Adults and kids packed the amphitheatre bowl and courtyard at the monument’s education center to hear the Cornell University graduate and former Boeing mechanical engineer talk about living sustainably.
Dressed in his trademark white shirt and bow tie, the scientist who studied with Carl Sagan and who is CEO of the Planetary Society said the essence of science is the joy of discovery and the joy of knowing something.
Nye said science is still about making an observation, coming up with a hypothesis and then testing the theory. He says that process has led humans to some amazing discoveries, such as space travel.
Nye says the world’s population now tops seven-billion and it’s affecting the earth by way of climate change. He says there have been big changes just since the 1970s.
He says the amount of carbon dioxide in the earth’s atmosphere has increased by nearly a third in just the past 30 years. Nye says the speed of that change must be addressed.
“The Science Guy” says global warming and climate change aren’t just theories, he says they’re science facts and the world’s weather is changing right now.
Nye says though you can’t tie any one event to climate change. The theory is consistent with mathematical models that go all the way back to Carl Sagan’s days on the study of nuclear warfare.
Nye urged Nebraskans to focus on efficiency and doing more, with less.
A National Parks Foundation grant, private foundation and History Channel support brought Nye to the Homestead, on Sunday.
About 3,000 people attended the event. Park ranger Susan Cook says four states and several counties within Nebraska were represented. It was also a big draw for students of all ages, including a group of students who came all the way from Texas A&M University for the program.
Cook says about 20 members of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln Physics Club were on hand, as well as student groups from Doane College and the University of Nebraska-Omaha.
By Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice