Neil deGrasse Tyson takes on climate change: “The dinosaurs never saw that asteroid coming. What’s our excuse?”

"Cosmos" finally addresses the biggest scientific issue of our time

Topics: Neil degrasse Tyson, cosmos, Climate Change, Fox News, Global Warming, fossil fuels, carbon emissions, , ,

Neil deGrasse Tyson takes on climate change: "The dinosaurs never saw that asteroid coming. What's our excuse?"Neil deGrasse Tyson (Credit: AP/Frank Micelotta)

The latest episode of the hit series “Cosmos” featured something rarely seen on Fox, and a topic that, as anyone who’s been following the series closely will tell you, has been a long time coming. That’s right, Neil deGrasse Tyson finally took on climate change.

The result was better, even, than “SNL” predicted. The episode stepped all the way back to past Earth-shattering transformations and climate fluctuations, building up to our current man-made crisis. Then he got to the meat of it, showing exactly how carbon became buried in the ground to begin with, and making clear the consequences of our setting it all free. The money quote, via Mother Jones:

We just can’t seem to stop burning up all those buried trees from way back in the carboniferous age, in the form of coal, and the remains of ancient plankton, in the form of oil and gas. If we could, we’d be home free climate wise. Instead, we’re dumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere at a rate the Earth hasn’t seen since the great climate catastrophes of the past, the ones that led to mass extinctions. We just can’t seem to break our addiction to the kinds of fuel that will bring back a climate last seen by the dinosaurs, a climate that will drown our coastal cities and wreak havoc on the environment and our ability to feed ourselves. All the while, the glorious sun pours immaculate free energy down upon us, more than we will ever need. Why can’t we summon the ingenuity and courage of the generations that came before us? The dinosaurs never saw that asteroid coming. What’s our excuse?

Judging by Twitter, Tyson definitely managed to rouse the masses and take the deniers down a few pegs:



You can watch the entire, illuminating episode here.

Lindsay Abrams

Lindsay Abrams is a staff writer at Salon, reporting on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email labrams@salon.com.

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