Last year was the hottest on record for every place in the world, except two: a small part of Antarctica and the Northeast United States. NASA says the cool spots were simple temperature anomalies and that the warming trend remains indisputable.

Knowing that we need every grain of evidence to marshal the slow forces of government against climate change, the anomaly seems unfortunate, even wicked.

As the New Yorker's Amy Davidson writes, "The East Coast is where Congress and the main financial markets are, and so anything that contributes to climate-change denial has a systemic toxicity."

The recent fall in oil prices also provides America with a moment of temporary bliss while the climate changes all around us. Cheaper fuel already has Americans buying heavier vehicles with poorer efficiency, and when the price of renewable technologies rise relative to gasoline, businesses have a financial disincentive to invest in clean energy.

Many have called for a new gas tax so that the price of carbon-based fuel doesn't remain artificially low. In a recent Big Think interview, acclaimed economist Larry Summers talks oil prices, energy independence, and America's unavoidable market vulnerability:

Read more at the New Yorker

Photo credit: NASA