Given the steady accumulation of ominous news on climate change over the past year, it's actually surprising that the analysts at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists only moved their "doomsday clock" a single minute closer to the symbolic midnight point.

Even leaving aside the specific climatic impacts of a runaway greenhouse effect, there's no doubt that the coming century's droughts, wildfires, extreme weather and rising ocean levels will bring profound geopolitical consequences — resource wars and refugee crises, often in some of the world's most volatile areas.

And yet, the three major U.S. networks broadcast very few news stories about climate change during 2011. More time was given to celebrity weddings and the latest scandal du jour than to the most significant threat our species has faced in recorded history. Our collective failure to address this slow-motion catastrophe will have devastating consequences. Midnight is nigh.

Warren Senders

Medford, Mass.