Welcome to 2009......and the world, as we know, changing, perhaps for good.
Climate control is seemingly on the back burner - certainly as far as the media is generally concerned - as the world grapples with conflicts all over the globe and the economic crisis engulfing so many countries.
Reuters reports [as republished on CommonDreams] on yet another threat to our environment:
"Climate change and rising sea levels pose one of the biggest threats to security in the Pacific and may also spark a global conflict over energy reserves under melting Arctic ice, according to Australia's military.
A confidential security review by Australia's Defense Force, completed in 2007 but obtained in summary by the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, said environmental stress had increased the risk of conflicts in the Pacific over resources and food.
But the biggest threat of global conflict currently lay beneath the Arctic as melting icecaps gave rise to an international race for undersea oil and gas deposits, it said.
"Environmental stress, caused by both climate change and a range of other factors, will act as a threat multiplier in fragile states around the world, increasing the chances of state failure," said the summary, published in the Herald on Wednesday.
"The Arctic is melting, potentially making the extraction of undersea energy deposits commercially viable. Conflict is a remote possibility if these disputes are not resolved peacefully," the assessment said."