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Bill Nye and Climate Change: Safety Glasses Off Edition

Throughout our academic careers, we have seen teachers come and go as we move further up in our education. We have had those who were able to make an everlasting impression on us, and some that were complete douchebags (the ones at Hillsdale Middle School, you know who you are).  

However, the one common educator that most of my generation shared was Bill Nye: The Science Guy. Some of the best days in science class as an elementary school student were when your teacher wheeled in the TV station and pulled out a Bill Nye video tape.

Bill Nye: The Science Guy original intro https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UtVJdPfm0F8

At young ages, he taught us basic science principles such as photosynthesis, the periodic table, cells and more.

His videos not only broadened our knowledge of science in an entertaining fashion, but he also became an iconic figure in pop-culture that my generation will always have a connection to.

tweet from: @akikofujishima

However, as we entered into middle school and high school, his appearance in our education died down to non-existent, until today. Bill Nye: The Science Guy is back, but with a different tone.

As most of Nye’s former audience are now adults, his reappearance in new videos brings back memories of our childhood. But, instead of discussing surface level science topics in ways that could make a 10-year-old laugh, Nye decided to tackle the ongoing issue of climate change affecting our world today. However, he is doing so in a way that would resonate more with my generation.

Viewers were shocked by a hostile Bill Nye taking a serious stance on climate change with a casual F-bomb dropped in there for emphasis.

tweet from: @stevespangler

Is there a need for the hostility?

OKAY BILL NYE! That’s the fire this issue needs and that my generation respects!

While watching his new attitude take over climate change, it made me reflect on a New York Times article I read that discussed how, “people’s beliefs about global warming can be swayed by their immediate environment.”

According to this article, if you are in a hostile environment where people are fired up about climate change severely impacting our earth, it is psychologically proven that you are more than likely to agree with what is being said.

While watching this video, I felt that I fed off his energy surrounding the subject and found myself agreeing with his stance.

Nye actually taking a second to “be real” with his audience made me feel compelled to do more about climate change. He made it apparent to me that this was a serious issue that needs our attention.

gif from: https://giphy.com/gifs/bill-nye-last-week-tonight-with-john-oliver-green-new-deal-cObIzBCAkFxW60ORYj/links

Is the R-rated Bill Nye more effective?

With Nye’s new and intense communication about the issue, he is able to group more of his young adult audience together to be more aware of the effects of climate change.

By adjusting his performance to appeal to the same audience he had 10 years ago, he is able to relay that the earth is basically, “on f**king fire,” and our generation needs to do something about it. This helps Nye communicate a strong and effective message.

tweet from: @dflembo

Even if you do not believe in our current emissions behavior causing intense climate change, you will still remember this legendary video because Nye went out of character to show that this is a serious problem our planet is facing (you will also remember that Bill Nye: The Science Guy just called you a “mother f**ker”).

Paying attention to your audience and knowing how to communicate with them is key in delivering any kind of message. I believe that being crude helped Nye effectively communicate that climate change is really affecting the earth negatively.

tweet from: @zulqarnainmuba1
tweet from @ashaspruitt
tweet from @smoladrianna

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