Bill Nye Keeps It Real

The beloved Science Guy returns to the Life is Beautiful Ideas Series with words to live by

Photography by Jesse J. Sutherland

“Bill, Bill, Bill, Bill,” the Life is Beautiful crowd chanted on Friday afternoon long before acclaimed engineer and television host Bill Nye walked onto the stage wearing his signature bowtie. Returning to the festival, Nye kicked off the event with words of wisdom to carry well-beyond the weekend. Here are seven takeaways from his Ideas Series talk.

1.Climate Change is real.

Nye is dumbfounded he still has to tell people this. “Look at what’s happening with Irma and Harvey,” Nye said referring to the recent hurricanes. “The oceans are warmer, and the storms are stronger.” He also said his persistence to reiterate this fact comes also at a time when top government officials are skeptical of what scientists are saying.

2. Nye needs everyone to work together to save the world.

Seeing the impact of climate change, he repeatedly put this plea out there. “And I’m confident you can do it,” he said.

3. It all starts with an idea.

Whether it was a Tesla, an iPhone, a science television show or a music festival, Nye said people have turned small ideas into life-changing products. “We now have a camera so small it fits onto your phone. That idea changed the world.”

4. Anyone can come up with a idea.

“Everyone you will ever meet knows something you don’t,” Nye told the audience. “Even the stupid people.” With that, it’s up to people to come up with the next big idea that can save the world.

5. Technology has already come a long away, but can go farther.

“In my lifetime, we’ve gone from over-the-air-television, to VHS tapes, to DVDs to now whole movies on my phone,” he said. His call to action is to create new, clean-energy projects starting with airplanes. “I believe that can also be done in my lifetime,”

6. Check out the Solutions Project.

The organization is a collection of people and groups that are working to power the United States, let alone the globe, through renewable energy. “That’s wind, solar and geothermal energy,” Nye said. “[The Solutions Project] isn’t a group of hippies. These are civil engineers.”

7. Everyone who can vote, needs to vote.

Not only do people need to exercise their civic duty, Nye noted people need to stop casting ballots for elected officials who don’t believe in science. “Not everyone needs to be a scientist, but at least appreciate science when you vote,” he said ending his time at the festival.