Bill Nye “the Science Guy” said Wednesday that significant action on climate change will be possible once the climate skeptics and deniers of older generations die off.
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, the 61-year-old TV host was asked to comment on a recent Pew survey that revealed 58 percent of Republicans and right-leaning Independents believe higher education has a negative effect on the country, a number that spiked significantly during President Trump’s rise to power.
Mr. Nye said people are just scared of the truth.
“It just sounds like people are afraid,” he said. “And the people who are afraid in general — with due respect, and I am now one of them — are older. Climate change deniers, by way of example, are older. It’s generational. So we’re just going to have to wait for those people to ‘age out,’ as they say. ‘Age out’ is a euphemism for ‘die.’ But it’ll happen, I guarantee you — that’ll happen.”
“We have the situation where people are acting against their own self-interest, and that thing about universities and colleges that you mentioned is probably part of that. What keeps the United States competitive in the economic sphere is innovation, new ideas,” Mr. Nye continued. “You want a voting populace that supports innovation, attorneys who protect intellectual property, venture capitalists who make it possible, people who sweep the floors in the buildings where the innovators are innovating — you want everybody to support the tradition of new ideas.”
Mr. Nye, who declared he’s “all about the U.S.,” said U.S. innovation and enthusiasm for science started to take a downward turn during Ronald Reagan’s presidency.
“People started taking it for granted,” he said. “And — of course, everybody loved him — it was Mr. Reagan, or the people around him who were very influential, in taking solar panels off the roof of the White House, curtailing the efforts to teach schoolchildren the metric system — this was all kind of a throwback time for me.
“So you ask, when did it start to go to heck? It was along about that era when this presumption that making money was the best thing that you could do; that was like the greatest achievement of anybody, was to make money,” he said. “You know, I don’t mind it, but it’s not all I’m into.”
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