The Course of Reason

Louis CK Reinforces Awesomeness; Criticizes Global Warming Deniers

July 19, 2013

Louis C.K. is just awesome. He's already earned several awesome points for his positive comedy regarding feminism (Source). Now he's come out attacking global warming deniers in this excellent video.

Raised in this video is the discussion on how opinions regarding the role Christians have to play in protecting the environment varies. On the one side are those that believe caring for the Earth is what God intended humans to do. Verses in the Bible speaking of dominion and stewardship towards the Earth and its creatures are interpreted as commands to care for, and protect God's creation from harm. On the other side, the side Louis C.K. is going after, are the Christians that believe those verses are a free pass for humans to dominate other species and use Earth's resources as they see fit. Often to advance their own interests at the cost of the planet's well-being. 

Advancing our own interests at the cost of the planet's well-being is also the subject of C.K.'s rage in this clip. In the drive to "go faster", have more things, and create "jobs", we drilled into the ground releasing greenhouse gas producing oil. The planet may be warming (as I type this I'm hanging out at my university campus because the heat has made my apartment unbearable, and breathing has become a real challenge at times), but that's ok because we now have more stuff, and jobs, jobs are good.

Speaking of those jobs, as C.K., asks, "what is a job?" Like any good comedian, he's able to point out how ridiculous this thing that we accept as a fact of life actually is. Sit in a place all day, do some things, make money, go home. You can then use that money to buy food. You know, food? The thing that at one point we had access to for free. Sure, there was labour involved, though that doesn't seem as bad as the idea that people should have to pay for something necessary to life.

Underlying the comedy in the video is the message that we've squandered the natural resources that were given to us. While I certainly don't believe the resources came from a god, they still feel like "gifts" that have been wasted.

At the same time, I don't wish to suggest that humanity makes a return to a hunter-gatherer lifestyle that is favoured by anarcho-primitivists. Transforming to such a society carries its own problems, the biggest being: How exactly would we survive? I can't see society making such a vast shift towards everyone spending the majority of their day harvesting food. We've become too comfortable with our current existence for that to work.

Still, our current way of life isn't working. We live in a capitalist system that must continually consume and grow if it is to survive. Yet this system puts a massive strain on the Earth's resources. A strain that has the potential to result in disaster. We need to rethink how our society functions. Is this mass-production of fossil fuels, and consumption of resources, the need to constantly work in order to constantly buy, really the society we want? When we look at the potential consequences of continuing down this path, can we honestly say we are satisfied with how things have played out? I know I can't.


About the Author: Chris Burke

Chris Burke's photo
Chris Burke holds a Bachelors in Environmental Studies: Honours Environment and Business from the University of Waterloo. Next he will be working towards a Masters of Environmental Studies in Sustainability Management. He's an active member of the Atheists, Agnostics, and Freethinkers of Waterloo student group. In his spare time he enjoys reading and playing music.




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