Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Comedian Rod Quantock's climate change obsession

Comedians have a reputation for being skeptical "nobody's fool" types. That's why so many of them are atheists. But there's one kind of quasi-religious credulity that many of them are prone to, and that's an unquestioning belief in human-caused climate change.

Take Rod Quantock. He clearly sincerely believes that we're all gonna die horribly unless the whole human race changes its ways radically, and soon. He's been doing comedy shows on the subject for years now.

In this interview about an upcoming performance he compares the 2007 IPCC report to a holy book: "It's a bit like the Bible: everybody talks about it and nobody's read it."

A good line. And there are other similarities. Many of those "enlightened" by it are promoting the apocalyptic theories it contains with the kind of zeal you'd usually associate with religious fundamentalists.

He thinks that climate change is "the most depressing thing in the whole wide world". Being an atheist, and a climate change skeptic, I don't share his gloom. But I do find his lack of skepticism a bit alarming. And I'm pretty sure that if I were to get up and do jokes making fun of his kind of catastrophism, then pretty much every other comedian in Australia, being so much like Quantock himself, would think of me as the gullible, credulous one. That's what I find depressing.