Pope should praise air conditioning, says HVAC service CEO

Veteran sales and service pro Matt Michel starts to pixelate around the edges.

Veteran sales and service pro Matt Michel starts to pixelate around the edges.

In his June encyclical on climate change, Pope Francis criticized air conditioning as both a cause and consequence of global warming. Ironically, our damaged environment encourages us toward more damaging behavior. He wrote:

A simple example is the increasing use and power of air-conditioning. The markets, which immediately benefit from sales, stimulate ever greater demand. An outsider looking at our world would be amazed at such behavior, which at times appears self-destructive.

So bad news for Carrier. But what if the pope were wrong? What if, when it came to the moral trajectory of the 21st century, the head of the Catholic church didn’t know what he was talking about? What if you were better off asking—oh, I don’t know—an air conditioning service consultant?

Neither I, nor any other soul on this earth knows if the planet is warming or cooling, or whether man can significantly affect the climate. We know that despite all predictions and computer modeling, warming has inexplicably been paused since before the turn of the century. Nevertheless, if warming resumes, it will be air conditioning that will save humanity and ease the suffering from a warmer planet.

That’s not even the best paragraph in Matt Michel’s editorial, titled What the Pope Should Say About Air Conditioning. Discourse on motivated reason after the jump.

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Bible mom maybe lies about vaccinations, maybe just loves Bible

If you Google "bible vaccinations," this is what you get.

If you Google “bible vaccinations,” this is the second most popular result.

A. Ron Galbraith has alerted me to the news that Bible mom doesn’t want to vaccinate her child, because Bible, but a federal judge in Brooklyn has denied her request for an injunction. For the purposes of this discussion, we will pretend that the New York Post is a reputable source of news and that Staten Island is part of the city. In February, Dina Check sued the NYC Department of Education on the grounds that she had unfairly been denied a religious exemption to let her daughter, A’ishah Mary, attend PS 35 without her shots. Her reason, which is maybe two reasons, reveals a fundamental problem with religious objections to law.

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Chris Broussard becomes 1,452nd sports journalist to come out against being gay


Yesterday, Boston Celtics center Jason Collins came out as gay, making him the first active player in a major sport to do so. Sorry, field hockey. Collins was the center of sports media attention for approximately six hours, at which point he was displaced by Chris Broussard’s announcement that he personally believes homosexuality is a sin. That quickly became the more popular story, possibly because there was a video. Scolds emerged from both ends of the internet to defend or condemn Broussard’s remarks—mostly to condemn, prompting Michelle Malkin to declare herself and Broussard victims of a “tolerance mob.” You know those mobs of angry people who use the threat of persecution to force you to conform to a normative standard of behavior. They’re most commonly associated with tolerance.

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How bad is it for atheists, really?

Famous evangelical tract artist Jack Chick imagines a society without religion.

Last week, we took brief pause at a report that the Tea Party was “even less popular than much-maligned groups like atheists and Muslims.” It’s nice to know that those of us who profess no religion are still beating those who profess religion loudly at school board meetings, but man—Muslims? They’re holding Congressional hearings about those guys. Then, on Sunday, as I was resting, Smick sent me this blog post about plans to compile a national registry of atheists. The unattributed “they”—”they are comparing atheists to child molesters” and “they want a list of all the atheists in their area”—is the kind of ace reporting that has made the reputation of the Daily Kos. “They” turn out to be various Christians on internet message boards, but the phenomenon is still troubling. They are the same people who published George Tiller’s home address, after all. Putting aside the betting line on a list-making and planning war between evangelical Christians and atheists in this country, I think it’s time to address a salient question: do we get minority status now?

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Austria gives us yet another tolerance problem

Niko Alm's weirdo European driver's license

Fun fact: in Austria, you are prohibited from wearing a hat or other headgear in your driver’s license photo unless you are doing so for religious purposes. This policy holds to Austria’s motto, We Promise Never To Be Dicks About Yarmulkes Again, but it also creates an interesting dynamic. We can all agree that a decent society does not prohibit individual religious expression. In the case of the Austrian driver’s license hat, though, all forms of individual expression are prohibited except the religious. It seems we are headed toward that donnybrook of liberal democracies, the scenario in which everyone is treated equally but some people get treated especially equally. Enter Niko Alm: Austrian, atheist, insists on wearing a pasta strainer on his head.

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