Donald Trump could serve a second term as President, says TV presenter and science educator Bill Nye. But only if he reverses his stance on one critical issue.
Speaking with Bianna Golodryga of Yahoo News on Friday, Nye said that President Trump needs to embrace the fact that climate change is a real threat and begin working on policies to avert the environmental crisis.
“If you want to be reelected and if you want to have an eight-year legacy instead of a less than four-year legacy, embrace the future.”
Bill Nye explained that doing so would help Trump reach millennials, whose votes he will need in 2020.
“Consider the electoral map as presented if only millennials voted, and take climate change into account.”
Nye, who is popularly known as “the Science Guy,” is famous among young Americans who grew up watching his PBS children’s science show. His new talk show, Bill Nye Saves the World, debuted on Netflix on Friday.
Nye also urged President Trump to think for himself instead of letting those “from the old days” make the decisions on such crucial issues as environmental protection. “The people who deny climate change are almost exclusively old, like me,” he said.
“And they will age out of the electorate. So if you want to be elected by future voters — people coming of age right now — you’re going to have to embrace climate change and especially you’re going to have to embrace science.”
Asking President Donald Trump to accept the scientific consensus on climate change is an ambitious task, given the man’s previous statement that climate change is a concept cooked up by and for the Chinese “to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”
But numerous scientific organizations from around the world have definitively stated that climate change is real and that its main cause is human activity. These organizations have recommended that steps be taken to reduce the effects of climate change.
In addition, a poll conducted by the University of Texas at Austin last year found that 91 percent of millennial Americans (those under the age of 35) believe that climate change is occurring. In contrast, only 74 percent of the respondents aged 65 or older thought the same to be true.
President Donald Trump needs to pay attention to these figures, especially as exit polls show that if only millennials had turned out in greater numbers for Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, as they did for President Barack Obama, she would have easily won the election.
Unfortunately, Donald Trump has repeatedly undermined the work of environmentalists and scientists. He has allowed the dumping of toxic wastes in rivers, prioritized the natural gas and coal industries, and approved the Keystone XL pipeline. One of the first things he did as President was propose budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Park Service.
As a result of these and other perceived slights against the scientific community (read: “alternative facts”), the first-ever March for Science was held across the world on Saturday, which was also Earth Day. As with the Women’s March in January, the main event for the March for Science was held in Washington, D.C., but people from as far away as Antarctica and the Arctic Circle also staged their own protests.
According to the organizers of the March for Science, they wanted to voice their concerns about President Donald Trump’s seeming disregard for scientific research and evidence. They also wanted to draw attention to his budget cuts to government agencies such as the EPA and the NIH. Protesters carried hand-painted placards denouncing the Trump administration’s deregulation of coal waste dumping, appointment of Scott Pruitt as EPA chief, and undoing of the Obama-era Clean Power Plan.
Despite all this, Bill Nye still hopes that Donald Trump will change his mind and believes that the President will benefit from acknowledging the threat of climate change. “Climate change is the most serious issue facing humankind, for sure,” he stressed.
“I strongly encourage the president to consider that science is universal. It’s for everybody on earth. The climate is for everybody on earth. Space exploration is for everybody on earth. Clean water, renewably produced reliable electricity and access to electronic information [is] for everyone on earth.”
“And then, Mr. President, you could have a remarkable legacy.”
[Featured Image by Ron Sachs/Getty Images]