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Rim Fire California
Image: U.S. Department of Agriculture – Public Domain

A lengthy but entertaining ride. - Ed.

I watch NBC Nightly News regularly to get a sense of what version of our world a slice of America is regularly offered. In recent weeks, most of those newscasts -- which usually begin with Lester Holt exclaiming, “Breaking news tonight!” -- led with unprecedented rainfall, possibly historic flooding, and record numbers of tornadoes across the Midwest; in other words, a staggering version of extreme weather. One thing struck me, though. There was no discussion -- never even a mention -- of global warming.

Now, it’s true, at least when it comes to those 500 tornadoes in a month, that the link to climate change is still being established. But not a word? Not a peep? Not a bit of thoughtful commentary or reportage or speculation on our obviously changing planet? You know, the one that could lose not just Shanghai, Rio de Janeiro, Miami, and the north China plain, but so much else in the decades to come. According to a new report from a reputable Australian think tank, global warming might have a shot at ending human civilization as we know it, starting as early as 2050. And yet the subject, the gravest (in every sense) in human history, stands no chance whatsoever against the endless reportage on Donald Trump’s every twitch. It’s a goner (even though we’re talking about what could, sooner or later, make us all goners). Isn’t that extraordinary, as humanity pours ever more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere?

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