‘Watch out conservatives’: Bill Nye warns of ‘economic sanctions’ against climate change deniers
Bill Nye on MSNBC

Renowned science communicator Bill Nye joined MSNBC anchor Sheinelle Jones to discuss the scientific reality of climate change in the wake of President Donald Trump's tweet confusing weather with climate.


“In the East, it could be the COLDEST New Year’s Eve on record,” Trump tweeted Thursday. “Perhaps we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming that our Country, but not other countries, was going to pay TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS to protect against. Bundle up!”

"Is this the big issue you think surrounding global warming, that people cannot think about long-term effects, they're just looking out the window and making an opinion?" Jones asked.

"I think most people really do understand it," Nye suggested. "Only 40 percent of people in the U.S.. think that Congress should be addressing this and that's because certain conservative groups, especially from the fossil fuel industry, have been very successful in introducing the idea that scientific uncertainty, plus or minus 2 percent, is the same as plus or minus 100 percent."

Nye was the longtime host of the acclaimed PBS children's show, Bill Nye the Science Guy, which won 19 Emmy Awards during five years of national syndication.

"In President Trump's tweet he brought up withdrawing from the Paris agreement, just this week, ten more cities signed on to the Chicago climate charter where cities pledged to stick to the guidelines of the agreement anyway," Jones noted. "So can global warming be helped perhaps without the aid of the federal government?"

"Well, it would be better to have everybody working together, wouldn't it?" Nye noted.

"But there's a lot of emphasis from conservatives on what are writ-large states rights. Just watch out, conservatives, if states rights include California, Illinois, New York -- these places that, where people voted in a progressive fashion -- watch out if all those places start to address climate change and then impose economic sanctions overtly or by default on places that have not embraced the work that needs to be done," Nye noted. "Then you'll end up with this states rights working the other way."

"The political problem is that...we've got to remind people that we're all in this together. The people I think about all the time are what are eloquently stated as the hillbillies, we want to engage everybody, not working to address climate change is in no one's best interest."

"It is not in the best interest especially of your children and grandchildren," Nye explained. "I'm not especially against the president, I just think he's gotten himself surrounded by people who are willing to mortgage the future, to let the people who are coming into the workforce now pay for the future. This is true not just with regard to the national debt, which will almost certainly increase the same way it tripled under the beloved Ronald Reagan, not only will that national debt increase, but the climate debt, in a sense, what we have to do to address climate change, will be more and more difficult to pay back or pay down."

Jones plugged the second season of Bill Nye Saves the World, which is now playing on Netflix.

"Superbugs, even time travel, which i'm very interested in," Jones noted.

"Time travel, everybody loves that. It's the latest in astrophysics," Nye noted. "And the first episode is about marijuana, everybody!"

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