Good Job, Everyone! 2014 Was The Hottest Year Ever, And It's All Our Fault

  • We set a new record in 2014, heating our oceans and destroying this one and only planet we live on, but it's OK because some "scientist" somewhere says it's a hoax and God will take care of it anyway. High fives and trophies and gold stars for everybody!

    Planet Earth set an ominous record last year as global temperatures rose to the highest level since modern measurements began, scientists said Friday in a report that heightened concerns about humanity’s growing toll on the natural systems that sustain life. [...]

    “This is the latest in a series of warm years, in a series of warm decades,” said Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City. While fluctuations are possible in any given year in a system as chaotic as weather, Schmidt said, “the long-term trends are attributable to drivers of climate change that right now are dominated by human emissions of greenhouse gases.”

    But -- but -- it was cold sometimes! And it snowed even! And that one scientist who disagrees with every other scientist in the world says that's just how the world works, laws of nature, it's been cold before, nothing to see here, move along. What are we supposed to do about it anyway -- give up our SUVs? Find alternative sources of energy? Anything at all? It's not our fault, is it?

    Climate scientists said the streak of hot years was further evidence of human-induced warming caused by the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. While the Earth’s climate has warmed and cooled throughout history, the recent warming correlates with sharply rising levels of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels, scientists say.

    Oh well. Maybe we'll get around to thinking about what we can do differently ... one day.

  • According to our friends at Happy Nice Time People, Patrick Stewart is just the worst airline seatmate ever:

    Don’t think you could ever be annoyed by Patrick Stewart? He’s just charming and delightful in every way, right? Well, not when he’s on an airplane, if this Jimmy Kimmel skit is to be believed (which it isn’t, because Patrick Stewart is charming and delightful in every way).

    Go watch the video and see for yourself.

  • In which New York Times columnist Ross Douthat manages to sort of bash Mitt Romney and still sound as ridiculous as, well, Ross Douthat:

    THE idea of yet a third Mitt Romney campaign for the presidency, once the idle dream of a few Romney bundlers and now apparently something embraced by the Man From Bain Capital himself, has been greeted by most Republicans with a mixture of horror, exhaustion and embarrassment. The polite ones sound like a girl before the senior prom who can’t believe that the stumblebum date who ruined her last school dance is in line first to ask her again: No, please, not this time. The rest sound like the characters in the third act of a horror movie, confronting a shambling revenant that just keeps coming: How do we kill this thing?

    OK, Ross, we're with you so far. And having an almost-chuckle too. But now please make a dumb Douthatian point:

    Romney was not, perhaps, quite as terrible a presidential candidate as memories of his worst moments might lead one to believe: He ran ahead of many Republican Senate candidates; he had the most successful presidential debate performance in recent memory; he persuaded the public that he was closer to the ideological middle than President Obama.

    Thanks, Ross, for seemingly forgetting that Romney's campaign was terrible, we still make "Please proceed, Governor" jokes about his debate performance, and he managed to make himself a detestable laughingstock among Americans of every political persuasion. But you tell yourself he wasn't that bad because sure, why not?

  • Justice delayed is ... justice delayed:

    Fifty-four years after nine young black men became the first U.S. civil rights protesters to serve jail time for sitting at an all-white lunch counter, surviving members of the group will return to a South Carolina courtroom this month to be exonerated of their crimes.

    Their “jail, no bail” strategy helped galvanize the fight against racial inequality in the South and became a model for other protesters. But the “Friendship Nine,” as the men became known, endured personal hardships for taking the bold stand.

    They say the push to clear their names so long after the Jan. 31, 1961, sit-in in Rock Hill will have little effect on their lives. Still, they welcome the message it sends at a time of sharpened focus on U.S. race relations following white police killings of unarmed black men in Missouri and New York. [...]

    Most of the eight surviving members of the Friendship Nine plan to attend the hearing, which will be held in a courtroom about 500 yards from where the sit-in occurred. Their records will still reflect their arrests but will show they were not guilty of a crime, [Solicitor Kevin] Brackett said.

  • The ever fabulous Mallory Ortberg explains why that one article you might have seen floating around about a woman who is soooooo in love with her daddy, and they're gonna get married and live happily ever after and everything, is, shall we say, problematic:

    Look, when you click on an article titled “What It’s Like To Date Your Dad,” you know what you’re getting yourself into. Of course, the second you see a headline like “What It’s Like To Date Your Dad,” clicking is no longer optional. It’s rather like the Babadook, in that sense.

    It’s distressing! (But you already knew that.) There are a great many questions that are brought up but barely addressed within the interview! (But you already knew that.) It does not seem like the dad in question has practiced Being The Responsible Adult in a healthy and appropriate way! (But you really, really already knew that.)


    Go read it and feel free to nod along and say, "Yep."

  • Best thing ever, or BEST THING EVER?

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