“You Can Change the World!”: Bill Nye Lecture  

April 19th, 2016
By Kathleen Mannard
 I had the extraordinary opportunity to not only witness a lecture by Bill Nye at the University of Pittsburgh, but meet him as well. I never watched the Bill Nye show as a kid but knew of his brilliance and comedy through media and peers. What really peaked my interest was the topic of his lecture: climate change. Bill Nye tremendously weaved history, science, and politics into one lecture on humans and climate change.

The most important part I took away from Nye was the persistent and constant message, “You can change the world!” During this past semester of writing about climate change concerns, I have learned so much more than I anticipated including the causes, effects, and movements of people taking action against climate change. Nye’s lectured enlightened and entertained me on even more. What actions can I, and my generation, can take to improve our world?

Nye drew correlations to World War II when the world changed in such a massive scale. Post-WWII heavily relied upon fossil fuel industries for jobs and energy. Nye compared the time period to now when we are transitioning into a new time for energy. He argued that renewable energy is the future and, as much as we fear job loss, renewable energy sources would potentially bring about 480,000 new jobs in the years to come. Other issues he addressed included the increase in tropical storms due to climate change and the costs of taxpayers money. A point I found interesting was discussing gas prices. I drive long distances often throughout the week so cheaper gas prices appeals greatly to me. But Nye presented a new perspective for me to consider. Plummeting gas prices means that more fuel is available and readily used, harming the environment further.

Nye also discussed the Earth’s atmosphere and outer space. When examined closely, I feel very small in comparison to the universe. Nye vehemently expressed distaste to the possible intrigue and prospect of colonizing Mars. Despite all the improbable conditions of life on the planet, why colonize an uninhabitable planet when we live on an oxygen enriched planet currently? However, Nye referenced the statistic of the rise in carbon dioxide in our environment in just 100 years. Curiosity and education were key to Nye’s lecture. Educating the people, politicians, and the world about the realities of pollution and its affects are how we can bring about change. Think of what we can do to help preserve and reverse the effects made so far on our health, living fauna, populations and more. Although major concern for the environment began decades ago, my generation has a responsibility to carry on for the protection of the earth and all its inhabitants.

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