth to the All-Owning Mouse Corporation.
But what is Nye worth, really, to the kids he’s supposed to be educating with his various TV shows and media appearances?
The engineer-turned-comedian-turned-TV-host has said, “I like to regard myself as someone who’s capable of critical thought, that is to say, who can evaluate claims.” He also been quoted saying he wants “electrical engineers to solve the world’s energy problems, energy distribution problems,” and that “climate change is happening, humans are causing it.”
And yet, every time I look into Nye’s highly publicized antics, I find stories like these:
• Bill Nye The ‘Science’ Guy Doesn’t Know North From South. “In a canned ‘debate’ with Congress(wo)man Marsha Blackburn on David Gregory’s Meet the Press, Bill Nye held up a picture of the Arctic and asked, ‘Would you say the Antarctic has less ice than it used to?’ So, what’s he asking? Does he want to know about the Arctic sea ice or the Antarctic sea ice? Maybe he meant to say Arctic. Who knows. Assuming he meant to say Antarctic, the answer to his question is ‘no.’ The Antarctic doesn’t have less ice than it used to. In fact, quite the contrary.”
• Why doesn’t Bill Nye, “The Science Guy” like nuclear power? “The opinions he shared could most positively be described as skeptical; the vibe he created seemed intentionally aimed at making his audience nervous to the point of being frightened about nuclear energy and the nuclear industry.”
• More Anti-Science Behavior From Bill Nye. “A detailed study of the video [where Bill Nye ‘demonstrates’ global warming] shows that the results were faked. For example, the “results” part of the video shows two thermometers side-by-side, with the thermometer that is supposedly in the carbon-dioxide-containing bottle experiencing a more rapid rise in temperature than the thermometer in the other bottle. However, Watts shows that the ‘split screen’ shot which supposedly shows the two different thermometers (starting at 1:10) is actually a shot of one thermometer that has been duplicated, and the duplicate has extra thermometer liquid digitally added to show the supposed increase in temperature.”
• Marc Morano Exposes Bill Nye’s Astonishing Ignorance Of Climate Science In Debate On CNN. “It started as soon as Nye opened his mouth at the 1:39 mark, he claimed the Medieval Warm Period and Roman Period were isolated incidents occurring only in Europe. He repeated it again at 2:55. That claim was already refuted 10 years ago. Since then there have been dozens of studies from every corner of the globe where proxy data clearly show that the aforementioned optimums occurred in cycles WORLDWIDE. Incredibly, Bill Nye thinks that the global temperature was more or less constant before human CO2 emissions. Even Michael Mann no longer believes that.”
And, just because I never get bored by shocking people with this gem from Netflix’s Bill Nye Saves the World, here it is again:
Nye saving the world from what, exactly, is maybe a question even the hardiest actual scientist would fear looking into.
There’s much more detail at all of the links, and many more reports and videos just like these. I guess the short version would be: “Bill Nye the Advocacy Guy.” And advocacy ain’t science.
There’s nothing wrong with advocacy, of course. Lots of people do it for a living, including yours truly. But doing so under a false veneer of science, both cheapens science and in the long run hurts your cause. In the meantime, however, Bill the Advocate Guy still benefits financially from his “science guy” reputation. I know this because I had to innoculate my kids against Nye, who is still quoted reverently by everyone from schoolteachers to actual scientists (like the shameless Neil deGrasse Tyson).
So if I had to guess, Disney’s accounting practices are no different from any other Hollywood studio: Deeply dishonest. But I know for certain that Nye pushes a political agenda — on children — under the guise of science. And that furthermore, parents like myself probably have no standing to sue for the damages caused by his deep dishonesty.