[DIGEST: Huffington Post, CNN]
Stephen Hawking says he cannot explain Donald Trump’s popularity, calling the presumptive Republican presidential nominee “a demagogue who seems to appeal to the lowest common denominator” during an interview that aired on ITV’s “Good Morning Britain” on Tuesday. The Trump campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
Hawking, a renowned physicist, isn’t the only high-profile scientist to criticize Trump or the Republican Party’s leadership. Bill Nye, who helps popularize science for viewers of his popular series, also recently lambasted Republicans for their long history of climate change denial in a statement. This denial, Nye believes, is contrary to near universal agreement from the world’s top researchers that global warming is not only taking place, but that humans are the main cause.
Stephen Hawking. (Credit: Source.)
“There’s still a very strong contingent of people who are in denial about climate change,” Nye told CNN. “And if you don’t believe me, look at the three people currently running for president of the world’s most influential country who are ... climate change deniers,” referring to the then three Republican presidential candidates: Donald Trump, Sen. Ted Cruz and Gov. John Kasich.
Kasich, who is the current governor of Ohio, believes that climate change is definitely occurring. He does not, however, believe that the Environmental Protection Agency should regulate emissions. Trump has used his personal Twitter account to comment on climate change, once claiming
that “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive." In response, Nye called Trump’s statement a “lazy thinking” conspiracy theory.
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump) 1352229352.0
"If only there were 60 people we could just track down who are responsible for everything being screwed up that would be great, but that's not how it is," Nye said. "The world's getting warmer because there's 7.3 billion people trying to live the way we live in the developed world ... by continuing to burn fossil fuels."
Bill Nye. (Credit: Source.)
A Washington Post-ABC News poll revealed that while the majority of Americans say climate change is a real concern, the issue continues to divide both political parties. According to the survey, 8 in 10 Democrats see global warming as a serious problem. 65% of Democrats want the federal government to intervene and 57% of Democrats believe most scientists agree that climate change is definitely occurring. In contrast, nearly 6 in 10 Republicans say climate change is not a serious problem and less than a quarter support government intervention. Nearly two-thirds of Republicans polled believe there is disagreement among scientists.
While Nye continues to debunk Trump’s global warming myths, Hawking might have his own reasons to be critical of the presumptive Republican nominee. Dr. Hawking, who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is an advocate for individuals with disabilities. During a campaign event in November, Trump openly mocked New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski’s arthrogryposis, a physical disability which restricts the functioning of his joints.
“Now the poor guy, you ought to see this guy,” Trump said, as he waved his arms around. Trump later denied he meant to mock the reporter.