I had just heard about this episode of NatGeo's EXPLORER titled "Bill Nye's Global Meltdown" last night. After reading a brief outline I made sure to
watch it. (Very rare for me regarding any TV show.)
Here's a 30 second preview via Vimeo
Acclaimed educator and "Science Guy" Bill Nye realizes the reason he is feeling down is because he is in fact suffering from "climate change grief."
With a little help from Hollywood action star and environmental advocate former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, Nye delves into the
various manifestations of denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance that represent not only the clinical stages of grief, but also the
shared emotions that people exhibit in relation to the stark realities of climate change.
The story follows Nye around the country as he attempts to overcome the various stages of "climate change grief," as recommended by Arnold
Schwarzenegger, who plays Nye's "therapist" in the episode. It combines very humorous scenes between the two as well as matter-of-fact interviews with
engineers, activists, congressmen and fellow scientists from around the world.
Various topics are discussed including the Alberta tar sands, the futility of currently booming coastal construction (namely in Miami,) collecting
methane from landfills and the validity of renewable energy (among others.)
I found the show extremely factual and highly entertaining, (in proper Bill Nye fashion.) I didn't sense an abundance of "spin" in the rhetoric, nor
was it overly ambiguous (in proper NatGeo fashion.) There are definitely a few good laughs, including some very awkward moments with a Florida State
Representative who is obviously stuck in the "denial" stage.
We get to see our beloved Science Guy smoking cigars with the Governator, as well as a rare shot of him with his trademark bow tie untied
disheveled hopelessness after a visit with Guy McPherson
This was the climax of the episode for me, having read McPherson's work to much horror. McPherson and Nye sit down for some straight whiskey and
cigarettes at McPherson's New Mexico home and discuss his truly bleak assertion that "there will not be any humans left on Earth by 2030
of course, was during the "depression" phase of Nye's recovery. No overt attempt to discredit McPherson is made (to my surprise.) However, Bill errs
more on the side of hope as he emerges out of his grief and accepts the reality of climate change.
Nye leaves us with two possible outcomes: One being "do nothing" which will most certainly spell doom for humanity in short order... OR... "Change
the world." The Science Guy makes the plea that indeed there is still hope, although there is most definitely a grave issue at hand, and YES: it's
largely our own fault, regardless of the outcome we choose.
If you did
watch the episode, let me know what you thought about the program, likes and dislikes etc.
If you missed it, I highly recommend trying to catch it in the future should they rerun it. (There will be a rerun at 1AM CST this morning)
I thought it was great!
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