EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
At a recent sit-down at the University of Ottawa, TV personality and science advocate Bill Nye confronted Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about his approval of the controversial Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.
"I've been to Fort McMurray, Alberta. It really is an amazing place in the most troubling way," the Science Guy said, likely referring to the area's notorious tar sands. "But this pipeline ... tell us about the Kinder Morgan pipeline."
As the former host of PBS's Bill Nye the Science Guy, Bill Nye taught a whole generation of kids about the wonders of science. But in his new documentary, Nye laments how his life's work could be upended by an emerging war on science. (Just think of Trump's stack of climate change skeptics in his cabinet).
"We're living in this extraordinary time where people are anti-science," Nye tells famed astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson over a glass of wine, adding that scientific innovation helped propel the U.S. as the world's preeminent industrial nation.
It's true. These days, you mostly see Nye on cable news shows explaining scientific topics with hosts, marching with thousands in Washington, DC to remind our lawmakers about the importance of science, and hosting a Netflix show geared toward older audiences. In the trailer, Nye even shares wine with climate change denier Joe Bastardi.
When asked by TMZ if Harvey and Irma—as well as Jose and Katia, two other dangerous hurricanes swirling in the Atlantic—are "the new normal," the Science Guy suggested a link between global warming and the intensity of the hurricanes.
Donald Trump has done what Al Gore, Jim Hansen, climate scientists, the Sierra Club and the rest of the environmental movement could never do—make climate disruption breaking cable TV news. Trump's histrionic, largely symbolic and recklessly self-destructive decision to abandon the Paris climate agreement means, among other things, that far more Americans know about the Paris climate agreement this morning than 24 hours ago. Never has climate dominated a news cycle as it did Thursday—even when the Paris agreement was signed by all of the world, (Nicaragua and Syria excepted).
Tens of thousands of people celebrated Earth Day Saturday by taking to the streets in a historic day of action for science and truth. A massive March for Science took place in Washington, DC, and more than 600 sister marches took place in other cities around the world.
The March for Science has announced three honorary national co-chairs for the April 22 march in Washington, DC.
They are: Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, a pediatrician and key whistleblower of the Flint water crisis, Dr. Lydia Villa-Komaroff, a biologist who made critical contributions to how bacterial cells could be used to generate insulin, and Bill Nye, beloved science educator and CEO of The Planetary Society.
Lawyers representing fossil fuel defendants in a youth climate lawsuit filed a motion Friday with a U.S. District Court seeking an appeal to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on a Nov. 10, 2016 order in Juliana v. United States. As reported by The Washington Post, the Trump Administration filed a similar motion requesting appeal on Tuesday. Fossil fuel defendants support the Trump Administration's motion.
In the two hours after it aired, the interview has already been viewed about 2 million times, drawn about 100,000 "Reactions" and 52,000 "shares."
The chat was announced Sunday on the senator's Facebook page, with many fans eagerly anticipating the sit-down. Here's what one person said:
The former presidential candidate—who has one of the strongest records on climate change in the Senate and has been highly critical of President Trump's cabinet appointees such as U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) head Scott Pruitt—got straight to the point with his first question to Nye.
"We have a president of the United States who thinks that climate change is a 'hoax' emanating from China," Sanders stated. "We have a new administrator of the EPA—somebody who I strongly opposed—who is in the process of dismembering environmental protection regulations in this country. What are the short and long term implications of a president who has that view?"
#Trump Gives Pen to Dow Chemical CEO After Signing Executive Order to Eliminate Regulations https://t.co/mGlxc4dR0M @greenpeaceusa @NRDC— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1487969218.0
In response, Nye said that the long term implications of global warming are "potentially catastrophic," adding that "the problem is the speed the world is warming and the rate climate is changing."
As for the short term effects, Nye described how coastal cities such as New York will have to spend billions of dollars to build more seawalls to avoid future extreme weather events such as Hurricane Sandy.
Additionally, he explained how the effects of climate change will be "much more difficult" for people in the developing world who will be forced to migrate and potentially foment conflict due to a lack of resources.
Nye, the former host of the beloved children's science program Bill Nye the Science Guy, has since become a frequent and prominent commentator about scientific topics, especially the perils of a warming planet.
Bill Nye's Thoughts on Trump and Climate, Encourages Deniers to Leave the Dark Side https://t.co/jTQ5RbKtgG @ClimateDesk @dotearth— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1462830314.0
The half-hour interview covered topics such as climate change deniers, the fossil fuel industry's tremendous influence in politics, transforming the transportation industry and getting more people interested in science by promoting space exploration.
Nye also criticized President Trump's recent 2-for-1 executive order that requires federal agencies to repeal two old regulations for every new one.
"Who came up with that number? Regulations are like a machine," Nye said. "You don't just take parts away from the machine just because."
Clean Power Plan, Clean Water Rule & federal coal leasing moratorium at stake under #Trump. @maryannehitt explains: https://t.co/PseCdiJKyg— Beyond Coal (@Beyond Coal)1488211234.0
During a poignant moment in the interview, Sanders touched upon the Trump administration's notorious crackdown on the EPA and climate scientists.
"What is the role of scientists today?" Sanders asked. "[The] people who are searching for truth are under pressure."
"I have close friends who work in climate science and they are very concerned about their data being reviewed or erased," Nye said. "They are also concerned about their jobs."
On the topic of climate deniers, Nye said that they suffer from cognitive dissonance, describing how these people have a psychological disorder preventing them from facing reality.
"To the deniers out there. I want you to think about what is called cognitive dissonance," Nye said. "Instead of accepting that the climate is changing, deniers are denying the evidence and dismissing the authorities."
Nye said that the best way to change their minds is to convince them of the economic potential of renewable energy. He used The Solutions Project—a state-by-state roadmap to convert the country to 100 percent renewables by 2050—as an example.
States Lead the Way Toward 100% #Renewables https://t.co/y3MaBs34RW @MarkRuffalo @mzjacobson @LeoDiCaprio @RobertKennedyJr @100isNow @350— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1487859882.0
"We can power the entire U.S. renewably right now if we just decided to do it," Nye said, explaining how transitioning from fossil fuels to clean energy alternatives such as wind turbines, solar panels, geothermal, tidal and a reconfigured electric grid "can run the whole place."
He noted that investing in renewable energy would create domestic jobs "that can't be exported."
"From an optimistic point of view, I think if we can get these people to look at the world a little differently, they will be on the side of domestic reproduced renewable electricity in a very quick short order," Nye said.
Not only that, renewable energy is now a very affordable option for many people. As Nye said later in the interview, "You can hate me, you can hate everything. But when you get an electric bill—in California, [you can get it] for 10 bucks every 60 days—that's just fun. Just look at it that way."
Last year, astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson feuded with rapper B.o.B. over his belief that the world is flat. About a year later, Tyson's friend and science educator Bill Nye is contesting professional basketball player Kyrie Irving's own "Flat Earth" claims.
Neil deGrasse Tyson Schools Rapper B.o.B. Who Believes the Earth Is Flat https://t.co/82TxQ8g4e0 @bbcscitech @DiscoverMag— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1453848610.0
It all started when the Cleveland Cavaliers point guard appeared on a recent "Road Trippin' with RJ and Channing" podcast hosted by teammates Richard Jefferson and Channing Frye and discussed conspiracy theories.
"This is not even a conspiracy. The Earth is flat. The Earth is flat. The Earth is flat," Irving insisted, as USA Today detailed about the Feb. 17 show.
"For what I've known for as many years and what I've come to believe, what I've been taught, is that the Earth is round," he continued. "But if you really think about it from a landscape of the way we travel, the way we move, and the fact that—can you really think of us rotating around the sun and all planets aligned, rotating in specific dates, being perpendicular with what's going on with these planets?"
He seemed to double down on these claims in a later interview with Sports Illustrated. Even when the All Star athlete was asked if he's seen photos of our round Blue Marble, Irving responded, "I've seen a lot of things that my education system said was real that turned out to be completely fake."
Kyrie Irving was trending on Twitter today because he believes the Earth is flat. I asked him about it. https://t.co/ODe9aP9qmK— Arash Markazi (@Arash Markazi)1487383038.0
But "The Science Guy" wasn't having any of it.
"It's really concerning when you have people in the public eye—or people in general—who think the Earth might not be round," Nye told Sports Illustrated. "It's really an extraordinary thing."
He remarked that a host of scientific technologies depend on our very round planet.
"We have spacecrafts, we all depend on weather reports. We've got mobile phones, we're talking on electric computer machines right now," Nye said. "So to have people that eschew or don't accept or don't embrace this method, this process that brought us all this remarkable technology ... all this is through this process of science."
"And so it's heartbreaking when we have people that even joke about it," he concluded.
Bill Nye weighs in on Kyrie Irving: 'It's heartbreaking when we have people that even joke about it.' https://t.co/6ci6zpTsCe— Sports Illustrated (@Sports Illustrated)1487613377.0
Luckily, Nye will soon make his long-awaited return to our screens with his new Netflix show, Bill Nye Saves the World, which has a premiere date of April 21.
Each episode will explore some of the most complex scientific topics of the day, from climate change, vaccines and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Nye and his band of correspondents aim to bust myths and refute anti-scientific claims that may be espoused by politicians, religious leaders or titans of industry, according to its IMBD description.
Irving's Flat Earth beliefs have been lighting up news outlets and social media this week. However, he seems to have since slightly backtracked on his position.
In the video below, Irving appears around the 1:45 mark saying that Earth being flat is "scientifically impossible" and that the media has politicized his beliefs.