In an amusing story from NewsBusters, it appears as if Bill Nye the Science Guy is under the impression that “not many countries beside[s] the U.S. have tornadoes.” Nye was also quick to blame global warming for the extreme weather event in Oklahoma this week in spite of the fact that most meteorologists and climatologists (yes, even those “on both sides of the global warming debate”) have attributed this year’s unusual level of tornado activity to La Niña.
But the punchline to this farce revealed itself when Nye was asked on Fox’s America’s News Headquaters if other countries are also experiencing an increased amount of intense tornadoes this year:
“Well, there’s not that many other countries that have the configuration of North America to make tornadoes. … We have the Gulf of Mexico. We have this access for cold air from Canada or from the Arctic. And these two things conspire to move the jet stream, and then that helps carry this extra water vapor across this part of the North America. So, it’s a unique place, and you don’t have this kind, you don’t have tornadoes in Norway, for example. It’s just set up different, the weather’s set up differently. Here in the U.S. it’s a serious problem.”
Except that there are tornadoes in Norway. NewsBusters linked to the following video in their article:
Unfortunately for Nye, there are even more reasons for him to start wiping the egg off his face:
Contrary to “The Science Guy’s” odd view on this topic, tornadoes have been observed on every continent on this planet with the exception of Antartica. A study of insurance records across the globe finds tornadoes causing significant losses in Europe, India, Japan, South Africa, and Australia. … Although the United States typically has more tornadoes than any other country, as a function of land area, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom both actually have more.
In fairness, Bill Nye has a degree in mechanical engineering rather than climatology. But after a childhood spent taking on Nye’s suggested kid-appropriate experiments, this interview is nothing short of disappointing.