Season 6 Episode 3 Photo
Season 6 Episode 3 Photo

StarTalk Live! Water World (Part 2)

Backstage at The Beacon Theater (L to R): Eugene Mirman, His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Dr. Tess Russo, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Jason Sudeikis. Credit: Elliot Severn.

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About This Episode

In the conclusion to our show from the Beacon Theater in NYC, Neil deGrasse Tyson and Eugene Mirman navigate the waters of greed, bad science and a lack of basic understanding about water, with the help of their guests Robert F. Kennedy Jr., His Holiness the Gyalwang Drukpa, hydrogeologist Dr. Tess Russo and Jason Sudeikis. You’ll hear His Holiness explain how he ended disease in a Himalayan village by convincing people to stop throwing dead bodies – human and animal – into their local lake. Find out why depleting ground water can reduce the available surface water, and how both fracking and rising sea levels can lead to the contamination of aquifers. RFK Jr. explains that the most important environmental issue we face is having livable cities so we can preserve the wilderness to protect the water supply. You’ll learn about desalinization plants, managed recharge, and other water technologies, including drip agriculture that can reduce water use in farming by 95%. And you’ll discover the dangers of the trillion-dollar water privatization industry, and why the Pentagon says global warming and water shortages are the principal threat to US security (and have already lead to wars over water in Bolivia and Belize).

NOTE: All-Access subscribers can listen to this entire episode commercial-free here: StarTalk Live! Water World (Part 2).


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  • Hector F Haze

    AWESOME! :))

  • Chris

    Robert Moses made the parkways so that they would be incapable of accommodating buses… with the hidden agenda of excluding black people from enjoying the state parks? Specious!!!!!! I can hypothesizes at least 5 simpler hypothesizes, not the least being that the vehicles of the day were fully accommodated by that technology. Come on … that is no better than any other conspiracy theory. Stop embarassing yourself.

    • otpup

      The imperatives of urban planning (especially by Moses) are pretty well studied, so don’t embarrass yourself.

  • I DID NOT want to learn that Chuck Nice shaves every part of his body.

    • Taxil Necrobane

      Let me pass you some of my brain bleach, you’ll need it.

    • Taxil Necrobane

      Let me pass you some of my brain bleach, you’ll need it.

    • Frank

      Aint notin wrong with a man having his outsides reflect his insides… smooth!

  • Phil Howard

    I would like to know if there was a sphere of water the size of a planet what would happen to it? would it all evaporate or freeze then sublimate? not that we could find such a thing.

  • MatWeller

    Listening to this show today, I was reminded of this short story. A worthy listen if you have the time.

  • wayne

    one would hope so neil

  • Princess Leia

    I did a happy dance when I realized part 2 of this StarTalk was finally up.
    Terrific show!

    • startalkradio

      We made Princess Leia do a happy dance? All right!

  • Alex R.

    Dear Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson:

    My name is Alex Redkin, birthed 1990, a time in history when
    peace broke out in Europe eliminating the infamous war driver rendering manned
    space exploration to tomorrow’s frontier extinct. I share a special passion for
    the cosmos despite the declination of STEM interest amongst those growing up in
    my era. As an avid listener/reader of your content, you took me into the past
    allowing me to properly scrutinize the realities of the present in regards to
    our national interests. It is in my utmost candid efforts to call upon you for
    a request that can begin to reinvigorate our nation’s scientific interest. Your
    public appearances, live news segments, and hosting of the Cosmos amongst the
    myriad of other public speaking events you engage in are undoubtedly
    accelerating the infusion of science into pop-culture. However, as an educator,
    I challenge you to set up an internship program that encompasses the theme of
    scientific and technological progression thus paving paths for those who are
    unsure of a long-term career with their science degree. Personally, the center
    of the bull’s eye for me was to become a medical doctor as I’ve always tied my
    scientific learnings back to the human body. However, throughout the past
    several years I’ve been inspired by your joyous energy of the Universe and what
    it will take to advance civilization. This made me think on a grander scale,
    one by which the duties of a doctor would not excite me to wake up for work the
    next day. I share your vision statement and there’s nothing that could pull me
    away from it, not even dark energy. I thereby conclude that setting up an
    experimental internship program for intellectually driven students with
    mentorship aiding in scientific specialization to advance our knowledge of the
    world is imperative. This would mean so much to the lives of those that fall in
    this realm. I’ve undergone extraordinary change from the compelling evidence
    you bring forward in your discourse yet a more personal nudge would transform
    my life all together. To get there, it would be wise to interact with those
    freshly out of the educational pipeline ready to embark on scientific journeys.

    • startalkradio

      Alex, this is Jeff, from StarTalk Radio, not Dr. Tyson. I don’t want to speak for him, but in terms of the internship you describe, you might want to check out The American Museum of Natural History, where Dr. Tyson works as Director of the Hayden Planetarium. There are numerous internship programs there. We do have internships here at the show, but I don’t think they’re what you’re looking for at all as they are not science-oriented in nature.

  • jacobovillegas

    Eugene is funny as hell in this episode

  • K Lee

    Good episode.
    The concluding Q&A was especially thoughtful and illuminating, whilst still managing to keep the comedic undercurrent going.

  • Darnel Cooper

    thank you,… just thank you,.. I can now do my nerdy habit from home.

  • Liked both the episodes! I really want to know who chooses the songs to be played in between the commercials. I would like to say thanks to that person. And Dr. Tyson, you have thousands of followers in India! Keep up the good work Team StarTalk! You guys are great!

    • startalkradio

      Thanks for the kind words, Aditya. Our producers pick the music, and I will pass on your thanks to them.

  • danielcw

    As of this moment, the episode shows as not available for me.

    • startalkradio

      Daniel, could you tell us more about how you’re trying to listen to the episode so we can help fix the problem? Please email me at
      Thank you.

      • danielcw

        The problem is not present anymore.

        • startalkradio

          Thanks for getting back to us, Daniel.

  • Mike B

    RFK Jr. is also an Anti-Vax guy isn’t he?

    • Taxil Necrobane

      Yes, Yes he is.

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