WATCH: Bill Nye Debates Climate Change on “Crossfire”

A glint of scientific reason shone through on cable news last night.

Screenshot/CNN

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Thanks to the Obama administration’s high-profile rollout of the National Climate Assessment, climate change was, for a day yesterday, the nation’s leading story. Different media outlets approached it in different ways, but when it came to CNN’s Crossfire…well, not surprisingly, the show opted for a debate about the science.

The result was a lot of sound and fury, but at least the debater on the side of reality—Bill Nye the Science Guy—gave as good as he got. Nye was up against not only conservative host S.E. Cupp, who said the White House was engaging in global warming “scare tactics” and accused “science guys” of attempting to “bully other people,” but also Nick Loris of the Heritage Foundation. Loris acknowledged that humans are responsible for “some part” of the changing climate and claimed that “I’m not a denier, I’m not a skeptic,” but he also asserted that “we’ve had Arctic ice, globally, increasing” (not!) and that “we’ve had this 16-to-17-year hiatus in warming.” (Actually, the notion that global warming is “slowing down” is very misleading.)

“Let’s just start with, we don’t agree on the facts,” Nye said to Loris and Cupp. “This third report [the National Climate Assessment] came out, saying it’s very serious. You say, ‘No.’ Right? There’s the essence of the problem.”

Watch it:

At another stage of the debate, Nye delivered the coup de grace: He asked both Cupp and Loris what would change their minds about the threat posed by climate change. Loris’ answer, amazingly, was better science—which was just delivered in the form of the National Climate Assessment. Watch it:

You have to slog through seas of misinformation to defend science these days. But deniers be warned: When you go up against an entertainer like Nye, you may not only be refuted…but it might also be pretty memorable.

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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