Bill Nye: “The planet is on f***ing fire”

When it comes to explaining the need for climate change legislation, Bill Nye has had enough.

The famously wacky scientist set aside his “nice guy” persona during an appearance on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” on Sunday. Nye took to the show to teach Oliver’s audience about carbon pricing and the Green New Deal – (“Safety glasses on. When something costs more, people buy less of it. Safety glasses off. That’s it.”)

When Nye got really heated, however, was when Oliver asked him for an “enjoyable, lighthearted demonstrations” to drive home the point about the urgency of climate change.


“By the end of this century, if emissions keep rising, the average temperature on Earth could go up another four to eight degrees,” Nye said. “What I’m saying is, the planet is on f***ing fire.”

He went on to elaborate that while there are a lot of solutions available to put the proverbial fire out, we have to be willing to pay for them.

“There are a lot of things we could do to put it out. Are any of them free? No, of course not, nothing’s free you idiots!”

Nye has taken the stage several times in recent years to discuss the dangers of climate change. In one memorable segment, he appeared on Fox News to debate Tucker Carlson. In that segment, Carlson often talked over Nye’s responses, interrupted his explanations, and attempted to belittle his qualifications. Nye then took to YouTube to issue a response.

“[Carlson] used to not interview that way,” Nye said. “He used to not just talk the whole time.” Nye then issued a challenge: “I’ll bet you $10,000 that 2010-2020 will be the hottest decade on record.”

Some were surprised by Nye’s harsher tone. Philip Palermo, a former copy editor for Big Think & Endgadget tweeted “I just heard Bill Nye swear and it’s blowing my mind.”

Even Oliver gasped, “I think we’ve all broken Bill Nye.”

For those who have chosen to criticize the scientist for his language rather than focusing on the urgency of his message, we’ll end with Nye’s own words:

“Grow the f**k up. You’re not children anymore.”

Jenn Bentley is a writer and editor originally from Cadiz, Kentucky. Her writing has been featured in publications such as The Examiner, The High Tech Society, FansShare, Yahoo News, and others. When she’s not writing or editing, Jenn spends her time raising money for Extra Life and advocating for autism awareness.

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