For the first time, leaders from 195 countries around the world reached an agreement over the weekend to limit global emissions and slow climate change. After decades of debating the existence and impact of global warming, and years of failing to reach agreements at conferences like this one, Saturday was a big moment for science.
But was it the most important moment for science in 2015? Rolling Stone recently asked Bill Nye, science educator, Planetary Society CEO and author of the new book, Unstoppable: Harnessing Science to Change the World, to name the top science moment of the year.
The climate talks didn’t make Nye’s top two; conferences like that are all about bargaining, he says, “How many Amazon trees for how many tanks of gas?”
But Nye says it’s the acceptance of climate change by the general public is one of the most important things to come out of the conference. “The biggest thing for me is over 50 percent of U.S. population now believes in human-caused climate change — that is huge. YUGE,” Nye says.
His runner-up for best science moment of the year was NASA’s release of photos of Pluto. Nye called the images “astonishing.”