One may have thought that Bill Nye’s new Netflix show had reached its lowest point with a crude and anti-science song about genitals and gender theory, but beyond the nonsense, the former children’s show star is also floating the theory that bringing children into this world ought to come with government-imposed penalties because of climate change.
On the season finale of “Bill Nye Saves the World,” entitled “Earth’s People Problem,” the former children show star turned panderer to millennial nostalgia and hype theory discusses overpopulation, asking a panel whether or not “we should have policies that penalize people for having extra kids in the developed world?”
Writing at TownHall, my friend Christine Rouselle discusses just how impoverished this view is:
While one panelist said that he was slightly in favor of the idea, others took issue with the idea of telling a person how many or how few children they were allowed to have. One pointed out (likely correctly) that poorer women and/or minority women would likely be the ones penalized for this “crime.”
Nye doesn’t explain what he would consider to be an “extra kid.” The replacement level fertility rate is 2.1 children per woman – something that most of the developed world hasn’t seen in years. It’s downright spooky and chilling to say that parents should be “penalized” for daring to expand their families. If anything, one would think that parents should be encouraged to have more children, lest the rest of the world end up like Japan.
Nye’s proposal is a grotesque one, which raises the question of why we would want climate alarmists — a crowd for which Nye has more proven himself a water carrier, and a group that has proposed “solutions” like these — in government positions to have this sort of power over our families. Try as the heretic hunters might to shut it down, the debate over the science of the weather is still ongoing. If Bill Nye were truly the kind of “science guy” he claims to be, he would acknowledge this debate.
Japan’s sinking population isn’t the only population problem the world is facing. Recently, the Spanish government appointed a “sex czar” to address the country’s plunging population, while the rest of Europe isn’t far behind. Meanwhile in America, we’re approaching our own depopulation problem, with a small number of younger Americans who simply will not be able to care for our aging Baby Boomers.
Nye is not alone in his idea, far from it, a notable recent example of which was profiled in an NPR story last August. But such theories are predicated on the idea of a long-discussed population bomb — a theory that says humans will overpopulate the Earth and there will not be enough resources to sustain our growth. The bomb, of course, has proven with time to be as potent as a North Korean rocket launch and as prophetic as Al Gore’s theory that global warming was going to kill us all by last year.
But no, Chicken Little, the sky is not falling. Nevertheless, the bad idea persists, leading to never-ending parade of proposals like Nye’s.
Deeper than the simple utilitarian arguments against the idea — and there are plenty — there’s a flawed human anthropology here, one that stems from the nihilistic view of human beings as a parasitic influence on this world, rather than a part of it with a duty to conserve creation for its own sake. Saying that Earth has a “people problem” is the same thinking that treats preborn babies like burdens to be aborted instead of blessings to be supported, but applied on a much wider scale.
This is indeed dark and impoverished, but not surprising from a guy whose show peddles junk science with people dressed up colorfully as — well — “junk.”