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Pardes Yehuda: Bill Nye the Science Guy is coming back to TV

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Bill Nye the Science Guy is coming back to TV

While I no longer own a television, a deplorable percentage of my childhood was spent in front of the television despite my mother's best efforts. One show which kept me engrossed well into my high school years was Bill Nye the Science Guy, recently profiled here. He taught us about simple science by doing fun, wacky experiments in a bow tie and a lab boat.

Well, he's back. Discovery Communications has brought a new network on the air, Planet Green, which touts itself as "the first and only 24-hour eco-lifestyle television network with a robust online presence and community." According to (great site!), Bill Nye will host "Stuff Happens," a new show premiering in early September that examines the origins of our consumer products.

Bill Nye is going to examine, in his bow tie and lab coat, the chemical and scientific elements of our household consumer items. I think we can imagine what he might find...

According to the network's site, the premiere show will be on "Breakfast," however, according to, the sister site of the Planet Green network (I think it's there "robust online presence"), the premiere episode is about the bathroom. [despite the report on the network's website, the network's schedule agrees with editor's note: A preview airs tonight, August 26, at 9pm Eastern on Planet Green, which focuses on breakfast.]

While I think that the nature of television continues the thoughtless consumer culture that has evolved in our society, the fact that Discovery Communications feels it is in their economic interest to create a television network dedicated to programming about sustainability and ecologically sensitive development shows the consumer demand is rising. Ultimately, the consumer is responsible in a market economy to accept or reject products--for better or worse, corporations can only be expected to produce what we demand. As the demand for ecological sustainability increases, the corporate structure will need to refine and reform accordingly in order to survive. Take, for example, T. Boone Pickens, who is investing the two-thirds of his $3 billion dollar energy empire in wind (which he clearly sits to profit from handsomely, since he owns the largest wind farm in America--an oilman can change to a "windman," but a profiteer is a profiteer).

Traditionally, business has been about growth and consumption. This has ultimately led to a depletion of resources and environmental abuse that is amounting in worldwide catastrophic effect. Yet, even by assuring the good ratings of this network and this program, we can make an inevitable impact.

I can't believe I'm writing this, but, watch your TV and turn your channel to Planet Green!

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