“A scorpion wants to cross a river but cannot swim, so it asks a frog to carry it across. The frog hesitates, afraid that the scorpion might sting it, but the scorpion promises not to, pointing out that it would drown if it killed the frog in the middle of the river. The frog considers this argument sensible and agrees to transport the scorpion. Midway across the river, the scorpion stings the frog anyway, dooming them both. The dying frog asks the scorpion why it stung despite knowing the consequence, to which the scorpion replies: “I am sorry, but I couldn’t resist the urge. It’s in my nature.” Let’s expand this fable a bit with Joe Manchin playing the part of the scorpion and the role of the frog being played by Earth. “Manchin told the Democratic leadership on Thursday that he would ‘not support an economic package that contains new spending on climate change or includes new tax increases targeting wealthy Americans or corporations.’ What’s left, then? Not much.” Joe Manchin to Planet Earth: Drop Dead.

+ Ron Brownstein in The Atlantic: Mother Nature Dissents. “The paradox is that precisely as these events are dramatizing the rising costs of inaction on climate change, Washington faces more difficulty to act. That’s not only because of the Supreme Court but also because of the resistance to sweeping legislation in the Senate from every Republican as well as Democratic Senator Joe Manchin, who represents one of the top coal-producing states, West Virginia. Adding to the strain: The states most integrated into the existing fossil-fuel economy—almost all of them controlled by Republicans—are escalating their efforts to block action on climate change from the federal government and even the private sector.” Or put another way: “In a world where facts are no longer the currency, it actually is very hard to make arguments in favor of doing what seems very logical.”

+ Meanwhile… WaPo: Rome hits highest temperature on record as heat wave sweeps Europe.