Bill Nye “the Science Guy” suggested during an episode of his new Netflix series that “extra kids” are a burden to the earth’s environment and that governments should consider penalizing parents who decide to raise large families.
For the final installment of “Bill Nye Saves the World,” which premiered on April 21, Nye interviewed a panel of guests to discuss birth control and earth’s “people problem.”
One of the panelists was Travis Rieder, an ethicist at Johns Hopkins University, who said he believes that population is “a variable to be addressed in mitigating and adapting to climate change.”
Adding that “population is one of the main drivers of climate change,” Rieder said that individuals in developed countries produce more carbon and therefore have more of an effect on the climate than people in underdeveloped nations.
“And so the people who have the highest fertility rate, like in Niger, are doing almost no emitting,” Rieder said. “The average Nigerian emits 0.1 metric tons of carbon annually. How many does the average American emit? Sixteen metric tons is what the average [American emits].”
Referring to his own children, Rieder said that his “two kids are way more problematic” for the earth’s climate than children in Nigeria.
Nye then asked Rieder, “So should we have policies that penalize people for having extra kids in the developed world?”