After the Senate voted 60–37 to start debate on a three-month revival of unemployment benefits, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz bundled up and headed outside. He politely rebuffed reporters who wanted a comment on why he'd voted no, so one of them made small talk about how much he liked the cold weather.
"It's cold!" riffed Cruz. "Al Gore told me this wouldn't happen."
Everyone had a laugh, because even in 2014 it's acceptable for purposes of humor to pretend "climate" and "weather" are the same thing. It's cold where I am right now—global warming can't possibly exist!
The jollity necessitates a new explainer, of what "climate" is and what "weather" is, every winter and every summer. Chris Mooney has a good one. Basic points: It's not cold everywhere right now, and (contrary to the people laughing at the expedition stuck in the Antarctic) the retreat of some land ice has happened in tandem with new sea ice, a probable result of a warmer temperature.
To conservatives, this all sounds like progressives making up new excuses when their previous predictions didn't play out. There remains a real straw-man quality to the "liberals promised us it would get hotter all the time, and it isn't" argument. What liberals say that? Which of them don't differentiate between the weather at a particular moment and the long-term global trend?
Here for the opposition: Alex Jones.
TODAY IN SLATE
The World’s Politest Protesters
The Occupy Central demonstrators are courteous. That’s actually what makes them so dangerous.
The Religious Right Is Not Happy With Republicans
How Did the Royals Win Despite Bunting So Many Times? Bunting Is a Terrible Strategy.
Catacombs Where You Can Stroll Down Hallways Lined With Corpses
Homeland Is Good Again! For Now.
How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully
On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.