Since switching from PBS to Netflix, Bill Nye the Science Guy has abandoned his PG, kids-friendly setting.
And on May 12, he shed any remaining vestiges of propriety when he appeared on Last Week Tonight With John Oliver for a profanity-filled rant about climate change.
“By the end of this century, if emissions keep rising, the average temperature on Earth could go up another 4 to 8 degrees,” Nye said, while using a blowtorch on a globe. “What I’m saying is the planet is on fucking fire.”
“There are a lot of things we could do to put it out,” he continued. “Are any of them free? No, of course not. Nothing’s free, you idiots. Grow the fuck up. You’re not children anymore. I didn’t mind explaining photosynthesis to you when you were 12. But you’re adults now, and this is an actual crisis, got it? Safety glasses off, motherfuckers.”
bill nye just grounded me and sent me to my room and i can’t come out until i make the planet stop melting pic.twitter.com/Uck1Qt2mau— Jarvis Johnson (@jarvis) May 14, 2019
Nye joined John Oliver for a segment on the Green New Deal, an ambitious environmental and anti-poverty proposal by Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen Ed Markey (D-MA).
The episode explores the threat of climate change and the mounting risk of political inaction.
Nye has become increasingly combative in recent years as he tries to get people to take climate change seriously. He’s criticized US President Trump for withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement, shut down a climate denier on CNN, and uses his Netflix series to make impassioned pleas about protecting the environment.
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The celebrity scientist is merely channeling the scientific consensus. Over the past year, reports have warned that human-caused climate change could warm the planet up to 7 degrees Fahrenheit, push 1 million animal and plant species to extinction, and make the planet uninhabitable for most of humanity.
The UN warns that countries have less than 11 years to essentially become carbon neutral to avoid the worst consequences of climate change.
Otherwise, Nye’s blowtorch to the globe stunt could come true.