NEW YORK, N.Y. — Bill Nye, host of the new Netflix show “Bill Nye Saves the World” capped off his first season of his controversial show by suggesting that the government should “punish” parents who “too many children” for the sake of saving the environment.
“The average Nigerian emits 0.1 metric tons of carbon annually,” Nye’s guest, Dr. Travis Rieder, a bioethicist at Johns Hopkins University, said on the show. “How many does the average American emit? Sixteen metric tons.”
With Nye nodding in agreement, Rieder said that although Nigerian women have, on average, seven children, American women having two children on average is “waaaay more problematic” when it comes to climate change.
“Should we have policies that penalize people for having extra kids in the developed world?” Nye prodded his guest.
“I do think we should at least consider it,” Rieder said.
“Well, ‘at least consider it’ is like, ‘do it,'” Nye pushed.
Neither Nye nor Rieder said how many children would qualify as having “too many kids”.
The pair’s comments quickly sparked outrage not only on social media but from Dr. Rachel Snow, chief of population development at the United Nations Population Fund, who was also a guest on the program.
“I would take issue with the idea that we do anything to incentivize fewer children or more children,” said Snow who compared the idea to eugenics policies of the past. “I think it’s all about … human rights. People should have the number of children they want … and if some families have five or six children, God bless them. That’s fine. But most people end up with fewer.”
“Wow! @BillNye the eugenics guy? He wants to punish people for having ‘extra kids.’ What’s an extra kid?” wrote one viewer on Twitter.
“This makes me want to have a million kids just to spite them,” tweeted another.
Still another outraged viewer tweeted, “This might be the darkest show Netflix has ever streamed.”
This isn’t the first time that Nye has caused controversy over his beliefs in climate change. He has went on record with is stance that those who do not believe in the concept of global warming should be “locked up”.