Rollie Williams is a climate change activist, comedian, and a popular YouTuber.
He has 552K subscribers on his YouTube channel, ‘Climate Town.’
Rollie is also a podcaster, and a billiards enthusiast.
Rollie Williams was born on 8 July 1988 in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, United States; after six months, his family moved to Colorado, and he grew up here.
At a young age, he was into the outdoors; he was a boy scout for a long period and worked at a summer camp for eight years and used to ski and hike.
In 2006, Rollie joined University of Puget Sound to study for a Bachelor of Applied Science (B.A.Sc.), Biochemistry/Theater.
Here, he did improv comedy, sketch comedy, stand-up comedy.
Rollie graduated in 2010 with magna cum laude.
In 2019, he joined Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences to study for a masters in climate science and policy.
At school, Rollie took climate change, law and climate change policy and energy regulatory policy classes from Michael Gerrard, and energy system class from Travis Bradford, the author of ‘The Energy System’ book; Rollie was impressed by their classes.
He graduated in 2020.
From August 2010 to December 2011, Rollie worked as a Laboratory Technician at Eco Analysts, Greater Denver Area.
Then, he moved to New York to pursue comedy.
From December 2013 to December 2015, he worked as a Chemistry Instructor at Private Prep, New York City.
From October 2016 to January 2019, Rollie worked as a Senior Video Producer at Inverse, New York.
Then, he started working on his YouTube channel, ‘Climate Town.’
Rollie has been a billiards enthusiast; he was on the front page of a billiards magazine.
On 26 September 2006, he started his eponymous YouTube channel; after publishing a few comedy videos, he published billiards videos, which became popular.
Rollie also did billiards videos for ‘KAMUI BRAND’ YouTube channel and was a billiards video influencer.
He used to also work on ‘Conlan-Williams Comedy’ YouTube channel.
An Inconvenient Truth-
After moving to New York to pursue comedy, at one point, a comedy theatre in Brooklyn gave Rollie a 20-minute time slot to fill up, after an artist dropped out.
Even though the theatre was tattered, and he didn’t have any good ideas for the show, he agreed to put on a show.
Rollie decided to make something up for the show.
At a Barnes & Noble outlet, he stumbled upon ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ a book on global warming, authored by Al Gore.
Rollie was impressed by ‘An Inconvenient Truth,’ as its adaptations won many awards.
He decided to produce a funny show by imitating Al Gore, as if Al Gore was on a I Told You So tour with the theme of climate change.
So, Rollie put up a sketch comedy show, ‘An Inconvenient Talk Show,’ a couple of times at the Brooklyn theatre; he played Al Gore with the help of a wig and suit.
Climate scientists spell doom-
After three years of doing this sketch show, it started getting popular, and he started having comedians, actors, writers on the show.
Then, Rollie’s show got picked up at a theatre in New York, which even though allowed him to perform the show, required him to be educated about the topic.
So, he started having expert climate scientists on the shows; the shows morphed into a talk show.
All his shows were about the various aspects of the climate crisis; he would do extensive research and used to come up with climate-themed monologue jokes.
After performing this live show with many climate scientists for six months at Caveat Theater in Manhattan, Rollie started going out to the bars after the show with the climate scientists and interacting with them.
All the climate scientists used to spell doom about climate change and express helplessness, this made him realize that climate change is a colossal problem.
Rollie was saddened upon realizing that people are destroying the planet that they live on and are making it inhospitable.
So, at 31, he quit his job at Inverse to attend Columbia University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences (GSAS), to study for a masters in climate science and policy, to better understand climate change.
Even though Rollie quit his job, he continued working as a freelancer.
At the time, he believed that President Joe Biden would erase his college debt, but later, this didn’t come to a fruition.
Rollie also took Upright Citizens Brigade’s improv classes worth $5,000.
After graduating from GSAS in 2020, he planned to do his shows on climate change with renewed vigour.
But in 2020, the theatres were shut down due to pandemic; so, Rollie decided to do a YouTube version of the show, but this time around, he decided to be himself and not imitate Al Gore.
He started working on his YouTube channel, ‘Climate Town.’
On 12 August 2020, Rollie published the first video, ‘Why your ‘Carbon Footprint’ Is A Lie.’
Viral & successful-
His previous experience of working as a video editor at Inverse helped him to better edit his videos for his own YouTube channel.
The initial three videos of ‘Climate Town’ didn’t perform well.
But the fourth video, ‘Plastic Recycling is an Actual Scam,’ published on 17 December 2020, got featured on the front page of Reddit and became popular and this gained Rollie thousands of subscribers and his channel never looked back.
As of January 2024, he has 552K subscribers on his YouTube channel.
Rollie earns from a variety of sources like advertisements, and ‘Super Thanks’ on YouTube, sponsorships; he also accepts donations on the website and Patreon.
He has a team helping him with his YouTube channel; his office is located in a subway desert in Brooklyn.
Producing a video requires around a full month of research and talking to experts, journalists and finally, clearing the script with experts.
For one of his videos, he collaborated with ‘Not Just Bikes,’ a popular Dutch YouTube channel.
Rollie runs a comedy podcast about climate change, ‘The Climate Denier’s Playbook.’
Previously, he used to run ‘Sweatpants: A Low-Key Climate Podcast.’
Some of the book recommendations by ‘Climate Town’ about the climate crisis are as follows-
- ‘The Uninhabitable Earth.’
- ‘This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate.’
- ‘Overheated: How Capitalism Broke the Planet.’
Rollie is in a relationship with Leah.
He lives in Brooklyn, New York, United States.
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