Lord, Here Comes the Flood

June 2, 2017

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

Drink up, dreamers. You’re running dry. We knew it was coming, but it’s stunning all the same. President Donald Trump withdraws the U.S. from the Paris climate accord. When you’re a star, they let you do it. You can do anything.

World leaders denounce the decision, such as France’s dreamboat president Emmanuel Macron in a statement to the people of the U.S. (in English, no less):

France believes in you. The world believes in you. I know that you are a great nation. … To all scientists, engineers, entrepreneurs, responsible citizens who were disappointed by the decision of the President of the United States, I want to say that they will find in France a second homeland. I call on them: come and work here with us, to work together on concrete solutions for our climate, our environment. I can assure you: France will not give up the fight … Make our planet great again.

Business titans denounce the decision. Elon Musk leaves the presidential councils on which he serves. GE’s CEO Jeff Immelt tweets:

Disappointed with today’s decision on the Paris Agreement. Climate change is real. Industry must now lead and not depend on government.

And perhaps most importantly, a coalition of U.S. states and cities, coordinated by Michael Bloomberg, announce that they will seek to sign on to the Paris accord separately from the U.S. national government.

Al Gore says, “Make no mistake: if President Trump won’t lead, the American people will.” In a short video, Schwarzenegger tells people not to be scared of the future, making a pitch for the economic benefits of environmental protection. (He also claims to be the only human capable of time travel, which seems to be the real headline here but what do I know.)

We, of course, think this withdrawal is abysmal, saying that Trump is turning the U.S. into a “rogue state.” But also here is a slightly stinging dose of reality from Elizabeth Kolbert:

Many commentators have suggested that the U.S., in withdrawing from Paris, is ceding its leadership role in the world. But the sad fact is that the U.S. has never been a leader in addressing climate change.

Rep. Tim Walberg, however, says God will take care of everything, so don’t worry. Well that’s a load off.

Weather.com trolls Trump.

Alas, regular folks, who might largely agree that climate change is happening, are more or less split on whether it matters.

That’s not all that’s awful: Trump is also poised to expand the religious exemption to the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate to such a degree, that just about any employer can refuse to comply, and women lose out entirely on no-cost birth control.

The Justice Department is asking the Supreme Court to take up the administration’s Muslim ban, which we strongly oppose.

Florida will issue birth certificates to miscarried fetuses. Why yes, that’s really weird, but it’s also a pretty transparent anti-abortion move to wedge in a legal definition of when life begins.

Our new summer intern, Vicki Smith, writes about a particular travail for atheists seeking love:

I love lots of people. I have plenty of friends both religious and non-religious. I don’t mind differing viewpoints and appreciate my friends who challenge me. However when it comes to sharing my life, living with someone, and raising children, I am a bit more selective than I am with my friends.

21-year-old Mariah Walton, born with a congenital heart defect, explains how her Mormon parents in Idaho refused to give her medical treatment as a child, instead relying on prayer to drive out evil spirits.

Ben Radford looks into an alleged precursor to the chupacabra myth, the European nightjar, which was a kind of “goat-sucker,” but sucked milk from goats. Not, like, the whole goat:

The coining of the word is, from my research and deduction, almost certainly a simple and likely coincidence (chupacabra is an obvious coinage to describe anything said to prey on goats, regardless of its origin or nature). Pérez, a comedian, presumably could
have called it “chupapollo” (chicken-sucker), for example, or “chupagato” (cat-sucker), as those animals were also claimed to be victims of the monster.

Raif Badawi, still in a Saudi prison, will be awarded an honorary doctorate by the Université de Sherbrooke in Quebec on June 8.

Michael De Dora presents his latest update on CFI’s advocacy efforts for the month.

Jehovah’s Witnesses, officially classified as an “extremist group” by the Russian government, are experiencing increased persecution and violence, with children a particular target.

Harriet Hall, writing at our website, gives the bottom line on chiropractors:

If a chiropractor offers SMT for short-term treatment of musculoskeletal pain, he might be able to help you, but a physical therapist could help just as much. If a chiropractor offers to “adjust your subluxations” or to treat problems elsewhere in the body, it’s best to avoid him.

Clay Jones bemoans the marketing of alt-med quackery for, and to, kids, as the purveyors of pseudoscience go out of their way to hook ’em when they’re young.

Quote of the Day:

John Moltz tweets after the Paris news:

“LOL,” the conservatives typed, holding their phones up high as the waves swept over their heads.

“Liberal tears.”

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