Back in January, a controversial issue known as Deflategate arose in the sports industry in regards to the deflation of footballs. The coach of the team in question explained this as a result of atmospheric conditions and temperature changes. Bill Nye, being “The Science Guy,” decided to demonstrate the science behind this speculated phenomenon and weigh in on the issue by vocalizing his opinion. But his opinion dealt very little with the footballs. Instead, he took this time to vocalize the real scientific issue we should all be concerned about.
“Climate change is real. While we’re all obsessed with Deflategate, let’s keep in mind that there’s something about which you should give a [damn],” Nye said. “Yes, like Tom Brady, the world is getting hotter and hotter, and you know why? Because we humans are pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.”
This concept of climate change has become mainstream over the last few years as scientists assess our future standing on this planet we all call home. But what is climate change? It’s the term used to describe the altering of the weather on a long-term scale because of the greenhouse gas effect.
The greenhouse gas effect is a process that heats up the Earth as gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and water vapor trap heat in the atmosphere. In simple terms, heat energy from the sun travels to the Earth’s surface, is reradiated into the atmosphere which contains these greenhouse gases, gets trapped by these gases, and that finally is reradiated back to Earth’s surface and causes additional warming. Human activities have been linked to the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and thus, the warming of the Earth. Now, this comes full circle with Bill Nye’s persistence for addressing climate change in the context of the football coach’s blame on temperature change.
William Sanford Nye has been a popular figure in the field of science and is widely known for his hit TV show, from which he has become known as as Bill Nye, “The Science Guy.” As an advocate for science literacy, he has explored numerous topics. He has educated and raised the awareness of many individuals, including many of us here at Rider, with his simple and quirky hands-on approach. On April 23, Bill Nye will be appearing at Rider University as this year’s Earth Day keynote speaker. Only ticket holders will be able to gain entrance to this exciting event.
On April 22nd, the whole world joins in on celebrating Earth Day’s 45th anniversary. This past year marks the joining of hands of economic growth and sustainability, especially following protests like the People’s Climate March, where over 400,000 individuals came together to advocate global action against climate change. The march was in response to an upcoming U.N. Climate Summit of world leaders and resulted in the world leaders of the U.S. and China displaying a united front on climate change and on reducing the greenhouse gases found to be responsible for it.
To eliminate the rising of sea levels, greater and more frequent natural disasters, the loss of habitat and threats to human health among many other problems, choose to become part of this environmental movement. Choose to become literate in the science of climate change, the real issue prevalent in our society. To ensure a habitable home for our future, learn about climate change and how you — yes, you — can make a difference.
Printed in the 04/22/15 issue.