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Bill Nye: ’83 Percent of Child Deaths Worldwide are Preventable, So Let’s Address a Preventable Disaster’

Bill Nye the Science Guy is not afraid to stand up for what he believes, using his superbly logical mind to defend his views with cold hard facts. Earlier this month, this meant taking young earth creationist Ken Ham to task for his unorthodox views of earth’s age in a live debate streamed over the web that pitted evolution against creationism.

“We are standing on millions of layers of ancient life,” Nye said in defense of his scientifically backed theory that the earth is millions, not a mere thousands of years old. “How could those animals have lived their entire life, and formed these layers, in just 4,000 years? There isn’t enough time since Mr. Ham’s flood for this limestone, that we’re standing on, to have come into existence.”

Now in a video produced by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Nye once again uses his reason-based rhetoric and penchant for breaking myths, this time to explain why much of what most of us believe about global health is simply wrong.

“So there are a lot of myths associated with health,”Nye says at the start of his two-minute lesson on global health and foreign aid. “It is remarkable we can see how and why kids are dying and we can see how to prevent it.”

Holding up a dollar bill to demonstrate, he then pointed out that many Americans believe 25 percent of every tax dollar is spent on aid to foreign countries.  Balling up the dollar, he stressed the American perception on giving is simply untrue.   The US currently spends 0.8 percent of the budget on foreign aid, so little in fact that “you cannot cut a coin small enough to represent how much money is spent on foreign aid.”

Then moving on to child mortality he stressed that the majority of child deaths under the age of 5 were not due to natural disasters in war, but rather 86 percent of the deaths are preventable and due to communicable, treatable disease, birth issues and lack of nutrition.

“This,” he said, pointing to the large amount of preventable deaths, “is where we can change the world.”

He concluded by calling on the world community “to dispel the myths and to move on to improve the quality of life for people everywhere….so let’s prevent the diseases, let’s address a preventable disaster.”

Photo Credit: Screenshot/Gates Foundation video

About the author

Tamar is a New York based freelance writer and photographer whose work has appeared in over 15 publications. You can catch her work regularly on Issue Hawk, Latest, Jspace, and MediaGlobal.