Bill Nye Says These 3 Lifestyle Changes Can Help Fight Climate Change
Earlier this month, millions of millennials witnessed the beloved TV science teacher of their youth, Bill Nye The Science Guy, drop multiple F-bombs during an appearance on Last Week Tonight With John Oliver. At one point, Nye took a blowtorch to a globe as he explained, "By the end of this century, if emissions keep rising, the average temperature on earth could go up another four to eight degrees; what I'm saying is the planet is on f—ing fire."
And the Earth isn't alone in feeling the heat. Politicians are now taking notice and taking action against climate change. In February, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass. outlined the Green New Deal, a policy and economic stimulus package that aims to eliminate all carbon emissions in the U.S., which, despite plenty of initial backlash, has quickly become one of the most talked about bill proposals in recent history.
Clearly, Bill Nye is on board with this sort of massive climate reform. According to a recent video he made in collaboration with the Climate Reality Project titled "Climate 101," Nye shares that "humans currently produce around 35 billion tons of carbon dioxide every year; about 55 percent of that is absorbed by the ocean, land, and vegetation while the rest remains in the atmosphere." In the video Nye, who has also penned a book on how climate change threatens our future, goes on to explain that if we continue producing carbon emissions at this rate, "by the time our children reach middle age, the levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide will reach TWICE that of our planets longtime natural levels."
What we can all do to help prevent this gloom and doom scenario, according to Nye.
This isn't new information. If you're anything like me, the state of our planet's climate has been keeping you up at night for years now. The question is, what can we do about it? Well, I recently went to see Bill Nye give his keynote address at The Cleveland Foundation's annual meeting with the goal of getting his honest answer to this question.
Despite what you might think, Nye's keynote message was not all dire warnings, gloom, and doom. Here are the beloved scientist's top three ways that we can all change the world for the better:
Nye says one of the most impactful things we can do as citizens is work to elect officials who understand the urgent need to reduce carbon emissions and implement more renewable energy sources and who will propose, sponsor, and vote for bills designed to enact change.
2. Be a critical thinker.
We are all exposed to a barrage of information on a daily, if not hourly, basis, making it all the more important to train ourselves and future generations to be critical thinkers. This means not taking all information at face value, seeking out second opinions, questioning implicit biases, and understanding the context within which information is presented.
3. Reduce your carbon footprint.
During his keynote address Nye described how "every choice we make affects everyone in the world." Things like walking or biking when you don't need to drive, carpooling to work, and eating less meat are individual choices we can all make that, when taken together, will have a big impact on reducing atmospheric carbon.
I don't know about you, but I find it incredibly encouraging to hear one of my childhood heroes describe how we can all chip in to create a cleaner, better future.
And there's historical precedent for this! When it comes to things being on "f---ing fire," Cleveland knows a thing or two. This year marks 50 years since Cleveland's Cuyahoga River notoriously caught fire in 1969, making it the butt of jokes for decades to come, yes, but also an impetus for the Clean Water Act in 1972. Today the Cuyahoga is named "River of the Year" by the conservation group American Rivers.
If that doesn't prove the impact we as citizens can have when we pull together to enact change, I don't know what does.