Midday open thread: Climate delegates in Poland for 'Paris 2.0'; Nigerian prez says he's no clone

Today’s comic by Tom Tomorrow is NO COLLUSION!

What you may have missed on Sunday Kos:

We now know that the current White House resident is a delusional autocratic crackpot, by Frank Vyan Walton
Straight from GM’s mouth: Demand creates jobs (not tax cuts), by David Akadjian
Donald Trump is morally bankrupt—and so are his supporters, by Mark E Andersen
Mississippi voted as most expected them to, but all is not lost, by Egberto Willies
Dear women on the U.S. mainland: Please support our sisters in Puerto Rico, by Denise Oliver Velez
Why Time’s Person of the Year should be the Democratic woman, by Sher Watts Spooner
Here’s how the new Democratic members of the House sort out ideologically, by David Jarman
Democrats should make marijuana reforms a signature justice issue. New Jersey can show the way, by Ian Reifowitz

Delegates to the COP24 climate talks are arriving in Katowice, Poland today: The talks among nearly 200 nations are widely viewed as “Paris 2.0” because the participants will be looking at the impact of the pledges made as part of the Paris climate agreement in 2015 to make cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. The goal is to keep average global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) above the pre-industrial level. Even the most avid supporter of the Paris agreement thinks the pledges made so far are enough, and many nations are nowhere near a trajectory to meet them anyway. And 2 degrees C isn’t good enough. At the Paris talks, 1.5 degrees became the “aspirational” goal after pressure from some of the most vulnerable nations persuaded enough delegates to look at it that way. Recently released assessments show that 1.5 degrees should be the actual not the aspirational goal to avoid catastrophic climate changes that will profoundly affect billions of human beings and threaten the survival of a plethora of other species. Kristalina Georgieva, the chief executive of the World Bank, said before the meeting, “We are clearly the last generation that can change the course of climate change, but we are also the first generation with its consequences.”

Meanwhile, Trump and other deniers work to undermine latest scientific climate assessment. The National Climate Assessment—publicly released by the U.S. government the day after Thanksgiving in an attempt to bury it amid the distractions of holiday shopping—has added its own dire climate predictions to the roster of studies and reports showing that we’re in for a rough ride that will be even rougher if major adaptive and ameliorate actions aren’t taken soon. That, of course, calls into question the fossil-fuel friendly policies of the Trump regime, many of whose officials have claimed outright that human-caused climate change is a hoax cooked up by grant-greedy scientists:

… the chorus of doubts could help obscure the significance of a report that poses a significant threat to the Trump administration’s fossil fuel-friendly agenda. It would be an echo of a similar campaign at a pivotal moment, the so-called “Climategate” scandal in 2009, in which unsubstantiated attacks on climate scientists based on their stolen emails undercut the credibility of their work on the eve of the Copenhagen climate talks.

MIDDAY TWEET

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I have a problem with journalists who feel like their job is to publicly mourn a dead politician as if they’re family. It’s not. Stop being so damn sappy. We’re journalists, not paid funeral criers. We should ALWAYS hold politicians at a healthy remove, even in their deaths.

— Sam Sanders (@samsanders) December 3, 2018

• Open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act ends in most states on December 15: If you’ve been delaying, there are only two weeks left if you need insurance! Free help is available. Answers to your questions about signing up and trained professionals who can talk your through your options are just a phone call or click away. Call 1-800-318-2596 or visit localhelp.healthcare.gov to make a one-on-one appointment now.

Nigeria’s 75-year-old president denies he’s a clone: 

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari has denied claims that he died and was replaced by a clone, calling the speculation “ignorant rumors.”

Buhari tweeted on Sunday that he addressed the reports while at a meeting in Poland.

“One of the questions that came up today in my meeting with Nigerians in Poland was on the issue of whether I’ve been cloned or not,” Buhari said. “The ignorant rumors are not surprising — when I was away on medical vacation last year a lot of people hoped I was dead.”

“Generation Wealth” is documentarian and photographer Lauren Greenfield’s exploration of how plutocracy is destroying civilization.

“Open the pod door, Cimon.” “I’m sorry, Alex, I can’t do that”: So far, the plastic AI robot “Cimon” sent to be an experimental assistant on the International Space Station has only acted up once, refusing to turn off some music it was asked to play by German astronaut Alexander Gerst. After Gerst asks Cimon a second time to change the music function, the robot tells him to “be nice, please.” Gerst says, “I am nice! He’s accusing me of not being nice! He just doesn’t know me when I’m not nice.” Cimon asks “don’t you like it here with me?” and then tells Gerst “don’t be so mean, please.” Future astronauts should hope the engineers work out Cimon’s kinks before sending them off to Mars or elsewhere with one of its cousins.

On today’s Kagro in the Morning show: Greg Dworkin wraps up a weekend of Trumpism (very) briefly muted by the passing of George H.W. Bush. A slow-building wave creates slow-emerging fallout. NC-09 gets crazier by the minute. Did a Saud family feud lead to Khashoggi’s murder?

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