Uh oh

Maybe someone should do something?

The level of the most important heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide, has passed a long-feared milestone, scientists reported on Friday, reaching a concentration not seen on the earth for millions of years.

Scientific monitors reported that the gas had reached an average daily level that surpassed 400 parts per million — just an odometer moment in one sense, but also a sobering reminder that decades of efforts to bring human-produced emissions under control are faltering.

The best available evidence suggests the amount of the gas in the air has not been this high for at least three million years, before humans evolved, and scientists believe the rise portends large changes in the climate and the level of the sea.

“It symbolizes that so far we have failed miserably in tackling this problem,” said Pieter P. Tans, who runs the monitoring program at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that reported the new reading.

H/t Colleen Kirby.


One of my local neighborhoods, which used to be a solid blue-collar neighborhood before all the factories closed:

Friday Night Lights

I never watched this show because… hell, because it’s about football, right? And I hate football.

But there was nothing on the teevee the other night, and there it was, sitting in my Netflix queue — not because I especially wanted to watch it, but because so many of the people I know raved about it.

So I started to watch it. And I gotta tell you, this show is an absolute gem.

First of all, it’s beautifully shot. I can’t remember the last time I watched a show that afforded such sheer visual pleasure.

And the acting? Whew. I can’t single anyone out, they’re all great. But the writing is really what carries it. What’s it like to live in a small Texas town, where the world revolves around football? What moral compromises are made, again and again? These are universal truths.

You don’t even need Netflix to watch it. You can watch the full episodes right there, on the NBC website.

Quality control

As Krugman points out, it’s not really that big a deal because the Heritage Foundation isn’t really a think tank — it’s a propaganda mill!

Wheee! The Heritage Foundation is engaged in frantic damage control; not only did its big anti-immigration-reform report turn out to be a steaming heap of, um, bad research, but one of the co-authors turns out to have a seriouswhite supremacist background.

It would be a terrible thing to happen to a serious think tank. But Heritage isn’t a serious think tank, which means that all of this is just a bit of overdue poetic justice.

Remember, Heritage came up with the ludicrous claim that the Ryan plan would cut unemployment to 2.8 percent, then tried to scrub the result from its records. It produced ludicrous “studies” purporting to show that small farmers and businessmen were victims of the estate tax. And there are many, many more examples.

And it won’t stop a single member of the corporate media from taking their next “study” seriously. That’s what really counts.

Thanks to John Yannone, Maryland Medical Malpractice Lawyer.

You kids get off my lawn

Liss sees through the cloud of entitled bullshit on this one:

Stein is citing these stats as evidence of entitlement, but it fundamentally ignores the vast changes in corporate work practices that took place over that time period.

In order to maximize profits, corporations ubiquitously adopted the practice of not filling jobs when people leave and simply redistributing their work among remaining staff, who aren’t compensated for the additional duties. The extra cash goes in the coffers while skeleton crews juggle the same workload once balanced among a larger staff.

It’s a despicable practice, largely ignored in discussions of workers’ rights—and casually elided by haughty sniffs at the alleged laziness of young workers. The fact is, many people don’t want jobs with greater responsibility because they’ve already got too much on their plates at work as it is.

Mother Jones’ Monika Bauerlein and Clara Jeffery wrote a great piece [TW for ableist language] about what’s known as the “speedup.” The speedup is a huge part of the underlying reason for our protracted unemployment rate and wage stagnation, as well as the explanation for why productivity and profits keep rising despite high unemployment. And it almost certainly speaks, at least in part, to why younger workers aren’t looking for more responsibility on the job.

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