Permanently Post-400 Parts Per Million

March 14, 2017

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

The level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has made its biggest recorded jump ever last year, now at 405 parts per million. Before the Industrial Revolution, the average was about 280. Chelsea Harvey reports:

... we’re now living in a permanently post-400 parts per million world. In September 2016, the time of year when atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are usually at their lowest, scientists observed that the monthly average concentration still remained above this threshold. And now, the new NOAA measurements further indicate that carbon dioxide levels are only continuing to grow — and they’re rising at breakneck speed. 

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Half Sunk a Shattered Visage Lies

March 13, 2017

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

Before we get into the usual skepto-atheist stuff, please enjoy this short story at The Prompt by my amazing wife Jessica, a look at the reunion of Frog and Toad after 12 years apart:

Toad considered his entree, a plate of balsamic glazed flank steak, resting under an enormous pile of mushrooms. He was just doing the things he was supposed to do, wasn’t he? Why make it so hard, why push back against fate? You were born, you lived a little while, then you died. It really wasn’t any more complicated than that, he thought. It really isn’t anything so remarkable.  

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Handmaid’s Tale Scary

March 10, 2017

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

Rep. John Shimkus, who we already consider something of a bonehead for his assertions a few years back that climate change isn't real because only God can flood the Earth, has a question about health care policy. Via WaPo, Rep. Mike Doyle asked Shimkus what his problem with Obamacare is, and Shimkus says:

“What about men having to purchase prenatal care?” Shimkus said. At that point, one could hear the room start to stir. “I’m just . . . is that not correct?” Shimkus said. “And should they?" 

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George W.F.O. Bush

March 09, 2017

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

Every member of the U.S. Senate unanimously signs on to a letter urging Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, Attorney General Jeff Sessions, and FBI Director James Comey to help bring to justice those responsible for threatening and vandalizing Jewish Community Centers.

Alex Nichols at The Outline says the time has come for Twitter to just start booting the trolls off its service for good

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Stock Phrases and Empty Debates

March 08, 2017

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

It is International Women's Day, which is being marked by many as a strike for the Day Without a Woman.

Jennifer Bardi at The Humanist checks in with Sikivu Hutchinson, Amanda Knief, and Linda LaScola consider what a day without secular women would look like. Hutchinson says:

A strike of nontheist women would have the same grave socioeconomic implications for atheists and agnostics (estimated at around 7 percent of the US population) as it would for religionists.

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This May Have Been a Mistake

March 07, 2017

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

Read, and then weep over, Sarah Posner's op-ed at the Washington Post, in which she explains just how committed white evangelicals are to whatever it is they feel that Trump represents:

His religious-right defenders see themselves as warriors in an epic battle for Christian America, not unlike the one underlying the agenda envisioned by top Trump strategist Stephen K. Bannon — and as Trump hunkers down, they are invested in the narrative that Trump’s critics are satanic enemies bent on destroying him. 

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I Support the Asteroid

March 06, 2017

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

Happy Monday. This is a long one.

Trump says he thinks Obama wiretapped him. And we're off! 

The UN's Special Rapporteur for cultural rights, Karima Bennoune, gave remarks on the rise of fundamentalist and extremist hate, and CFI's Michael De Dora, who is in Geneva now, reports to us that Bennoune specifically thanked "civil society organizations, including the Center for Inquiry" for our work. Here is our statement on how supporting cultural rights can help prevent terrorism...

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We Are Not Great Reasoners

March 03, 2017

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

So Jeff Sessions did wind up recusing himself in a weird press conference, in which he talked about "gossipy" ambassadors. Meanwhile, Mike Pence used an AOL email account to handle sensitive, security-related communications...and was hacked. But her emails.

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Supracrustal

March 02, 2017

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

The Washington Post reports that Jeff Sessions lied to Congress about his contact with Russian officials during the campaign. This morning he offered to recuse himself from investigations of Russia's involvement in the election. 

Jake Tapper talks about the attacks on the press on The Daily Show, insists that CNN needs no special access to the White House and that CNN is "kicking ass." Plus he confesses to Botox.

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We Should Know Better By Now

March 01, 2017

The Morning Heresy is your daily digest of news and links relevant to the secular and skeptic communities.

So Trump played the part of president last night, I suspect very convincingly for many, if not most, Americans. He led the speech, surprisingly, with a condemnation of the threats made against Jewish Community Centers (I'm guessing Priebus won an argument), though earlier he had suggested the threats might have come from "the reverse," implying a false-flag operation to "make others look bad." To make who look bad? Anti-Semites? Do they need help looking bad? 

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