Bill Nye’s State of the Union date creates a stir

Bill Nye
Planetary Society Bill Nye flashes a Vulcan greeting during a 2014 visit to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. (Planetary Society Photo)

Bill Nye the Science Guy is going to the State of the Union Address, but as a guest of President Donald Trump’s choice for NASA administrator. And therein lies the rub.

The NASA nominee is U.S. Rep. Jim Bridenstine, R-Okla., who became notorious as a climate policy opponent during the Obama administration. In 2013, for instance, Bridenstine called on President Barack Obama to apologize for spending so much money on climate research.

Bridenstine backtracked a bit last year during Senate hearings on his NASA nomination. He said he didn’t know whether climate change was being driven primarily by human activities, “but I do know that humans have absolutely contributed to global warming.”

Such statements may have helped smooth relations with Nye, who has spoken up long and loudly for climate science and measures to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. He explained why he accepted Bridenstine’s invitation to Capitol Hill on Monday in a Facebook posting.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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