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SumOfUs

Pope Francis went to the White House this week and got really real about the future of planet Earth.

Photo by Pete Souza/The White House.


Specifically, that we're making it warmer. And that we have to cut it out. Sooner rather than later.

Here are the three key quotes. We'd all do well to listen to the man.

He is, after all, the freaking pope.

1. "Climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation."

You know how this goes. A big project comes down in the office on Monday morning, and it's not due till Thursday, which is so far away that it might as well be next year. You definitely can't be bothered to care yet, especially when Candy Crush Saga is sitting right there! And then, suddenly, it's 11 on Wednesday night and you're like, "I thought I had so much time?!" Well, for planet Earth, it's 11 on Wednesday night. And the pope ain't going to let you play just onnnnne more game.

According to a landmark report released last year by the United Nations, if emissions continue to grow at the current rate, we could be looking at a temperature hike of more than 8 degrees Fahrenheit, which would cause some serious chaos with sea levels and ecosystems around the world.

The pope knows it's on us — not our kids — to set things right, come hell or high water (or, in this case, likely both).

Even if he personally has to slap the coal out of your hand.

"Don't-a-burn-a-that." — Pope Francis. Photo by Tânia Rêgo/ABr.

2. "When it comes to the care of our common home, we are living at a critical moment of history."

Photo by Benhur Arcayan/Malacañang Photo Bureau.

The message from the pope is clear: The time to get on this is now. Yesterday, even, if possible.

What happens if we don't? Even if we stick to the modest temperature rise some government agencies anticipate, predictions run the gamut from a completely underwater New York City to a slightly waterlogged New York City by 2100. But the point is, unless we want to risk a future where the mecha-pope gives a speech from a deep-sea submersible orbiting the sunken ruins of St. Patrick's Cathedral*, it's time to start cutting those emissions, and fast.

3. "To use a telling phrase of the Rev. Martin Luther King, we can say that we have defaulted on a promissory note and now is the time to honor it."

In Catholic theology, God is pretty explicit about his expectations: He puts mankind on the Earth, and one of mankind's top jobs is to not mess the place up too much. Whether or not you're Catholic, it's hard to argue that that's not a worthy goal. But so far we ... haven't really held up our end of that bargain.

Sorry, trees.

You'll get 'em next time. Photo by Fluffball.

To reverse the trend, we need effort on a global scale. The pope knows that better than anyone and, as spiritual leader to over 1 billion people, is in a unique place to help make it happen.

But here in the U.S., as the world's second-largest polluter, we have a unique responsibility to recognize the obvious: Climate change is happening. And we all need to work together to slow it and stop it before it's too late.

This isn't even close to the first time Pope Francis has spoken out about climate change.

He's been pressing the point for quite a while. And more than a few people running for president could stand to pay more attention to his message — instead of the money they're receiving to ignore it — as this parody video by SumOfUs makes abundantly clear.

Joy

1991 blooper clip of Robin Williams and Elmo is a wholesome nugget of comedic genius

Robin Williams is still bringing smiles to faces after all these years.

Robin Williams and Elmo (Kevin Clash) bloopers.

The late Robin Williams could make picking out socks funny, so pairing him with the fuzzy red monster Elmo was bound to be pure wholesome gold. Honestly, how the puppeteer, Kevin Clash, didn’t completely break character and bust out laughing is a miracle. In this short outtake clip, you get to see Williams crack a few jokes in his signature style while Elmo tries desperately to keep it together.

Williams has been a household name since what seems like the beginning of time, and before his death in 2014, he would make frequent appearances on "Sesame Street." The late actor played so many roles that if you were ask 10 different people what their favorite was, you’d likely get 10 different answers. But for the kids who spent their childhoods watching PBS, they got to see him being silly with his favorite monsters and a giant yellow canary. At least I think Big Bird is a canary.

When he stopped by "Sesame Street" for the special “Big Bird's Birthday or Let Me Eat Cake” in 1991, he was there to show Elmo all of the wonderful things you could do with a stick. Williams turns the stick into a hockey stick and a baton before losing his composure and walking off camera. The entire time, Elmo looks enthralled … if puppets can look enthralled. He’s definitely paying attention before slumping over at the realization that Williams goofed a line. But the actor comes back to continue the scene before Elmo slinks down inside his box after getting Williams’ name wrong, which causes his human co-star to take his stick and leave.

The little blooper reel is so cute and pure that it makes you feel good for a few minutes. For an additional boost of serotonin, check out this other (perfectly executed) clip about conflict that Williams did with the two-headed monster. He certainly had a way of engaging his audience, so it makes sense that even after all of these years, he's still greatly missed.

This article originally appeared on 08.21.18


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