‘The Planet’s on F***ing Fire:’ Bill Nye tells adults to grow up and tackle climate change

"There are a lot of things we could do to put it out – are any of them free? No, of course not. Nothing's free, you idiots. Grow the f**k up."


Bill Nye, famous for teaching science to kids, has shed his nice teacher persona in order to give adults a grave warning on climate change.

During a segment on John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, Nye appeared to don his lab coat and glasses in the traditional ‘Bill Nye the Science Guy’ way, but this time he spoke directly adults: “By the end of this century, if emissions keep rising, the average temperature on Earth could go up another four to eight degrees. What I’m saying is the planet’s on f***ing fire.”

During the segment Nye also his frustration towards lawmakers that have stalled on climate change legislation, saying that they needed to do something. After lighting a globe on fire, he stated: “There are a lot of things we could do to put it out – are any of them free? No, of course not. Nothing’s free, you idiots. Grow the f**k up. You’re not children anymore. I didn’t mind explaining photosynthesis to you when you were 12. But you’re adults now, and this is an actually crisis, got it? Safety glasses off, motherf***ers.”

As John Oliver said towards the end of the show, “I think we’ve all broken Bill Nye.”

In the past few months Bill Nye has shown his support for a Green New Deal and for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, whom he says “gets it” when it comes to fighting climate change.

But demanding climate justice isn’t new for Nye. In the past few years he has spoken with Bernie Sanders about the dangers of man-made climate change and debated Fox News’s Tucker Carlson on the question of whether dangers of climate change really exist. Nye has also questioned Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau about the approval of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion.

In April of 2017 Nye marched for science in Washington, taking the stage to declare that “science is for all.” Nye proclaimed, “Science must shape policy. Science is universal. Science brings out the best in us. With an informed, optimistic view of the future, together we can – dare I say it – save the world!”

A 2017 documentary highlighted Nye’s efforts to promote science as well as facts about the threats posed by global warming. In the trailer for the documentary, Nye explained his shift away from children’s public broadcasting, “Nowadays, I’m talking to adults and I’m not mincing words. Climate is changing, it’s our fault, we got to get to work on this.”


If you liked this article, please donate $5 to keep NationofChange online through November.

Previous articleWhich one will Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorse for president: Bernie or Liz?
Next articleThe Disintegrated Mind: The Greatest Threat to Human Survival on Earth
Alexandra Jacobo is a dedicated progressive writer, activist, and mother with a deep-rooted passion for social justice and political engagement. Her journey into political activism began in 2011 at Zuccotti Park, where she supported the Occupy movement by distributing blankets to occupiers, marking the start of her earnest commitment to progressive causes. Driven by a desire to educate and inspire, Alexandra focuses her writing on a range of progressive issues, aiming to foster positive change both domestically and internationally. Her work is characterized by a strong commitment to community empowerment and a belief in the power of informed public action. As a mother, Alexandra brings a unique and personal perspective to her activism, understanding the importance of shaping a better world for future generations. Her writing not only highlights the challenges we face but also champions the potential for collective action to create a more equitable and sustainable world.