May 2017 issue: The buzz around pollinator friendly solar plants+ more


How do we get Bill Nye to shut up about climate change?

One of my childhood heroes, Bill Nye the Science Guy, is back with a new show on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it, at least watch the first episode—it applies to your day job.

Oh, how I used to light up when science teachers rolled in that A/V cart—I looked forward to learning about science from the goofy man in the bowtie. But right off the bat, Bill explained that his new series isn’t really for kids, but for “grown up kids” all over the world.

Bill’s been busy in the media talking (or some say ranting) about climate change, so I wasn’t surprised it was the topic of his first show. He made sure no one was.

“You think I was going to get a new TV show and not talk about climate change?” he hollered at the live audience, which laughed and applauded. “We’ve had world wars, pandemics, we’ve even had reality television, but global warming and climate change are way worse.”

Bill kept his sobering, yet silly tone throughout the show as he explained that he expects 2010 to 2020 to be the hottest decade on record. “As far back as we can measure, it’s never gotten this warm this fast,” he said. “It’s the rate that’s the problem.”

True to my childhood, Bill did experiments.

He showed how liquid expands when heated in a flask (the science kind) to demonstrate how higher temperatures make the ocean expand and cause flooding.

He used his phone and an aquarium to show how glass lets in light but traps heat, just like the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. He even blew into a tube of dyed water, which changed color to show how CO2 makes the ocean more acidic, creating a fatal environment for fish.

Afterwards, Bill took a time-out to rant in another segment called “Bill needs a minute.”
“I expect the U.S. to be the world leader in addressing a problem like climate change. But is it? No. Why? Because the deniers have been so successful,” he said. We know such deniers too well in solar. They’re one of our greatest challenges today.

But then Bill turned the conversation to taking action. He brought in a panel to discuss steps to combat climate change, such as using less fossil fuels and encouraging consumers to think about where their electricity comes from, just like their food. He also pushed renewable energy like wind and solar and even mentioned the importance of storage—my heart fluttered.

At the end of the show, Zach Braff (Scrubs guy) stormed the stage in dramatic irritation and asked Bill how he could get him to shut up about climate change.

Kathie Zipp“I would love to shut up about climate change,” Bill said wearily. “Nobody likes talking about this topic. It’s depressing; it’s scary. I want to talk about baseball or movies. I’ll shut up about climate change once we all go to renewable energy sources!”

Inspired, Zach put his arm around Bill as they shouted together, “We will shut up about climate change once we finally do something about the problem!”

The solar industry is doing something about the problem.

“We’re in this together, if we think together and work together, good things are going to happen,” Bill said.

If the solar industry continues to work together, good things will happen, and maybe one day Bill can finally shut up.


  1. Not shutting up is the winning playbook, we need all hands on deck ald all clean industries working in unison to counter the bad news from the chief twotter

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