* Bill Simmon has links on how to argue with your relatives about climate change over Thanksgiving. (If you have a smartphone, just queue up How to Talk to a Climate Skeptic and wait.) As I wrote over at Bill’s place, Matt Taibi’s recent piece on Sarah Palin—describing how she uses her endless interpersonal conflicts to generate political capital that is totally independent of anything so mundane as “ideas” or “positions”—really opened my eyes on how this Climategate nonsense is doing its work. Climategate shifts the field of debate from statistics and facts, which only a small minority are qualified to discuss, to the field of interpersonal relations and “bad behavior,” on which we can all have an opinion. It’s being pushed as a “huge scandal” precisely because it remakes climate change into a moral question about how smart people sometimes turn out to be arrogant jerks. That this moral question is totally irrelevant to the facts isn’t a bug, it’s the whole point.
* Also on the climate front: Obama will go to Copenhagen to commit to 17% under 2005, California introduces its cap and trade plan, and (via Alex G.) rich nations are not following through on promised climate change funds for developing nations. Surprise surprise.
* Elsewhere on the arguing-with-relatives front: Steve Benen has your charts that show the stimulus worked.
* BLDGBLOG goes inside Yucca Mountain.
* Another second-hand report on a recent Žižek talk, this one on ecology. There’s even more ecologically informed theory at Australian Humanities Review.
* History’s first entry in the things-that-make-me-kind-of-like-Bill-O’Reilly file.
* One of America’s most loathsome politicians may be about to stage a comeback.