Bill Nye "The Science Guy," and/or TV host and environmental advocate, challenged the graduates of Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, Calif., to work to solve global warming in his commencement address on Monday.
"It’s this convergence of a burgeoning human population with a remarkably thin layer of atmosphere that is warming our world," Nye said. "It's the challenge for you and your classmates as step out into this world and the workplace– a set of problems like no one before you has had to face. But, I think you all are up to it. I want you to, I’m not kidding— change the world."
His Emmy Award-winning "Science Guy" children's television program aired 100 episodes, ending in 1998. Since then, he's appeared on a large number of different programs as an expert on various topics.
Nye also spoke at Harvey Mudd's commencement in 2000 and 2008.
An excerpt from Nye's commencement address to the Harvey Mudd class of 2012:
When I visit here, I cannot help but reflect on my days in college and my memories. Back then, Earth Day was this new idea, created in response to the human-caused environmental pollution that seemed to be everywhere we looked. Back then, we had air pollution killing people in their sleep.
We had TV commercials telling us about a detergent, which would remove dark rings around our collars. The rings were smudges of smoggy soot from the sky. Many places we looked, we found waterways in an oily mess. The price of gasoline shot way up suddenly. There were shortages. Motorists waited in long lines to get it.
It was 1975– the Disco Era and our first oil crisis. There will almost certainly be a few more Energy Crises. I’m hoping not too many more Disco Eras.
Whew...And, there were a lot of people on this planet.
It’s this convergence of a burgeoning human population with a remarkably thin layer of atmosphere that is warming our world. It’s the challenge for you and your classmates as step out into this world and the workplace– a set of problems like no one before you has had to face. But, I think you all are up to it. I want you to, I’m not kidding— change the world.
Although there are big personal and business opportunities for all of us in energy and resource conservation, just doing less is not going to get the job done. People around the world aren’t going to sit by and let the developed world use all the energy and pump out all the carbon dioxide.
Like any environmentalist, I’m a big fan of just having more by wasting less. That’s akin to picking the low-hanging fruit. Great. But, we can’t just do less. The key to our future is instead to find ways to do more with less.
As Mudders and graduates you are among the very best in the world at thinking about new arrangements, new tools, and even, if I may, new tricks to reach for the high-hanging fruit– the big prizes and the great big prizes... That’s what we want you to do for us: I’m not kidding, change the world in new, exciting, and big ways.