Bill Nye Has a Message for America

Yes, it has to do with the election.

Oct 13 2016, 7:30pm

Image: Steve Rogers/SXSW Eco

Bill Nye gets a little riled up when he talks about climate change deniers, including ones we've elected into office.

"The other thing that these guys are into is that the Earth is cooling again. No it isn't!" Nye shouted in front of an audience at the SXSW Eco conference in Austin Wednesday. "Do not teach that to young people! What is the? Dude. Dude. Dude."

Midway through an animated, hourlong keynote address, the scientist, author, and TV personality took a few moments to point out a number of climate change-denying elected officials in the US, from Wisconsin governor Scott Walker, who has refused to answer questions about climate change, to Florida governor Rick Scott, who used to not permit his staff to use the term climate change in any official documents.

"Oh, that's it," Nye joked. "That's all we've got to do, is just not say the words and everything will be fine."

And though, as the CEO of a nonprofit organization—the Planetary Society—Nye said he could not endorse a candidate, he did point out Republican candidate Donald Trump's record on climate change, posting the candidate's image on top of the collage of the other climate change-denying politicians he had just detailed.

"I don't know if you know this but [Trump] has claimed that climate change is a conspiracy sponsored by the Chinese government," Nye said.

Nye continued on with his lecture, which focused on an optimistic approach to tackling climate change, repeatedly encouraging the audience that they could "dare I say it, change the world!" and outlining the factors contributing to climate change as well as the possible solutions. The lecture capped off the three-day conference, a sister event to the SXSW music and art festival, which focuses on tech and the environment.

While taking some audience questions, Nye once again broached the election, encouraging attendees to vote.

"I just very much hope that people take the climate into account when they vote," Nye said. "There are a lot of other things going on. People are concerned about immigration. People are concerned about fairness in taxation. People are concerned about law enforcement. But please take the environment into account."