Earth Day Greening with Bill Nye the Science Guy

Almost everyone loves Bill Nye, the slightly nerdish guy who takes the scary out of science so that we can love it again. In fact, Nye has done almost as much as Carl Sagan in demystifying everything from the technology of WiFi to the integral logic of algebra.

Not one for greenwashing, Nye puts his money where his mouth is, living in a retrofitted old house which has received new double-paned windows, a wealth of solar panels (24, at 2 feet by 4 feet), a solar collector for hot water, a veggie garden instead of the ubiquitous (and perfectly useless) grass, a skylight/light tube in the bedroom ceiling that nearly eliminates the need for artificial light, and a full complement of compact fluorescent light bulbs.

In his working hours, Nye discusses an extensive list of largely science-related subjects and earth-friendly options with his listeners. One large group he has attracted is the younger set, ranging in age from about four to 18, and this attraction – the Climate Lab Exhibit – invites younger people to make a “Lab Dash” for the Green Machine Invention Station.

Bill-Nye_globeThe Green Machine also has a Design Challenge, which asks everyone from youngsters to young adults to contribute a “green” idea aimed at more sustainable living. If your offspring haven’t been there, take them on a Saturday tour, virtually speaking. You and your family might find yourselves liking it so much you make it a regular event. That’s good for the environment, but also good for families, who don’t spend enough quality time with each other in this hectic, hurry-up world.

If gaming is too much for you, visit the Climate Lab videos, or the Gallery. Nye, via Chabot’s Space and Science Center, also offers such planetarium-based exhibitions as Tales of the Maya Skies, which delves into ancient Maya civilization, mathematics, cosmology, writing and verbal communication, as well as the Mayan calendar re 2012 – which thankfully didn’t trigger end the world. This exhibit, held over for a full year, is broadcast in English and Spanish.

Nye also made a video on the basics of climate change. Airing under the title Climate 101, this presentation is clear and direct – though I would have called it Climate 2.0, both for the 2-degree warming component scientists fear and the fact that this information is far from basic nuts and bolts.

The Climate Lab also offers rebuttals for 100 of the biggest climate myths, beginning with “It’s not happening” to “It hasn’t warmed since 1998”. If you’re planning on being around some die-hard Republicans or the Koch brothers in the near future, try to memorize at least a few of these global warming refutations.

If you have the time and the commitment, you or your offspring (or both) can join the Climate Reality Project, which Nye suggests will “spread truth and destroy denial”, a challenge we must all face if we plan to leave a world that our great-grandchildren can enjoy as much as we have. This Climate Reality pledge, which operates on the principle that climate change can be curbed if only enough people join, requires a commitment and as much time as you can spare. It’s not AmeriCorps, but it’s not all fun and games either.

The Project, which has allied itself with such climate change notables as Al Gore, has a number of excellent videos ranging from the truth about Hurricane Sandy to climate change’s effects in Antarctica. Visit to discover climate change’s relationship to storms and flooding, to heat and wildfires, even economy and security in a warming world.

If you really get hooked on cleaning up the planet, you might even want to join the Climate Reality Leadership Corps. Access the site, apply, and keep an eye open. Those chosen will be directed to a city near their place of residence. All that applicants need to do is provide the cost of travel and accommodations.

And if that’s a little too heavy for you, you can invite a Climate Leader into your home or organization to give a presentation on the dangers and solutions of climate change. Just make sure you arrange for a white board, or screen, and a projector.  The presentation is absolutely free to almost any number of interested individuals!

That’s a steal of a deal!


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