Science loses another Scopes trial
Mark Steyn and Rand Simberg beat Michael Mann’s defamation suit, pushing “legal system” to the top of Tom Friedman’s favorite things about China.
Dr Mann’s courtroom loss provokes Naomi Klein to become an American citizen, burn her US passport and move to Canada in protest.
The verdict is decried as a death knell for free speech.
“Open season has now been declared on scientists like us, who will have to think twice before speaking our hearts for fear of being teased by bullies like Messrs Simberg and Steyn,” in the words of an open letter to the NY Times whose authors are too scared to sign it.
In a show of solidarity, members of the Association of American Editorial Cartoonists announce that they will all draw exactly the same, dead-obvious gag. Steyn—who’s widely blamed for winning the case with an eloquent performance on the stand in which he single-handedly won the paleoclimate, free-speech and culture wars once and for all—will be caricatured as a chimp.
European Neo-Nazi groups win a major hate-speech case when the ECHR agrees “Holocaust denier” is an intentionally demeaning reference to climate denial.
Has science gone a bit too far?
That’s the question on everyone’s lips after Dr James Hansen, newly-appointed director of NASA, blames yesterday’s eclipse on global warming.
Cringing colleagues go into full spin control. To be sure, they say, eclipses are nature’s way of “rolling a thirteen,” and climate change uses “steroids” to load the dice—but serious scientists would be very reluctant to attribute a specific extreme astronomical event [EAE] to “carbon” emissions.
Trenberth Travesty seen from space
The centrepiece of Nature’s April cover story is a stunning panorama of the Trenberth Travesty, stitched together from satellite imagery of the famous “missing” thermal energy.
“Using the hermeneutics of quantum gravity,” report the authors, “we are at last able to visualize this tricksy, mercurial zone of heat exchange whose 20,000-km front stretches from Cape Illusionment in autumn to The Isle of Mann in fall.”
The latest scientists believe the Travesty acts by thermal subterfuge to “launder” Kelvins from the atmosphere all the way down to the bathyclimatic ecosystem at the ocean floor, converting them to Hiroshimas in the process.
In the ultimate honor for the SkS team, a new survey by the SkS team finds that when scientists are asked to name the one piece of evidence that convinced them to join the consensus, the top answer is Cook13, a 2013 study showing how popular the consensus was.
Prof. Cook, the lead author, says he is “humbled” by his new paper’s conclusion.
“It’s not like I woke up one day and decided to be the highest-impact author in the history of the field,” he blogs. “I guess this makes me an honorary climate scientist! It’s all so sudden—I never even had a chance to learn the scientific method.”
Dana Nuccitelli, who describes himself as “a proud member of the SkS team” and “a scientist,” uses the pages of The Guardian’s online edition to defend the scientific community against suspicions of groupthink.
“One myth used by denialists is that scientists simply take things on trust. Bollocks,” writes Nuccitelli.
“As scientists, we’re not like other people. We’re only allowed to take one thing into account when forming our views: hard, physical evidence. So when my own scientific colleagues believe in a hypothesis… well, that’s evidence enough for me!”
With most global warming now occurring underwater, the IPCC announces its revised target for planetary survival: 400,000,000 Nagasakis or less. The panel’s seventh Assessment Report quietly admits, however, that the first 200,000,000 detonations are likely to benefit human health, agriculture and economy on balance.
Did your therapist cancel on you last Thursday? Don’t eat that handgun just yet! It doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not worthy of love; he or she was probably just hung over. Wednesday was the psychiatric world’s Night of Nights: the much-anticipated release of DSM 7. The weighty tome, known as the Bible of mental disorder diagnosis, is now available in Bible bookstores everywhere.
One group looking forward with some interest to the midnight gala launch was the climate community.
Every update to the DSM has its winners and its losers, and number seven is no exception. For the global-warming savvy, the disappointments this time include:
• Weather control delusional disorder is no longer a discrete diagnosis. People who claim responsibility for the state of the atmosphere will now be triaged into the same high-priority bucket as anyone else in the manic phase of schizophrenia.
• A new syndrome, Munchhausen’s by proxy, describes the use of swamp varves and tree rings to pretend the earth has a fever, typically “in hopes of obtaining sympathy, attention or other secondary gain” (vol. ii, p. 501).
• A variant on the above, called primary-gain Munchausen’s by proxy—in which “behavior is motivated mostly by financial or professional reward”—is technically a personality disorder. “In layman’s terms, these people aren’t crazy at all,” explains Professor Simon Cahill, a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins. “They’re just lying jerks.”
But it isn’t all bad news for the eco-alarmed. Two changes in particular should help take the sting out of the new edition.
Medieval global warming denial—a disorder climate advocates have long argued is benign—is finally distinguished from the more pernicious condition of general global warming denial. This means, at the very least, that believers in the so-called Hockey Stick Delusion will no longer be forced to share a ward with their arch-nemeses (a perverse administrative outcome blamed for much of the recent violence in facilities around the world).
Second, it’s official at last: it’s not paranoia if they’re out to get you! This long-overdue persecution exclusion (vol. i, p. 501) is expected to pave the way for a massive class-action suit by the thousands of climate scientists and affiliated academics in mental custody, many of whom say they’re guilty only of pointing out that they were being followed.
Speaking to us from London’s historic Bedlam hospital, Dr Stephan Lewandowsky calls this a victory for common sense.
“I won’t even be asking for punitive damages. What I really want is to sleep in my own bed for the first time in three years.
“Besides,” he adds, his voice dropping to a whisper, “this place is crawling with [fossil-fuel industry] spies.”
The first verified act of human cloning takes place when wealthy madman Richard Branson decides there’s only one way to know for sure whether Feynman would have been a climate skeptic or a science believer.
The Carbon Dioxide Bubble
Carbon [sic] concentrations officially hit 499 parts per million [ppm]. The tourism industry enjoys the biggest boom in history as it dawns on Generation Gore that that round-the-world wine-tasting odyssey is a matter of now or never. For travel agencies the pitch practically writes itself:
Book your dream holiday now, before CO2 levels make air travel unethical!
Flights to Europe start at just $1199 return.
A modest man, with little to be modest about
John Cook bares all in a revealing profile for Australian Playgirl!
The ‘Body With The Brain’ discusses what it’s like to be the son of scientific royalty and admits his most embarrassing moment is “every time the textbook I wrote for a laugh is actually prescribed to undergraduate [climate science] students.”
Dr Cook, who has no climate credentials, can only assume the offending lecturers and course coordinators are deniers.
“Science rejectors are well-known for their use of ‘fake experts’ [like me]. But what can I do to stop them [assigning my textbook]? By the time I complain, the royalties are already in my bank account. I just have to hope they don’t make the same mistake next year, and the year after, and the year after.”
In a triumphant return to life in the community, Stephan Lewandowsky has already put another denier talking-point to the test: is it really the case (he asks) that if climate scientists want people to listen, they need to stop exaggerating?
LEW2022 is unequivocal: no, that wouldn’t help.
“Using quotes from a fictitious ‘honest’ climate scientist, we demonstrate that these are even less effective in motivating action than actual statements by scholars in the field,” to quote the study’s grant application.
The authors conclude that outraged demands for Integrity™ are just a ruse to get the scientific community to water down the narrative. ‘Feigned Indignation’ quickly becomes the most downloaded article of all time for Nature Ethics (the prestige scientific-ethics journal).
It’s the end of an era at NASA when both Ed “Buzz” Aldrin and Harrison Schmitt retire, forcing the federal climate-monitoring agency to shutter its historic space-exploration division for good.
The eminent engineer and scientist were lifelong climate skeptics who never accepted the reality of the moon landings, reveals Al Gore in a scathing Rolling Stone tribute.
A germ of doubt
The pathologists feted for discovering the world’s first warming-caused superbug say bacillohoccus anthropogenes was named in honor of Dr Michael Mann. Look for it in this month’s Nature.
Thanks to social media the bacteria literally go viral. Their iconic bent-rod capsule makes them a no-brainer as unofficial mascot of the upcoming IPCC meeting.
Other labs, however, are unable to replicate the study, blaming the omission of key details from the Nature article.
Mann himself comes to the defence of the original authors, explaining that secrecy “is perfectly normal practice in the pathological sciences.”
Weary of the emotive, polarizing nature of the debate, scientists will now refer to global warming as “climate 9/11.”
GaramondGate bursts wide open
Science has always worked by weight of evidence, but this month’s Science catches skeptics with their finger on the scales!
A new analysis of the literature proves what mainstream scientists have long suspected: deniers have been ‘gaming’ the system by using taller fonts, printing their papers on higher-quality stock, relaxing the kerning, or all of the above.
This strategy may have artificially added as much as 1.25kg to the weight of the evidence against the evidence since 2020, say the authors of the study.
For pro-science scientists, their opponents’ typographic chicanery just goes to show they’re no gentlemen.
“This is a knife fight,” writes a visibly-shaken James Hansen in the New New York Times.
Rejecting what he calls “the false modesty of the worse-than-we-expected brigade,” Dr Mann writes in New Scientist that ‘Climate Change is Proceeding Exactly as I Have Foreseen.’
Climate activists are euphoric about the EPA’s decision to classify CO2 as a persistent organic pollutant [POP], evoking all the horrors of the DDT age.
Drawing heavily on the principles of the Delphi Technique, Naomi Oreskes changes the scientific method to the Delphi Technique.
Scientific community downs the ante
In simultaneous media releases around the globe, every scientific body of international or national standing announces that the only safe atmospheric CO2 concentration is zero ppm.
The new, hardline quota gets the tick of approval from psychologists and game theorists, who’ve long argued that ‘lowballing’ is the only way of arriving at the desired outcome of 300-400 ppm.
“It’s taken a while, but scientists are finally getting the message that this is a negotiation process [with skeptics],” says jetsetting climate economist Yvo de Boer. The new goal would be fatal to terrestrial life if achieved, he admits.
Inaugural A. Albert Gore Awards for Excellence in Science
Fed up with decades of skeptical domination of the élite science awards, Al Gore mortgages his second Tuscan home to endow a rival prize, which the media quickly nickname the Gobels.
In a coded diatribe against deniers, the billionaire and non-practicing environmentalist vows his new committee “will never be captured by an extreme minority who are dissatisfied with our current understanding of the physical world and continually seek to increase it.”
(Gore clarifies the next day that it was never his intent to besmirch all Nobel Prizes as tainted and meaningless—just Chemistry, Physics, Medicine and Physiology. He reiterates his utmost respect for proper Nobels like Peace and Literature.)
The inaugural ceremony is held in a castle set amid the beauty of Bavaria’s forestlands. True to their eco-friendly history, the local Aryans embrace it; in the words of a Guardian headline, ‘Nuremberg Rallies Behind Gobels.’
Celebrating the Pause
WUWT’s headline says it all: No Increase In Consensus For 20 years, admits new study!
Despite two decades of the most rapid rise in anthropogenic research output in history, gloats Anthony Watts, the consensus has failed to budge from circa-2006 levels of 97%.
“In fact this represents a drop of 3% since records began,” he adds, citing Oreskes’ finding of absolute unanimity in 2004.
“[The scientists] need to explain why consensus isn’t increasing in line with skyrocketing evidence levels—or admit the models are wrong.”
With film crew in tow, Al Gore solemnly revisits the “evacuated Pacific nations” whose Atlantean fate was first reported in An Inconvenient Truth. But the 20th-anniversary tour of global warming’s ‘ground zero’ is interrupted by natives who claim to be alive, well and completely dry, in obvious denial of the science.
Moments before he is fatally speared, Gore can be seen snorting at the qualifications of one protestor—a local oceanographer who never even met Roger Revelle.
The Prime Minister of the sunken ghost nation apologizes to science-lovers everywhere and announces a new airport to be named in memory of the former Vice President’s credibility.
With Gore’s death, supreme power over the climate world passes to Pope Francis.
Doves are dispatched throughout Christendom announcing an emergency climate conclave to be held at the Papal dacha on the Danube. All Archbishops are given thirty days to make the hard ass ride to Bohemia. (The clergy abstains from air travel as a sign of humility, obedience to Holy Mother Earth and fear of planes.)
The Diet of Pôrń is already being described as “the greatest gathering of thinkers in one p[a]lace since the trial of Galileo.”
The first climatically-correct chemistry textbooks appear in Australian high schools. The dioxide anion has been renamed ‘pollution’; chemical symbol C now stands for ‘cancer.’
‘Mooneys suffer crisis of faith,’ NNYT, September 4, 2028
The so-called Mooney sect is in shock tonight. Rank and file members are making their sense of betrayal known after leaked MRI scans appear to show their leader, Chris Mooney, suffers from Republican Brain.
Mr Mooney’s cult hits include the books ‘Are you smart enough to buy this book? What science says about the gullibility of everyone but you’ and ‘There are two kinds of people in the world: those who are comfortable with ambiguity and nuance, and Republicans.’
The author’s quarter-million fans follow a simplified version of 19th-century phrenology, substantially dumbed-down to fit inside today’s smaller skulls.
Today’s explosive images, emailed to various news agencies simultaneously, were likely obtained by an employee of the hospital that treated Mooney after a minor fender-bender last year. If they can be authenticated the blow to his credibility will be fatal, predicts Leon Festinger, a sociologist who studies climate belief groups.
Mooney’s leadership of the North American pseudoscience sect has previously weathered, and survived, revelations that he’s not a neurologist or even a psychologist but a scientifically-illiterate English major who only wrote the group’s sacred texts to win a bar bet.
His acolytes managed to reconcile these contradictions, as tight-knit credal communities usually do. (In the end, explains Dr Festinger, they settled on the doctrine that Mooney was “maybe a bit scientifically-dyslexic.”)
Conceding the Pause
It’s official: reputable science website SkepticalScience quietly removes “Consensus levels have plateaued” from its list of myths.
Natural variation was always to be expected, explains blog proprietor Dr John Cook on a three-continent media tour to downplay the change, adding that, “[The c]onsensus will have to stagnate for 30 years before we start worrying.”
(Fortunately, subeditors everywhere spot the typo—nobody in their right mind would want The Science to be true—and correct this to “stop worrying.”)
Professor Naomi Oreskes was the woman of the hour at last week’s fifth-anniversary Gobels. The Harvard philosopher was recognized for her work redefining the scientific method, a question on which “there had effectively been no innovation for three centuries,” in the words of the official citation.
In a fascinating and wide-ranging acceptance speech Oreskes described her uphill battle to promote the idea that consensus really did belong in science, contra the unanimous contempt in which scientists of the day held the concept.
She acknowledged that her methods still haven’t won over the non-climate sciences.
“There’s still work to do, and I’m not resting on my laurels.
“Or laurel,” added the new Gobelist, in the most hilarious line of the evening.
But Oreskes is sure scientists will come round once they start running out of physical evidence and need an alternative source of authority. It’s only a matter of time, reasoned the alt-history novelist, citing widespread rumors that science hit Peak Evidence several years ago.
After all, she reminded the audience, consensus was a dirty word throughout the science community just 40 years ago.
“We laugh about it now but at the time, every scientific body of national standing on the planet thought I was either crazy, scientifically-illiterate or going out of my way to subvert Western epistemology just to help my political buddies!”
Oreskes had even considered giving up, she revealed, after the chemist and quasicrystal pioneer Dan Schechtman mocked her at a conference by telling the audience, “This Naomi Oreskes is a charlatan… there is no such thing as consensus science, but there is such a thing as pseudoscience.”
She was mortified by the laughter that rippled through the auditorium.
“I ran out in tears. I think it’s despicable to bully those who think different[ly and threaten them] with isolation and ostracism,” argued Oreskes.
“Not only as a matter of basic decency, but [because of] the chilling effects that such schoolyard popularity-pageant tactics invariably have on science as a whole… stifling innovation, discouraging women and other scientific minorities.”
Inexplicably, Dr Oreskes remains a polarizing figure whose ideas are either prescient or prescientific, depending who you ask.
A Climateball stadium becomes the scene of ugly rioting today after a supporter of the denier (pro-cancer-pollutionist) side is overheard using the hate term “w_rmist.”
‘For Darfur, justice. For Northern Africa, a chance to heal?,’ NNYT, June 10, 2032
THE HAGUE, Netherlands—Twenty years late, a war crimes tribunal has given Sudan’s most celebrated genocidaires their freedom again. The conviction of the ‘Darfur Four’ over a spree of atrocities between 2002 and 2003 was overturned today after courts finally accepted the science blaming regional violence on climate change.
“In rendering [the original verdict in 2012], His Honor erred by treating traditional peoples and Earth’s systems as independent,” said an appeals court judge this morning, his voice hoarse from sobbing.
“This led to a significant overestimation of the free moral agency of the appellants, who are black.”
The acquittal brings closure not only to decades of hell for the four men, but to a test case in international climate-legal theory.
The released rapists and torturers held a conference in Khartoum this evening to thank the scientists and climate ethicists who “never gave up” on them. They closed by imploring the crowd of thousands to never forget—or forgive—the real culprits, “who sit in the air-conditioned boardrooms of America’s great oil companies.”
Alcohol is dangerous according to traditional knowledge-holders, so revelers who thronged the capital’s pro-government suburbs had to make do with firing their assault rifles into the warm night air.
But justice comes too late for Muammar bin Skaf al Khartoumi, one of the original Darfur Five, who died behind bars in 2022. The tragedy was a complication of an HIV infection blamed on one of his victims, a child prostitute who gave him the disease while being raped in the bloody summer of 2003.
Col. al Khartoumi told interviewers on his deathbed that his greatest comfort was having lived long enough to see his killer pay for his crimes against Allah in 2015. (Shari’a does not permit the throwing of homosexuals from tall buildings until they’ve “attained manhood”—a threshold most scholars interpret as the age of 18.)
Sir Julian Assange, a leading advocate for the rights of the innocent, reminded the international community that today’s news was no excuse for complacency.
“Hundreds of men and women still rot in UN dungeons for ‘crimes against humanity’ committed in the heat of wars they didn’t even start, no pun intended.
“Remember: people don’t increase the frequency and severity of regional conflict; global warming increases the frequency and severity of regional conflict.”
Sir Julian is no stranger to legal trials—or at least tribulations—himself, having spent years on the run from one embassy to another. His own nightmare began on an “unseasonably balmy night” in 2010 when he put his penis in a sleeping colleague, only to be charged with an act of microaggression.
A long-overdue Gobel goes to Distinguished Professor Michael E. Mann, who accepts on behalf of the Hockey Team. “Ray [Bradley] and Malcolm [Hughes] couldn’t be here tonight because they felt, and I agreed, that it would dilute the message,” says the tree-ring physicist.
Spring is silent this year after a wind turbine kills the last American bald eagle.
Dr Ben Santer is this year’s Gobel laureate as the Committee pays tribute to a “lifetime dedicated to the nonviolent communication of the science.” The LLNL researcher uses his acceptance speech to list all the people who’ve screwed him over throughout his career, apologizing to everyone he doesn’t have time to name but swearing he’ll never forget what they did.
A new profile of climate outliers, billed as the most ambitious heresiological study to date, promises new insights into what’s wrong with minoritarians. The authors sample almost 4,000 climate scientists who reject climate science, asking the question on everyone’s lips: “Have you no sense of peer pressure?”
Is the Even Younger Dryas upon us?
As sea level rise continues to defy expectations, tracking almost 1m (3ft.) below ensemble model projections, science’s latest fear is that the Earth’s surface will be completely dry by the year 51000.
An all-star scientific letter to the NNY Times, headlined ‘If we fail to act, what will our grandchildren’s grandchildren’s grandchildren’s […] grandchildren’s grandchildren’s grandchildren think of us?,’ takes up two pages of the venerable broadsheet (mainly because of its title).
An Insignificant Blip
An attempt to replicate the Doran and Zimmermann  survey instead finds that most scientists now deny the science, with almost 85% endorsing the statement that “According to the weight of the data, the evidence is wrong.”
But the conclusion is derided as “meaningless” by lead author John Cook, who sneers that his error bars were wider than the result itself. Uncertainty is not your friend, he tells reporters, assuring them that for all anyone knows, the consensus is probably still strengthening.
As Richard Feynman Mk 2 celebrates his eighteenth birthday the world is still waiting for him to get around to watching An Inconvenient Truth. Unfortunately, says the man-made monster, his love of the natural sciences has left him little time to think about climate science. He begs the public’s patience, adding that the cure for MS is taking him a few months more than anticipated.
With mankind no closer to knowing which side of the climate debate can claim the great scientist’s legacy, Sir Richard Branson admits his experiment was a waste of two decades and $300 million in R and D.
Humanity, united by a deep sense of moral ambivalence about the whole thing, signs an international treaty making it a crime to clone great thinkers.
But the ban doesn’t go far enough for some member states, like the US and Great Britain, who argue that it should be illegal to clone anyone above an IQ of 100.
‘North Korean Century’ dawns
North Korea, the secretive, illiterate slave state where people still haven’t heard of climate change, has thus far escaped the economic ravages of carbon austerity. So it comes as no great surprise when she officially overtakes Mexico as the world’s economic superpower this year.
Thanks to their eat-whatever-you-can-find diet, the Kim dynasty’s subjects now average 6cm taller than their carbon-counting neighbors to the South and possess the quiet smugness that only comes with seeing yourself as masters of Asia.
Meanwhile, as free folk increasingly lose faith in decades of war on carbon dioxide, the phenomenon of so-called “climate refugees” arises for the first time ever in world history. These desperadoes—just a trickle at first—think nothing of braving the DMZ in their thirst for a better life on the other side.
Thus begins a historic experiment in civil engineering: to see whether, by building a sort of great “wall” complete with guards, watchtowers and beacons at regular intervals, the West can staunch the haemorrhage of our best and brightest citizens across the 38th parallel.
‘Climate hotline overloaded,’ NNYT, evening edition, July 17, 2041
The FBI is asking the public to stop phoning in “every single omen of impending climatic Ragnarok” tonight.
“We have more than enough [to go on], thanks,” said Director Bullock in a televised plea this afternoon—a sentiment with which this news desk can certainly sympathize. In fact, if readers will forgive an excursion into the first person singular, I can’t remember such a fucked-up day in all my thirty-odd years on the beat.
Residents of Staten Island complained of blood pissing down from the heavens in the early hours of the morning, steeping Lady Liberty in gore and temporarily quenching the fire that had replaced the Harbor sometime last night.
A male lion escaped from its Bronx Zoo enclosure around 9 am but was later found lying down with the lamb. At 10:20 this morning a Manhattan woman gave birth to a healthy boy already capable of speech, who begged to be killed.
That’s just some of the meshugaas that went down today. In these five boroughs. Before lunch.
Across the nation and around the world the picture is much the same, and it’s unequivocal: the natural world has gone to shit.
President Obama has responded decisively, ditching her negotiations in war-torn Belgium to return to Washington, but as of press time her plane is incomunicado. Air Force One is believed to have flown into a storm front made of frogs approximately an hour ago. If Mme President still lives, the salient question is whether she will come home to a city in flames or just in ruins.
The Feds will let America know if they need more information, but for now their answering machine simply asks the public to leave its number. “We’ll call you,” promised a recorded voice when we tried to report an incident of dead wandering from their tombs and causing major delays into and out of the city.
The National Climate Hotline wasn’t designed for this, explained FBI media liaison SA Clarice Finch by telephone.
“The NCH was set up decades ago, under the If You See Something, Say Something program,” Finch told the Times. “We never thought the number would actually be used except by a few ecochondriacs, chlorophobes and other wack-jobs already known to police and social workers.
“To be honest,” she admitted, “it was basically supposed to be a mental health crisis line. Nobody could have foreseen the kind of statistically-real inversion of the natural order we’re now witn—”
Special Agent Finch started screaming in agony mid-sentence. From what we could make out, some climatically-inappropriate abomination had gotten hold of her upper arm in its fangs, talons or paws and was doing its best to divide her at the joints. Meanwhile, unfortunately, our switchboard was lit up like the Fourth of July. By the time we got back to Ms Finch, the line had gone quiet.
Theory repositioned as fact
Signs of a climate apocalypse are first detected Down Under. In his final act before fleeing the capital with his family, Australia’s Prime Minister authorizes the use of fridge magnets.
Emblazoned with the words Be Alarmed, Not Alert, the emergency devices are dispatched nationwide, notifying refrigerator owners to live every day like it’s their last, dance like no one’s looking and get their affairs in order. The fine print announces the dissolution of the national government and provides the telephone number of New Zealand’s government in case anyone really needs one.
But the magnets never reach their destinations.
Sometime between 0620 and 0630 GMT on the 18th of July, The Science suddenly comes true.
Only a few breeding couples survive. The handful of remaining climate activists on the planet can only take solace in the knowledge that capitalism was destroyed after all.
On the outskirts of Kailua, Hawaii, the last man on Earth is pawed to death by an ageing polar bear. When one of his wives discovers his body the vicious dorsal bruising will tell the tale: he died running—probably some kind of metaphor for the indomitable cowardice of the human spirit.
False hope dawns
Hope for the species is briefly rekindled when the sole remnant of humanity—a ragtag colony of women and girls hiding in the deserts of Canada—stumbles onto a fully-functional andrology lab with enough cryo-semen to repopulate the planet a hundred times over.
But without a man to explain how the machines work, the sperm bank might as well be Fort Knox. Celebration turns to cat-fighting. The winner dies of her wounds a few days later, succumbing to nail-polish poisoning.
With the extinction of the human race, the political will just doesn’t exist any more for the kind of radical lifestyle cuts the science demands. ◼︎