Bill Nye: 'Climate Change Is Our Most Urgent, No. 1 Priority Right Now' [VIDEO]

By Ben Wolford on May 7, 2014 1:05 PM EDT

Bill Nye
Bill Nye "the Science Guy" battled global warming skepticism on CNN after the release of the White House's climate change report Tuesday. (Photo: Screenshot/CNN)

Bill Nye (the Science Guy) went back to bat for science on Tuesday after the White House released a report detailing the need to reverse the effects of climate change. When challenged by the conservative host of CNN's Crossfire to look her in the eyes and tell her climate change is the most urgent, No. 1 priority right now, he looked her in the eyes and said, "Climate change is the most urgent, No. 1 priority right now."

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The brief CNN debate was reminiscent of the time he defended evolution in a debate with Ken Ham, the guy who runs the Creation Museum in Kentucky. Rarely are there winners in such debates, but the appearance on CNN at least marks progress. Even the other guest, a conservative economist with the Heritage Foundation, acknowledged that climate change is real.

"I'm not a denier. I'm not a skeptic," said Nicolas Loris, conceding that manmade carbon emissions are part of the problem. Loris believes, however, that taxing greenhouse gas emissions will only hurt the U.S. economy, leaving the nation more poorly prepared to deal with global warming's effects. Indeed, in the most recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climat Change, scientists shifted their focus from prevention to adaptation.

But Nye says there's nothing more important than battling the causes of climate change now before the effects are too hellish to deal with later. He cited stronger tornados in Oklahoma and Hurricane Sandy as destructive climate-change-related phenomena already upon us. The United Nations climate agency has reported that these natural disasters, along with drought, heat waves, and sea-level rise, are being caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

S.E. Cupp, the Crossfire host, asked Nye how the government can persuade the public that climate change is a pressing threat, aside from what she called "scare tactics." Nye said: "You get the message out that this is serious business."

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