Neil deGrasse Tyson wants to teach President Donald Trump a thing or two… about climate change and other scientific facts.
Julia Pimentel from Complex interviewed the StarTalk host and asked what he’d say to Trump if he were a guest on the show.
DeGrasse Tyson responded:
“I would tell him all the ways science has touched his life, and all the ways science generates wealth. I don’t know how much he knows the role science plays in the sustenance and generation of wealth in a nation, ever since the industrial revolution. If I were to use the more aggressive word, I would school him on this. He’s fundamentally a businessman, so I would expect he would be responsive to business arguments. Like if you invest in science, technology, engineering and math, it will return dividends on the ‘U.S.A Corporation’ in 5, 10, 15, 20 years and I’d give examples of how that happens.”
Weather extremes and air pollution from burning fossil fuels cost the United States $240 billion a year in the past decade, according to a report on Wednesday that urged Trump to do more to combat climate change.
This year is likely to be the most expensive on record with an estimated $300 billion in losses from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria and a spate of wildfires in western states in the past two months, it said.
“The evidence is undeniable: the more fossil fuels we burn, the faster the climate continues to change,” leading scientists wrote in the study published by the non-profit Universal Ecological Fund.
Costs to human health from air pollution caused by fossil fuels averaged $188 billion a year over the past decade, it estimated, while losses from weather extremes such as droughts, heat waves and floods averaged $52 billion.
Trump could curb the $240 billion costs, equivalent to 1.2 percent of U.S. gross domestic product, by revising his plans to promote the U.S. coal industry and to pull out of the 195-nation Paris climate agreement, it said.
The combined cost of extreme weather and pollution from fossil fuels would climb to $360 billion a year in the next decade, the study said. Trump’s pro-coal policies could mean more air pollution, reversing recent improvements in air quality.
DeGrasse Tyson has gotten attention from Twitter trolls for calling out mistakes in movies or attributing a winning field goal to the earth’s rotation.
Today’s @Bengals winning OT field goal was likely enabled by a 1/3-in deflection to the right, caused by Earth’s Rotation.
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) October 11, 2015
Mysteries of #Gravity: Why Bullock’s hair, in otherwise convincing zero-G scenes, did not float freely on her head.
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) October 6, 2013
Evidence that the @MartianMovie is fantasy: All who make important decisions are scientifically literate.
— Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) October 2, 2015
Here’s what he told Pimentel about that:
“I got branded as someone who nitpicks. I took private offense at that. Here’s why: If you’re watching a Jane Austen period piece, and people come up to an English countryside home in a horse drawn carriage and somebody gets out of the carriage with tie dye bell bottoms, you would cry foul. You would say the costume designer had their head up their ass. You’d be praised for making that observation. But all of a sudden I’m a buzzkill.”
Reuters contributed to this report.