Why Bill Nye Calls Climate Change a "Solvable Problem"

This week I attended The Cleveland Foundation's annual meeting, an event during which leaders of the Foundation and the non-profit organizations it supports discuss the milestones achieved in the past year. I came to be inspired by the power of communities coming together to improve infrastructure, encourage economic growth, promote the arts, educate and empower youth and so much more. I also came to hear their keynote speaker and one of my favorite environmental champions, Bill Nye the Science Guy

The theme of this year's meeting was "An Environment for Success" and during the opening speeches the Foundation’s President and CEO, Ronn Richard, announced a new commitment to environmental action, and a goal for the city to achieve 100% renewable energy by 2050! He talked about how catastrophic hurricanes, forest fires and floods have devastated cities around the world due to climate change. If we had a crystal ball, and could predict devastation before it happened to Cleveland, what would we do differently? Well, he said, it turns out we do have a crystal ball - SCIENCE. 

With that Bill Nye took the stage, and in his opening address he talked about the THREE things we as humans need to prioritize in order to preserve life on Earth for generations to come:

  1. Clean water - Clean water fuels our bodies, it keeps us healthy and it powers agriculture that allows us to grow and eat good food.

  2. 100% renewable electricity - Imagine not having to pay for power to run your heat, your washing machine, your computer. Imagine having free internet service for everyone. In a world where industry is powered by wind and solar, our capacity for innovation becomes limitless, and our ability to solve seemingly insurmountable problems becomes possible. 

  3. Education for women and girls - Half of the human race is woefully under-educated, under-represented and under-utilized. If we level the playing field by ensuring quality education for boys AND girls, the future generation suddenly has about 3.5 BILLION more minds working to solve its problems?? I like those odds (don’t check my math here…but you get the idea)

Bill Nye's message wasn't one of dire warnings and impending catastrophe. His message was that there is hope. When asked if he could I've anywhere in the cosmos, where would he want to live? Earth. When asked when in the history of Earth he would choose to be alive? Now. Despite everything going wrong in the world, we have a lot of resources at our disposal. We have a lot of ways we can right this ship. 

Bill Nye's mother was a code breaker during WWII. A lot of women were recruited into code-breaking and other war-efforts during that time. Why? Because the men were at war. Because WWII was kind of a HUGE, global issue and we needed all-hands-on-deck to get through it. The same applies today. We're fighting a major threat to humanity, and to our way of life. Today, just as it was back then, we'll need everyone to do their part if we're going to see the other side of this. 

Think about what part you're going to play. When younger generations ask you about this time, about what you did to help, what will you tell them?