Today in Slate

Take What You Can Get

There are qualified reasons to be hopeful about climate change.

An image of the Earth, based on observations from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), a sensor aboard the Terra Satellite, courtesy of NASA.

Photo by NASA via Reuters

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If you believe the world will completely stop global warming, you’re probably dreaming. But if you want reasons for climate change optimism, real ones exist. If you’re looking for real-live Latino Republican voters, uh, the best I can offer is buena suerte.

Climate change will come, and it will hurt, but seriously—there are glimmers of hope.

Behold climate change trajectories and despair if you must. It’s understandable; humans have done less than nothing to stop global warming—emissions have risen 40 percent since the 1990s, and previous efforts at serious action have been scuttled or failed outright. But reasons for hope survive: 150 countries have pledged to take part in a UN–brokered emissions-reduction plan, a worst-case scenario of 4.5 degrees of warming now seems unlikely, and the upcoming Paris summit of world leaders has real potential to produce the first-ever global agreement on climate change. “Not as bad as it could be” hardly sounds like reason to celebrate. But at this point, we’ll have to take what we can get.

Republicans and Democrats alike need to take every vote they can get—but Republicans are baldly forsaking any hopes for Latino supporters.

The GOP used to want to reach Latino voters. In the four years since Mitt Romney’s “self-deportation” suggestion sank his chances at significant Hispanic support, the Republican Party has only doubled back: It has opposed immigration reforms at every turn and has boosted figures like Donald Trump and Ted Cruz who are doctrinaire and hostile toward the fastest growing portion of the electorate. In the past week alone, the party canceled its planned debate on Telemundo, and new House Speaker Paul Ryan declared immigration-reform work with President Obama completely off the table. It’s Election Day; before next year’s big one, we’ll hear lots of predictions about a close race. But one wonders how close it will be with such a significant demographic almost sure to vote en masse against the party that appears to hold it in contempt.

A bad education idea, a great fantasy series, and a future for Jon Stewart.

From the dust,
Seth Maxon
Home page editor for nights and weekends