Bill Nye scorches the earth
Bill Nye scorches the earth
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver/YouTube

With the need for urgent action to address climate change growing ever more acute, messaging on the subject is just going to have to get blunter.

In Europe, Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg has inspired schoolchildren to down pencils and march on parliaments while movements like Extinction Rebellion have blockaded bridges, roads and the Underground in London and demonstrated naked in the House of Commons in order to get our elected representatives to wake up to the plight of the planet.

Over in the US, however, President Donald Trump remains a stubborn denier of global warming, dismissing the phenomenon as a "hoax" in blithe indifference to the facts and the annual evidence of powerful hurricanes battering exposed southern states like Florida and Louisiana with increasing frequency.

Only last week, Trump visited Panama City Beach in the Panhandle to survey the damage after the state was hit by the Category 5 storm Hurricane Michael last October.

This arch-materialist's indifference to the fate of the environment is such that he withdrew the US from the 2015 Paris accords, has attempted to revive domestic fossil fuel production and rollback regulations, mocked the Democrats' "Green New Deal" proposals and even appointed a former oil industry lobbyist, David Bernhardt, as his secretary of the interior, responsible for all public land.

One man with a message for the US government is Bill Nye the Science Guy - best known for the PBS children's show of that name and his more recent Netflix series - who recorded a segment for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver to make the case as simply and explicitly as possible.

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

Blasting a model globe with a handy blowtorch, Nye continued:

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, grow the f*** up. You’re not children any more.

I didn’t mind explaining photosynthesis to you when you were 12 but you’re adults now and this is an actual crisis. 

Bravo sir.

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