‘I Am A Failure’: Bill Nye Opens Up About His Global Warming Activism


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Michael Bastasch DCNF Managing Editor
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Bill Nye “the Science Guy” said his efforts to convince the public of the dangers of global warming have failed, largely due to a misinformation campaign by the fossil fuel industry.

“I am a failure,” Nye told Salon in an interview ahead of a documentary on the Science Guy’s rise to fame.

“The United States has now got the head of the EPA who wants to close the EPA,” Nye said, adding his decades-long effort to convince people of the dangers of man-made global warming has been “completely ineffective.”

Earlier this year, Nye aired a documentary series on Netflix aimed at adults. The series, however, has been panned by critics and being awkward and condescending, missing all the charm of his 1990s series.

Nye’s show did get an Emmy nomination for its “Sexual Spectrum” episode, which featured a song called “My Sex Junk” performed by actress Rachel Bloom. The song is about the fluidity of gender — contradicting Nye’s previous show on gender.

Nye began hosting a children’s science show in the 1990s. He did a few episodes on the topic of global warming, and Nye’s children’s book featured a chapter on this issue. His upcoming documentary focuses on his evolution from children’s TV host to global warming activist.

Nye can now be seen on TV railing against global warming skeptics, or on Twitter linking every extreme weather event to man-made climate change. Nye recently said on TV that skeptics would eventually all die out because they tend to be older.

“The problem has been the fossil fuel industry is so well-funded,” Nye told Salon, “even these guys … with kids and grandkids have lost sight of the consequences of introducing the idea that scientific uncertainty — plus or minus a couple percent — is somehow the same as doubt about the whole thing — plus or minus 100 percent.”

Nye said he and others have worked hard to raise awareness on global warming, but “we’ve done virtually nothing about it all this time.”

“What I tell everybody is vote,” Nye said. “We don’t want everybody to be a scientist; that would be unwieldy.”

“We need accountants and artists, filmmakers, journalists — but we want everybody to appreciate science,” Nye said.

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