In an awesome interview with WNYC radio, Bill Nye The Science Guy discussed what he hopes comes out of this week’s conference on climate change in Paris. More than 150 nations sent their leaders with over 40,000 delegates in hopes we can come to a global consensus about saving the Earth from imminent destruction. The world waits on borrowed time for a solution and agreements from all parties on action.
“What greater rejection of those who would tear down our world than marshaling our best efforts to save it,” President Barack Obama said in his speech to the opening of COP21 Monday.
But it was Bill Nye The Science Guy who began the day with attacks on those who still refuse to believe science is real: Like Donald Trump or the Koch Brothers. According to the Koch Brother’s own website, their company made its first fortune off of dirty energy from oil wells. The brothers continue to use their money to fund political groups like ALEC and Americans for Prosperity to spread anti-science rhetoric that refutes climate change while also scoring bills conservative state legislatures willingly pass to raise taxes on green energy.
In the interview with WNYC, Nye said he was somewhat optimistic about the COP21 conference this week but the big news for him is that a CBS News poll released Monday says 53 percent of the United States populous believes that climate change is caused by humans. “If the US is leading in climate change, then I think things can happen in Paris,” Nye said.
When asked if he’s worried Donald Trump will make fun of him Nye said, “bring it on.” He went on to say “you can attack me, but the climate is still changing.” Regardless of their jokes, Nye said of the climate deniers, “now you’re in a minority.”
Nye also said that obstructionists like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has pledged to block any climate change legislation, are only hurting their own states. Eventually, the coal industry will be done and states around it will already have the edge on green technologies. Nye says in coal states like Kentucky (McConnell’s state) and West Virginia about 30,000 people are employed by the coal industry. If the state went for wind and solar they would employ at a minimum 50,000 people per state and you sure as hell don’t get black lung disease from solar panels.
“Climate change denial is almost entirely a generational thing,” Nye said referencing older deniers like Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhofe who famously took a snowball to the Senate floor to disprove global warming. Those generations, Nye said, will ultimately age out leaving younger pro-science generations behind who are eager for action.
Nye also mentioned an untapped resource off the east coast of the United States when it comes to wind energy. The largest population in the country lives in the eastern time zone and Nye says if we put wind turbines offshore instead of doing offshore drilling we could power the entire eastern seaboard several times over while also creating thousands of new jobs. “You cannot import every wind turbine and erect it with people from other countries,” he said.
Imagine the possibilities of a cleaner environment with ample jobs and we could finally ensure the Earth will support civilization for many generations to come. Let’s hope there is progress this week in Paris. Goodness knows with a “President Trump” there wouldn’t be.
Listen to the full interview here:
Feature image via video capture and Gage Skidmore/Flickr.