Jordan Peterson and Joe Rogan Talking About Climate Change Will Make Your Brain Dissolve

Joe Rogan and Jordan Peterson talking on the set of the Joe Rogan Experience.

I am about to type a cursed sentence. In a new episode of Rogan's show, he talked about climate change in an exchange that makes Rogan's recent anti-vax content seem scientifically sound enough to win a prize.

The first 30 minutes of the Joe Rogan Experience were devoted to discussing climate. I wanted to self-immolate because I listened to the whole thing. I will spare you the bulk of the exchange because I want you to continue to exist in a less flammable state, but I want you to share in my pain.

Rogan mentioned that he was reading a book about climate change and wasquiring a lot of thinking.

Some of the most pure, pure nonsense I have heard in some time has been responded to by Peterson.

PETERSON: Well, that’s ‘cause there’s no such thing as climate. Right? “Climate” and “everything” are the same word, and that’s what bothers me about the climate change types. It’s like, this is something that bothers me about it, technically. It’s like, climate is about everything. Okay. But your models aren’t based on everything. Your models are based on a set number of variables. So that means you’ve reduced the variables, which are everything, to that set. Well how did you decide which set of variables to include in the equation, if it’s about everything? That’s not just a criticism, that’s like, if it’s about everything, your models aren’t right. Because your models do not and cannot model everything.

ROGAN: What do you mean by everything?

PETERSON: That’s what people who talk about the climate apocalypse claim, in some sense. We have to change everything! It’s like, everything, eh? The same with the word environment. That word means so much that it doesn’t mean anything. … What’s the difference between the environment and everything? There’s no difference.

For the next several minutes, as they continue this frankly bonkers conversation with all the seriousness of libertarian college students at debate club, Peterson also claimed that climate models are unreliable because of errors he said over time.

I feel it's important to note that while Rogan was wearing a shirt for the interview, Peterson was wearing a bow tie. The video of their conversation was extra weird because of this, but it doesn't necessarily speak to his level of expertise.

Jordan Peterson wearing a bow tie and talking into a microphone.

I could explain how climate models work and how scientists fix errors in their projections on a bunch of blog space. I could point to the phrase "all models are wrong but some are useful" to emphasize the point. I could explain why the scientific definitions of the environment and the world's richest are different.

I just took a bong hit for the first time and it's not worth anyone's time. This is a man who has advocated for only eating meat, so it's not like science is his strong suit anyways. The time spent engaging in discussions with bad faith actors is what got us into this mess in the first place.

This interview shows the true issues with Rogan's approach to platform, as people like Peterson are some of his favorites to platform. Rogan doesn't attempt to question any of the wild assertions or correct course when Peterson starts talking about why climate models suck, despite having no official expertise in climate change or science.

Rogan's last guest was a guy who thinks the world goes through cycles of changing climate. Rogan's bio says that he is a master builder and architectural designer, teacher, geometrician,geomythologist, geological explorer and scholar. Both sides. Yes.

11 million people listen to each episode. Incredible.