Yet while the rest of the world has been incredibly disturbed by our manufactured crisis, people have also been worried about the very real crisis threatening us all. The verdict is in (yet again). And yes, we've been found guilty of responding too slowly to the growing threat of climate change.
The world's leading climate scientists, who have been meeting in all-night sessions this week in the Swedish capital, said there was no longer room for doubt that climate change was occurring, and the dominant cause has been human actions in pouring greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
In their starkest warning yet, following nearly seven years of new research on the climate, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said it was "unequivocal" and that even if the world begins to moderate greenhouse gas emissions, warming is likely to cross the critical threshold of 2C by the end of this century. That would have serious consequences, including sea level rises, heatwaves and changes to rainfall meaning dry regions get less and already wet areas receive more.
In response to the report, the US secretary of state, John Kerry, said in a statement: "This is yet another wakeup call: those who deny the science or choose excuses over action are playing with fire."
"Once again, the science grows clearer, the case grows more compelling, and the costs of inaction grow beyond anything that anyone with conscience or commonsense should be willing to even contemplate," he said.
He said that livelihoods around the world would be impacted. "With those stakes, the response must be all hands on deck. It's not about one country making a demand of another. It's the science itself, demanding action from all of us. The United States is deeply committed to leading on climate change."
Fortunately for everyone, President Obama has committed to executive action to reduce carbon emissions. Unfortunately for everyone, neither he nor anyone else can count on Congress to cooperate and pledge further action on the greatest global security threat of our time. Rather, the 21st Century Know Nothings in Congress are committed to denying reality and guaranteeing climate catastrophe.
What the 21st Century Know Nothings fail to realize is that a climate catastrophe is also an economic catastrophe. And it's not just the usual "dirty f*cking hippies" saying this. Even the former World Bank Chief Economist and (Republican) Former US Treasury Secretary are sounding the alarms.
The science is increasingly undeniable. So is the danger that lies ahead if we fail to act. But what about the opportunities of taking action?
Here in Nevada, we're already seeing the benefits of investment in renewable energy. And next door in California, they're reaping the rewards of vigorous investment in renewable energy. So why can't the entire nation turn this dangerous crisis into a momentous carpe diem moment?
Instead of being counterproductive and forcing manufactured crises upon the world, we should focus on solving the real crisis heading our way. We can't afford to allow stupidi-TEA get in the way of building a brighter economic future while also solving the climate crisis.