The Daily Tar Heel

Serving the students and the University community since 1893

Monday February 6th

Bill Nye tells crowd to ‘change the world’

Bill Nye looks at the solar system just like he looks at the story of Goldilocks and the three bears.

“Mercury is too hot, Mars is too cold, Venus is way too hot — but the Earth is just right,” Nye said.

But on Wednesday night, Nye explained to a sold-out crowd at Memorial Hall that the environmental state of the planet has changed.

The world has been witness to many natural disasters in recent years, and Nye, who hosted the popular TV show “Bill Nye the Science Guy,” focused on the reason behind those storms: climate change.

At a young age, Nye was inspired by his father to appreciate the beauty of sundials because of their ability to tell time from anywhere in the world, he said.

“Time is quite subtle, but we all depend on it,” Nye said.

This technology inspired Nye to start the Sundial Project, which led to sundials being placed on Mars.

“I want everyone to appreciate how far humans have come,” Nye said.

“Even if you hate humans.”

He said the shadow created on the sundials reflected the color of Mars’ atmosphere, demonstrating how cold the planet actually is.

Nye also said the amount of carbon dioxide that exists in the Earth’s atmosphere has increased from 0.03 to 0.04 percent.

He said that while the margin seems small, it has made a great impact.

That, in combination with the Earth’s increasing population, is the reason behind the climate change.

Nye believes this climate change is what caused a series of deadly February tornadoes in the Midwest and disastrous hurricanes, like 2005’s Hurricane Katrina and last week’s Hurricane Sandy.

“This is where I want you to, dare I say it, change the world,” Nye said.

“Everything that we do affects everyone else around the world because we all breathe the same air.”

Nye proposed energy alternatives like solar panels and solar hot water as a way to minimize energy intake.

“It’s not rocket surgery,” Nye said. “We’ve got to do more with less.”

Junior Trang Nguyen was excited to see Nye, someone she had watched since she was a child.

“He was really funny,” Nguyen said. “I like how he presents science as it is related to our life.”

Senior Jason Bastida felt inspired to explore some of the things Nye talked about.

“You don’t need an engineering degree to understand the things he talks about,” Bastida said.

“He captivates everyone from kids that are 8 years old, 18 years old, to professors.”

Nye said he hopes that young people take the initiative to change the world as it is today and make it better.

“These problems can be solved,” he said.

“We, humans, can do it.”

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