During a Wednesday interview, television host Bill Nye told the LA Times that older people need to "age out," or "die," before his beliefs about climate change can advance.
Nye, 61, responded to a question on the generational differences in views of climate change, and said that those willing to embrace his take on climate change tend to be younger, and that those he calls "climate deniers" tend to be older.
In order for his views to advance, Nye told the LA Times that older people will have to die:
It just sounds like people are scared. It just sounds like people are afraid. And the people who are afraid in general — with due respect, and I am now one of them — are older. Climate change deniers, by way of example, are older. It’s generational. So we’re just going to have to wait for those people to “age out,” as they say. “Age out” is a euphemism for “die.” But it’ll happen, I guarantee you — that’ll happen.
The LA Times later asked Nye if he ever thought he'd be defending "science" in political circles. Nye suggested his political involvement was forced, and called his climate change opponents "clowns."
I know! What the heck is that? I’m not the guy denying climate change. You guys started it. I didn’t want be political. You made it political — clowns. You know, climate change is something we should all be very concerned about, and we should get to work on it as soon as we can.
Nye has been a firebrand for the climate cause, and has appeared on multiple programs to promote the idea of man-made climate change. During these appearances, Nye has presented solutions that some consider extreme.
On his Netflix program, "Bill Nye Saves the World," released in April, Nye hosted a panel that discussed ways to combat climate change. A notable moment occurred when Nye and his guest, Dr. Travis Rieder, a philosopher at Johns Hopkins University, suggested that we penalize Americans who have more than one child.
In April, while on a CNN "New Day" panel that also featured Princeton University physicist Will Happer, Nye became somewhat angry when Happer disagreed with Nye's conclusions about climate change. Happer took the position that carbon dioxide was not the pollutant Nye claimed, prompting Nye, the celebrity television host, to tell the scientist that he didn't understand the effects of carbon dioxide. Nye then chastised CNN for allowing a scientist like Happer on to spread his ideas.
Aside from limiting children, and pressuring networks to silence dissenters, Nye's solution about "climate deniers" has also included throwing them in jail. In 2016, Nye suggested to YouTube channel "cfact," that throwing climate skeptics in prison wasn't too extreme.
“We’ll see what happens. Was it appropriate to jail the guys at Enron?” Nye asked. “Was it appropriate to jail people from the cigarette industry who insisted that this addictive product was not addictive?”