The Hall Auditorium full-house crowd roared on Monday as Bill Nye the Scientist Guy took the stage at 8 p.m. The audience was entirely composed of Miami University students who were lucky enough to win a lottery for tickets, and their enthusiasm was apparent as they welcome their childhood icon.
“Greetings, RedHawks!” Nye announced as he began his speech, which lasted just over an hour.
Nye works as a comedian when he is not filming his current television show “Stuff Happens” on the Plant Green channel, and his talk contained as much humor as it did science.
His message, though, was not something to laugh at.
“The world is getting hotter, and we are 1/5 of the way for it being too hot (to live on).” Nye explained.
The scientist explained that the population has more than doubled in his lifetime, and with today’s nearly 7 billion people using the earth’s resources, he believes the world will only get hotter.
“I’m sure there’s a few of you who don’t believe climate change is man-made,” Nye said. “But the evidence is there.”
According to Nye, recent arctic ice studies have revealed increased levels of carbon dioxide in the ice’s gas bubbles associated with periods when the earth’s temperature was hotter. He then said the earth’s current carbon dioxide levels are higher than ever, rising from 250ppm to 390ppm.
“It may be a tiny increase,” Nye said. “But the affects are noticeable.”
He continued that the last 10 years have been the hottest years on record, and he believes 2010 will be at the top as well.
Then Nye challenged the students with this problem of global warming.
While driving less, using a reusable water bottle, and bringing their own bag to the grocery store would help reduce students’ environmental impact, Nye said he believes students need to think greater.
“We need big ideas to change the world!” Nye announced.
A picture of earth from outer space appeared on the projection board behind Nye. He pointed to the picture and stated that his father would have thought the picture was a painting, he would not have thought such a picture was possible.
“We have all made assumptions that were just plain wrong,” Nye explained.
He emphasized the need for student’s to overcome what they think might be impossible by discovering a new way to do things more sustainably.
One earth-saving example Nye used was changing the production of fertilizer. He said that fertilizer is currently made out of oil, which takes a lot of money and resources. However, he pointed out that pigs can produce fertilizer without any outside resources, and thus would make a more sustainable option to the oil-derived fertilizer.
“Now you just need the right idea on how to use pigs to produce enough fertilizer to replace the old one,” Nye stated.
The Miami audience appreciated Nye challenging them with this effort.
“Bill Nye is such a great spokesperson for the encouraging of innovation to our generation,” Sophomore Mike Gospel said. “Not only because he is such an innovator and powerful personality himself, but because we all grew up learning from him how cool science can be.”
Bill Nye the Scientist Guy concluded that he wanted the students’ to embrace the joy of discovery, and even find a way to make it to Mars. He said the student’s generation had the benefit of being able to spread information instantly over mediums like Twitter and they had to use it to their advantage.
“Think about this (lecture),” Nye said. “And change the world.”
By: Bridget Vis and Ariana Williams