How to raise a tree-hugger, or why you (and your kids) should keep up with Bill Nye the Science Guy

How to raise a tree-hugger, or why you (and your kids) should keep up with Bill Nye the Science Guy

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How to raise a tree-hugger, or why you (and your kids) should keep up with Bill Nye the Science Guy

I saw the other day that Bill Nye was trending. What is the bow-tied, corny dude my three daughters strictly refer to as “Bill Nye the Science Guy” up to now?

Depending on which side of the climate-change debate you’re on, he was either getting schooled by Fox News’ Tucker Carlson, or the reverse was happening.

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Isn’t climate change a little theoretical for parents?

Nothing spreads cheer like believers and hoax-callers having a heartfelt discussion on the well-being of the planet. Maybe as a parent, you’d rather steer clear of discussing climate change with your kids because, well, you still haven’t figured out what’s for dinner.

I wouldn’t.

The juicy center of the debate over to what degree humans contribute to global warming or even that it even exists is about what’s best for the Earth, and therefore all of us. Those are values worth discussing with our kids.

Values like:

Respecting the Earth.

This big blue ball sustains every one of us. Isn’t it at least worth discussing with our kids how we can, in our day-to-day lives, help or harm it?

Supporting what (and who) supports us.

If my children take for granted clean water, (sometimes in Phoenix) clean air, and who and what makes it possible for blueberries to appear in their cereal, what else will they shrug off? Me in my old age? Maybe. Shudder.

Doing what you can.

Our family has nothing to brag about when it comes to being superior stewards of the earth. We pick up litter and reuse and recycle, though that’s often for economic reasons rather than the environment. We conserve water. That is, I make my girls share the same bath water.  The point is, we do what we can when we can and talk about how it’s our attempt to treat the Earth with a little more kindness.

Learning all you can.

 

Nye will premiere his new series on Netflix, “Bill Nye Saves the World,” the day before Earth Day, April 21. I’ll be watching. And, when appropriate, I’ll summon the girls to watch with me. Nye is not without controversy, and he shouldn’t be the definitive and last word on climate change. But he’s talking about it.

Parents should talk about it, too.

Give your kids tools to understand the world, make up their minds

Call me a tree-hugger. I’ve actually done it. More than once. And a sunset has made me cry.  I suppose in the way that my children watch my actions and listen to my words, I’m raising three little tree-huggers.

I’m teaching them to love the Earth now, so that as they grow, they’ll at least pause when they see Nye is trending. Then, they can sort out for themselves what’s climate-change propaganda, political agenda and truth as they understand it.

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