President Trump is to take his first step towards scrapping President Obama’s “stupid” and “job killing” Clean Power Plan, an aghast New York Times reports.
The Trump administration will repeal the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s effort to fight climate change, and will ask the public to recommend ways it could be replaced, according to an internal Environmental Protection Agency document.
The draft proposal represents the administration’s first substantive step toward rolling back the plan, which was designed to curb greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector, after months of presidential tweets and condemnations of Mr. Obama’s efforts to reduce climate-warming pollution.
But it also lays the groundwork for new, presumably weaker, regulations by asking for the public and industry to offer ideas for a replacement.
In 2016, when it launched the plan at Obama’s behest, the EPA declared that the Clean Power Plan was a vital, cost-effective way of combating climate change which would ultimately benefit the U.S. consumer.
Do you remember that scene in Harry Potter and the Saucer Full of Surrender Monkeys where the staff and pupils at Hogwarts finally decide to abandon the struggle against the forces of evil?
Voldemort, they’ve realized, is just too darn scary; the Death Eaters are too ruddy devious, what with all their lies and ruses and shape-shifting antics; and besides, who is anyone to judge, be they witch, wizard, mudblood, or muggle, whether the forces of light really are morally superior to the forces of darkness?
“Perhaps it’s just a matter of perspective,” Hermione tells an enthusiastic, jazz-handing audience at the United Nations of Wizardry. “Maybe what we’ve been taught by our chauvinistic, patriarchal, judgmental society — that the Avada Kedavra curse is wrong; that the Cruciatus is cruel; that the world would be a better, freer, happier place if it wasn’t ruled by sinister cloaked figures who want everyone to submit to their domineering, intolerant religious death cult — are just a reflection of our white wizardry privilege.”
What happens next, of course, is the famous scene where — under the supervision of Dolores Umbrage and the Ministry of Magic — all the staff and pupils at Hogwarts hand in their magic wands and burn them on a huge pyre.
Larry David is both the tragic hero with whom you identify and the comical idiot whom you love to see humiliated – long may he go on suffering!
The best episodes of Curb Your Enthusiasm are the ones that make you want to hide behind the sofa, cover your ears and drown out the horror by screaming: ‘No, Larry, no!’ I’m thinking, for example, of the one where our hero attends a victim support group for survivors of incest and, in order to fit in, decides to concoct a cock and bull story about how he was sexually abused by his uncle. This, of course, comes back horribly to haunt him when out one day with his blameless real uncle…
But no, I shan’t try to elaborate, for the plots in Curb Your Enthusiasm are as convoluted as any farce. And besides, you should see it for yourself. So long as you don’t mind writhing in embarrassment, and wishing the ground could swallow you up, there really are few things more excruciatingly funny than Curb.
Bill Nye — the man who has built an entire media career on the somewhat flimsy basis that his surname rhymes with “Guy” and if you put “Science” in front of it then it makes “Science Guy” — has made a movie, for which a trailer was released Thursday.
The new PBS film is called Bill Nye: Science Guy, and chronicles the success of his 90s PBS kids show and his current campaign to promote climate science to adults.
If that doesn’t put you off, you should see the trailer. It’s Ghostbusters remake awful. You’ll cry, you’ll writhe, you’ll scream. It will put you off science forever.
Part of the problem is, of course, Bill Nye himself. He can’t help the way he looks, but he really can help the way he dresses and acts. Everything about him from that fruity bow tie to the creepy uncle twinkle in his eye says: “The only time a guy like this should be allowed anywhere near children is in a Stephen King movie, wearing a clown suit.”
Director James Cameron has described Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris climate accord as “insanity,” in a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter.
“It’s absurd for us to withdraw from Paris. It’s insanity,” the Avatar director said of Trump. “I think it’s actually psychotic to be doing that, or it’s delusional. Possibly both.”
Cameron himself, of course, is famously not psychotic or delusional. As he demonstrates elsewhere in the interview he is a calm, well-balanced guy who is never now tempted to murder his film crews or take drugs to enhance his creativity:
I don’t need to be stoned to be creative, and I don’t need to be mean to get the vision on film.
We just had a wonderful morning where I brought in Wade Davis who is one of the world’s top anthropologist ethnobotanist guys. He’s a fellow explorer at National Geographic [Cameron has made a record-breaking deep sea dive] and we spent the first four hours sitting on the floor in a big circle with the entire [Avatar] cast and most of the creative crew and the designers and so on talking about the importance of the ancient wisdom of indigenous cultures and cultural relativism and all that sort of thing. The cast was utterly inspired by the whole thing.
Presumably, they had to be — to avoid having their intestines dragged out through their mouths by any of the notoriously calm, tolerant and not at all difficult action movie directors involved in the project, then fired, then ground down to make organic fertilizer to be donated to some remote Amazonian rainforest collective of indigenous peoples.
There’s a scene in the movie Straight Outta Compton – (it’s OK: you don’t need to like rap to get this analogy) – where Eazy-E goes to confront his manager Jerry Heller.
Given that their band N.W.A have made so much money, Eazy-E wants to know, how come he is still living in penury?
Heller explains that “business is business.”
Eazy-E protests, as well he might, that this just isn’t good enough. Heller is his manager. It’s supposed to be his job to represent Eazy-E’s financial interests. N.W.A are one of the biggest rap bands ever. So where has all the ****ing money gone?
Heller repeats the only defense he has. “Business is business,” he explains.
In this scenario, for Eazy-E read: you and me. (Unfortunate because it means, shortly afterwards, we all tragically die of AIDs)
And for Jerry Heller, the incompetent, embezzling, total fail of a manager, read: the science community responsible for the great global warming scare.
From the School of Really Dumb Climate Change Solutions, a novel proposal from Lisa Feldman Barrett – a professor of psychology at Northeastern University:
The next time a city like Las Vegas has a record heat wave, as it did in June of this year (117 degrees F), we could petition President Trump to travel there. Perhaps a three-day stay at Trump International Hotel — with the air conditioning turned off — would be swelteringly educational. Or shall we ask Vice President Pence to visit Nuatambu, one of the Solomon Islands northeast of Australia, where rising ocean levels have washed away half the habitable land and forced families to flee? Let him live there for a month or two. Or maybe Scott Pruitt, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, should survive on minimal drinking water for a few days, so he can understand viscerally what a drought feels like.
Apparently, the scientific rationale behind this is that the human imagination is not nearly as good at empathising with future pain as it is with future pleasure.
The longer this ‘Keep buggering on and it’ll go away’ narrative persists, the longer MPs can delay doing anything.
Not long after the Parsons Green Tube bombing, another of those viral, defiant-in-the-face-of-terror cartoons started doing the rounds. It was quite witty — a section of Tube map, redrawn in the shape of a hand giving those pesky terrorists the middle finger. But it wasn’t remotely funny. In order for humour to work it has to spark a feeling of amused recognition. This did the opposite. It said something that all but the most deluded among us know to be a complete lie.
The lie is that when a terrorist bomb fails to detonate properly and injures ‘only’ a dozen or so people, rather than killing scores, this constitutes some kind of moral victory; that Londoners — indeed Britons generally — now accept such incidents as ‘part and parcel of living in the big city’; that our mood is not one of fear, helplessness and apprehension but of cheery optimism and determination not to have our lifestyles altered in the face of terror.
The film franchise is perfect for those who miss the wit and eccentricity of old 007 movies.
There’s a thrilling sequence in Matthew Vaughn’s latest secret agent caper, Kingsman: The Golden Circle, set in the inevitable Alpine mountaintop retreat. So many familiar ingredients are there — cable car, Eagles Nest-style lair, machine-gun-toting heavies in snowsuits, etc — that you could almost be watching the next Daniel Craig Bond movie. Except you know you’re not because of one key detail: you’re wearing a big, stupid grin.
All right, perhaps I’m being a bit harsh on the recent James Bond movies. But I think we can agree that they are somewhat lacking the jauntiness of the Sean Connery/Roger Moore eras. Sure, Craig is great at looking moody, tortured and buff, and Sam Mendes’s direction has given the last two a depth and arthouse sheen far beyond anything Ian Fleming wrote. Where, though, is the wit, the cheek, the eccentricity that made those early Bonds so much fun?