Bill Nye’s Climate Change Video Won't Spark Our Current Politicians Into Action

Bill Nye’s Climate Change Video Won't Spark Our Current Politicians Into Action

He knows we aren't 12 anymore, and he's calling us out on it.

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Recently, our favorite scientist Bill Nye appeared on John Oliver's "Last Week Tonight." In the segment discussing the proposed Green New Deal, Bill Nye appears, drops a few 'F-bombs," and literally sets the world on fire. His blunt, explicit point was that climate change is a serious topic, and politicians need to stop making financial excuses.

Growing up, Bill Nye was the guy on the huge, dinosaur TVs that teachers wheeled into class. We got to watch TV, and teachers got to teach us something. This video not only gave me a good laugh, but it made me realize that Bill Nye was always talking about things that mattered. A few years later, his frustration over the inadequate response of the American government was relatable and raw.

However, it was only relatable for someone like me: a kid born in the year 2000, raised in the Obama administration, and looking at a possible future for my grandkids on Mars. This generation gap is seen in Congress, and specifically the Green New Deal mentioned on "Last Week Tonight." John Oliver details the efforts of freshman Congress-person Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in enacting the Green New Deal, which would create legislation for straightforward challenges to climate change. She criticized 2020 Presidential Candidate Joe Biden for his plans for a "middle ground approach" to climate change. She stated that a middle ground approach is a sign of continuous underestimation of climate change and that Democrats should not have to compromise with Republicans on this issue.

This bridge between younger and older, established Democrats is becoming more and more apparent in the discussion surrounding the future of our planet. Would Bill Nye's video change the mind of someone like Joe Biden? Perhaps. As a person of great reputation, Bill Nye's experience and warning could bring about a more adamant side in lenient Democrats.

But would this video change the minds that need to be desperately changed? People who have argued that the costs of the policies would be too detrimental to our economy? Quite frankly, I doubt it. No one's mind has ever been changed by being called names, or by being shamed by a well-known TV personality. The truly sad part is that a well-informed, detailed video by Bill Nye would not work either. It would just fly over people's heads.

If we, as a society, want real change, we have to change the people in office.

We have to consistently show up at every election, and make noise over who we want. Slowly but surely, this is being done. Ocasio-Cortez is the best example. Established politicians have vested interests and alliances with companies and other politicians. What we need are outsiders, not insiders who have gotten comfortable. Outsiders bring their discomfort with them and shock our government into facing reality.

Climate change is not going to be tackled by name-calling, nor will it be tackled by PSAs and informative documentaries. The information is already out there. Climate change is only going to be tackled if we demand people who will fight for it as if it's their last breath because that's what we're approaching if we don't do something soon.

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Austin Alexander Burridge, Volunteer Advocate, Shares 3 Great Reasons to Volunteer and Help Others

Austin Alexander Burridge is an avid academic who studies Environmental Science at Winona State University and believes that work in the service of others is a key pillar to personal development.

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Sometimes it's easy for someone to adopt a "me, me, me" attitude. While focusing on oneself, a person may feel nice in the moment, but serving and helping others will bring lasting benefits. While there are many great reasons to serve and help others, there are three universal truths that resonate with volunteers around the globe.

Austin Alexander Burridge's 3 Reasons to Volunteer:

1. Accomplishment

Often, people fall into a trap of focusing on themselves when they are feeling down. Maybe someone did not get a job they wanted. Or perhaps a person gets dumped by an expected lifelong companion. Maybe someone feels they have underachieved after looking at Facebook and seeing great things a high school classmate has accomplished. When feeling down, helping others is a proven way to improve one's mood and attitude, and it can provide a sense of pride and accomplishment. The act of giving to those in need is an inherently good action and leaves people with a wonderful feeling of joy.

2. Gratitude

One can become more appreciative of life by serving others that have less. Whether volunteering at a soup kitchen, visiting the elderly at an assisted living center, or helping families after a natural disaster, service enables people to be grateful for what they have. Seeing people who have fewer advantages, especially those who are spirited and thankful for small things, allows one to realize just how fortunate he/she is in life.

3. Friendships

Volunteering is a great way to build meaningful friendships, not only with other volunteers but also with those who are served. One of the most profound and fascinating aspects of these relationships is how volunteers will learn from those served and vice versa. As these special bonds are built, they lead to impactful connections that last for years to come.

Of course, these are just a few reasons to volunteer and serve others. One can never go wrong by helping others as opposed to merely focusing on oneself. Volunteering invariably and inevitably contributes to personal growth, development, and satisfaction.

About Austin Alexander Burridge: Helping others has been of paramount importance to Austin, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He also has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters. Additionally, Austin has a passion for the environment, which he pursued when visiting the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while studying at the School of Environment Studies, which investigates ecological systems and their sustainability

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Being Sustainable Is Hard But It's Not Impossible

Although we've all heard of climate change and have witnessed the disastrous effects that humans have had on the environment, it still seems like most people are not subscribing to the ideals of sustainability.

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Sustainability is a tricky term. Most people that hear about it eventually put in the back of their minds, the same place they put "student loans" and "crippling depression." Most people know that to adhere to this ideal would mean to change how they live.

Sustainability is about adopting behaviors and systems that will ensure that the Earth is around for many generations after ours. Sustainability aims to preserve the Earth in terms of seven generations ahead. Seven generations after ours and societies on Earth will be using entirely different systems than what we do now, therefore, we should start this process now to ensure that they will be able to live comfortably and sustainably.

This is where most people tune out, understandably so. It's hard for us to think about the implications of our actions and how they will affect life on Earth much after our own deaths. It suddenly seems like an incomprehensible problem that no one person can ever solve.

"My actions won't make a difference," most people say, convinced that just because they stop eating meat or buying plastic or start drinking from paper straws, that nothing will change. However, what they fail to consider is how their actions will influence the minds of others around them, and one person who stops eating meat or using plastic sends a ripple effect through the people surrounding them. One person making lifestyle changes in the name of sustainability leads others to suddenly consider, "maybe I should eat less meat?" or "maybe I won't use single-use plastics anymore?"

The idea is not that any one person picking up plastic on the beach is going to save the planet, but rather that through education and awareness, we will all take small steps to preserve our home. Large groups of people all taking small steps leads to big changes, and politics and the economy will follow the demand of the people.

The most difficult thing for most people to do is to adopt those small behavioral changes. Not everyone can afford to stop eating meat, but everyone can afford to opt out of single-use plastics. Buying a personal water bottle is one easy way to do this. Stop buying plastic water bottles just to throw them away. If you need to buy them, make sure to recycle them. Instead of taking plastic silverware and straws from restaurants, bring your own reusable set.

Understandably, most of you are already cringing. It's hard to go against the grain and commit to living a plastic-free lifestyle for the sake of sustainability. And what about when you go to Chipotle with your zero-waste kit and somebody asks you a question about why you have that? Fear or convincing themselves that it's "inconvenient" will keep most of you from adopting these little changes that, over time, make a huge difference in the amount of plastic we put in our oceans.

Although we can't all be leaders of huge sustainability efforts to clean our oceans or buy an electric car, we can all make small changes to mitigate this tragic problem. On our current track, the last half of our lives will be starkly different from the first half, for the worse. Educate yourself and be part of the solution instead of the problem.

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