Stephen Colbert taped The Late Show during a rainy Tuesday in New York, as extreme weather lashed both coasts with storms. “Scientists agree that all of these extreme weather events are tied to global warming, which is happening whether you believe it or not,” he said. “For the record, many Americans choose not.”
A new poll found 45% of Americans don’t believe humans cause climate change. “It doesn’t matter what you believe – it’s true!” Colbert exclaimed. “That’s like not believing that humans cause pants-pooping – ‘It’s just part of the natural cycle of my khakis, I’m going to leave them for my grandkids to deal with.’”
This weekend, world leaders “are gathering yet again to wear lanyards about it” at Cop26, the 26th UN climate change conference.
“Twenty-sixth? Holy crap, this crisis is so old it could rent a car,” Colbert joked.
The host then turned to another slow-burn issue in the US: inflation, which reached its highest rate in over a decade this month. Due to a sharp increase in food prices, Colbert explained, some are predicting the most expensive Thanksgiving in the history of the holiday. “And that’s saying something – the first Thanksgiving cost Native Americans an entire continent.”
Price increases will affect sweet potatoes, pie, the aluminum trays to hold turkeys, and even canned cranberry sauce as China limits steel production to reduce carbon emissions. “What? You lied to us, Greta Thunberg!” Colbert joked. “You told us fighting climate change would be hard but you never told us the cost: a world without can-shape towers of gelatinous red sugar plasma.”
In Los Angeles, Jimmy Kimmel discussed the latest space travel pledge from “Captain Space Penis” Jeff Bezos, who yesterday announced plans for Blue Origin’s own space station, “Orbital Reef”.
“Their hope is that this is some sort of destination for space tourists – like a Hollywood Boulevard in space, except for there, people have to urinate on the sidewalk in zero gravity,” Kimmel explained.
The cost for the project, which is intended to be launched into orbit by 2030, is expected to exceed $10bn. “Listen, I get it – space is cool, and Jeff Bezos is rich, and without space travel we wouldn’t have Tang or that terrible dehydrated ice cream,” Kimmel said. “But when they talk about spending tens of billions of dollars, you have to wonder which part of ‘the Earth is on fire’ Jeff Bezos isn’t understanding. Is the plan to sit up there on the space station and watch it burn?”
“How about instead of spending tens of billions of dollars on a space station, spend zero dollars on a space station and all the dollars on planet Earth,” he added. “We aren’t going to be able to get Prime delivery in space – you understand that, right? First he was making rocket ships, now he’s making space stations. This was how the Emperor got started on the Death Star, you know.”
And on The Daily Show, Trevor Noah discussed a movement by conservatives to censor liberal ideas in schools. “Ideas like ‘racism is bad,’ or ‘gays are not bad,’” he explained. “It’s almost like conservatives learned too much about cancel culture and accidentally got really into it.
“Like sort of how you start hate-watching a Real Housewives show and then seven seasons later all of a sudden you’re like ‘I know Ramona and Sonya say they’re best friends, but would you talk about your best friend like that behind their back?’”
The issue has shaped the Virginia governor’s race, as the Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin released a television ad featuring a mother upset that her son, a senior in an AP English class, was assigned to read Beloved, the Pulitzer-winning novel by Toni Morrison. (The Democratic candidate Terry McAuliffe and Virginia Democrats have called the ad, which denounces Beloved as “explicit” and a “racist dog whistle”.)
“I’m sorry, guys, but any parent who thinks their 17-year-old son’s school assignment is too explicit? They need to check out his browser history because trust me, he can handle it,” Noah said.
“The real dangerous ideology in America isn’t conservatism or liberalism, it’s helicopter parenting,” he added. “I mean, an AP class is basically a college course. How long is this lady going to be trying to protect their kid?”