How Bill Nye and Seth MacFarlane Teamed Up to Save the World With ‘The End Is Nye’

On paper, Bill Nye the Science Guy and family guy creator Seth MacFarlane might not seem like the most obvious collaborators. On Thursday, however, they will launch a new mission to save the world: The end is Nye, a six-part docuseries debuting on Peacock that explores a handful of harrowing potential disasters. Even better? Each episode will cut through the pessimism with science-based solutions that we can all adopt, provided, of course, that we start electing leaders who actually value our planet.

Yet Bill Nye and Seth MacFarlane? How did it happen?

Speak with The Daily Beast before The end is Nye, Nye (the show’s on-screen star) said he and executive producer MacFarlane shared a pretty simple goal. “We did the show to save humanity,” he said during a Zoom interview, rising theatrically to indicate he had just provided the best possible explanation. “Here, you are welcome.”

As he sat back down, the Science Guy offered a more heartfelt backstory to the team: MacFarlane, like many of us, has felt quite concerned lately about our society’s relationship with science. and technology. “He wanted to do a show to excite people, excite them,” Nye said. “He says, ‘The conservative media scares people. That’s why everyone looks at them. We I have to scare people! »

And so, Nye and MacFarlane made a handful of hour-long disaster movies. The end is NyeThe first episode examines how our rapidly warming climate could one day produce a series of superstorms that will level nations around the world. Another episode, the one that spooks Nye the most, explores the possibility of a “coronal mass ejection,” in which electrically charged particles from the sun’s outer layer could create a magnetic field that disrupts that of planet Earth and extinguishes the lights around the globe. .

In case it wasn’t obvious, Nye said, “That would be bad.”

“We wouldn’t have this interview, for example, and we wouldn’t have any food either. You also couldn’t drive anywhere, stay warm, stay cool, or do anything.

But don’t panic. For each doomsday scenario, Nye and MacFarlane — who, in addition to serving as EPs, appear in occasional cameos — examine the solutions scientists have offered. In the case of the “CME” (coronal mass ejections) event described above, Nye says there are “steps we can take in our infrastructure to be ready for this thing.” (Want to know more about them? That’s what the show is about!)

At this point, Nye is well practiced in the art of eco-televangelism. He became the biggest science pundit among kids in 1993 with the massively popular syndicated series Bill Nye the Scientistwhich has been nominated for 23 Emmys and won 19. In 2017, he launched an adult show on Netflix, Bill Nye save the world, which ran for three seasons and covered everything from global warming to evolution to the science of aging.

As eager as many of us are to prevent the Earth from burning, it can be hard not to become pessimistic, especially since our local billionaires seem more invested in recreational trips to the Moon than they realize. are in saving the planet we all live on. For Nye, the answers lie somewhere between doomerism and optimism. We have to take the problem seriously in order to solve it, he said, but it is also difficult to succeed in any business if you approach it with a self-destructive attitude.

“We don’t want to throw the water bottles away – don’t throw them in the ocean,” Nye said. “Don’t print emails that you could just leave blank. OK, these are good things. Thumbs up. But we need big ideas.

It’s a suggestion that can sometimes make your eyes roll, but Nye’s advice ultimately boils down to one word: vote.

“We need to make big changes in the way we generate, transmit and store electricity,” Nye continued. “We need big ideas to provide drinking water to everyone. And for that, we’re going to have to have different policies than we have now, different governance. … You can hate me. You can hate everything. You can be a miserable hateful person. But consider the environment when you vote.

Then again, this writer couldn’t help but wonder: are adult voters the easiest audience for this type of content, or are kids easier to educate on climate at this point? than their parents?

“Children have no difficulty understanding the issue,” Nye said. It’s not that “adults” don’t, he added; they just tend to disagree more on the solutions. Children, however, are an easy audience.

“What does every child like? Space and Dinosaurs,” Nye said. “And the dinosaurs were wiped out, almost certainly, by an asteroid or the equivalent of an asteroid. So we don’t want that to happen again. Kids can relate to that.

And for the “big ones”? here is hope The end is Nye obliges at least a good handful of them to unite around science.

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