For the thirty-sixth Martin Bucksbaum Distinguished Lecture Series, Bill Nye the Science Guy, a renowned scientist, engineer, comedian, author, and inventor spoke to the Drake community. Nye came to Drake on April 14 to address the public about issues of climate change in an attempt to inspire his audience to change the world.
Nye approached this topic by first leading his audience with a short autobiographical segment about his family’s history that led into a much more complicated topic, Mars.
“So the reason I bring all this up, obviously, is because I want to talk about Mars,” Nye said, to which the crowd roared with laughter. “I appreciate your patience because I know you were anticipating that.”
In his rant about Mars, Nye addressed data comparing the atmosphere of Mars to Earth. This data ultimately concluded that our atmosphere’s carbon dioxide percentage increased from .03% in 1997 to .04%.
“The Earth’s atmosphere is extraordinarily thin,” he said. “When you look at this picture, you might think it’s out of focus, but it’s not out of focus. That’s the whole thing! That’s the atmosphere, it looks like the varnish on a classroom globe.”
Nye slowly transitioned into another one of his points that addressed conservatives running for president this year.
“Right now, everybody running for president on the conservative side is an adamant climate change denier,” he said.
Of the three candidates Nye references, he claims that John Kasich isn’t sure about climate change, Ted Cruz thinks it’s a conspiracy by scientists around the world, and Donald Trump thinks it’s a conspiracy by China to keep us from burning coal. He also offered the possibility that the candidates may change their minds to capture millennial voters, in which someone in the crowd responded, “They’re liars!”
“This should not be a political issue, this is what’s going on in the world,” Nye said. “So, everybody, you could say, Bill Nye, what are we going to do about it? Should we run in circles screaming? AHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! No! I want you all to change the world!”
Of the many Drake students to attend the lecture, Noah Daniels is one of the few who is doubtful that the lecture will make a difference in his community.
“I think people will do something to change the world, I don’t think that they’ll do it because of the speech,” Daniels said.
Daniels believes that although Nye’s lecture was “a valiant effort,” he believes that the encouragement Nye offered to students won’t do much to inspire them to take action.
“But I think repetition of those ideas is good, that we can change the world,” he said, “and I think that there are multiple people at Drake that know they can, and know how they want to do it and are on-track to do something big.”