updated 10/24/2007 AT 12:00 PM ET
•originally published 10/24/2007 AT 1:15 PM ET
Comedian George Carlin and actress Jamie Lee Curtis this week both suggested that the devastating wildfires raging in Southern California should not come as a surprise to a population that ravages the environment.
Offering his provocative opinion on The View Wednesday morning, Carlin paraphrased an old comedy rant of his, and characterized the fires as cosmic payback from a planet stretched to its breaking point.
“People are selfish,” he said. “These people with the fires and the floods and everything, they overbuild and they put nature to the test, and they get what’s coming to them, that’s what I say.”
Joy Behar replied, “That’s a little harsh, George.”
But the 70-year-old comic continued: “People think nature is outside of them. They don’t take into [themselves] the idea that nature is a part of them.” Pointing to his chest, he said, “Nature is in here, and if you’re in tune with it, like the Indians – the balance of life, the harmony of nature – if you understand that, you don’t overbuild, you don’t do all this moron stuff.”
Speaking with Entertainment Tonight, Jamie Lee Curtis gave a similarly grim assessment of the situation, suggesting people are in “ultimate denial” about what they’re doing to the environment.
“Global warming, combined with people building houses in places they shouldn’t, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera,” she said. “It just compounds to become, as they call it, a perfect storm experience here. It’s not by accident. This isn’t an act of God. This is an act of man.”