Yet the news is all about a supposed fiscal "cliff," a totally artificial legal construct erected by Republicans hoping to extort Democrats into continuing to authorize reduced tax rates for the rich. There is little to no reporting about the real cliff, which is the climate change cliff.
The goal of limiting global heating to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius) is already dead, scientists are saying. It cannot be done. Now the best that can be hoped for is to stop it at 4 degrees Celsius. That's 7.2 degrees Fahrenheit of average global temperature rise. If we act decisively now, that dreaded change could be held off until around 2100. If we don't act, it could happen by 2060.
If you didn't know that, it's because it has not been front page news.
Why not? Because corporate America doesn't want you to think about that nightmare, and so the corporate media, which covets the advertising of corporate America, is obligingly keeping the story quiet.
Our politicians aren't even discussing the matter. There is no leadership here. It's all about gun rights, terrorist threats, taxes, entitlements and movie stars.
In the end, we Americans are all to blame. We continue to buy our cars, to drive alone in those cars to and from work every day, to over-heat our oversized homes in winter and to over-cool them in summer, to vote for politicians who won't trouble us with major issues and who will pander to our worst instincts. And we don't demand that our corporate media act responsibly and tell us what we need to know, and certainly also don't financially support those news organizations -- like this one -- that tell do tell us.
That's all good news for my palm tree, which at least in the short term will benefit from the warmer winters and balmier summers. I may have to water it to get it through dry spells in the summer, but otherwise, all in all, global warming should be good for a tree that would ordinarily prefer to be well south of the Mason Dixon line.
But it's not good news for the rest of us.