The Week’s Best Longreads: The Daily Beast Picks for March 3, 2012

From the GOP’s last chance to turn back America’s clock to the stunning success of Southwest Airlines, The Daily Beast picks the best journalism from around the Web this week.

03.03.12 5:00 AM ET

Why the Global Warming Skeptics Are Wrong
William D. Nordhaus, New York Review of Books

A scientist responds to climate change deniers who distorted his work.

2012 or Never
Jonathan Chait, New York

And if the GOP can’t win this one, what does that mean for its future? The real reasons behind the party’s existential panic.

Luv and War at 30,000 Feet
S.C. Gwynne, Texas Monthly

Since the late ’80s, every major airline in the country has gone bankrupt—except one. How on earth did scrappy, lovable, cut-rate Southwest hunt down its competition and emerge from all of the turbulence as the nation’s largest domestic carrier?

The Wrath of Putin
Masha Gessen, Vanity Fair

Mikhail Khodorkovsky was the richest man in Russia when he dared confront then president Vladimir Putin. As elections approach and demonstrators spill into the streets, Masha Gessen chronicles the clash of two titans, each of whom has badly underestimated the other.

Twitter, The Startup That Wouldn’t Die
Brad Stone, Businessweek

Twitter turns a corner.