Mark today in your calendars because USA Today‘s headline just made it official: "The debate’s over: Globe is warming." My first reaction was astonishment. I kept scanning their website for other up-to-the-minute revelations. What’s next? Are the Beatles really about to break-up? Is the Berlin Wall really going to come down?

But my second reaction was more optimistic — and less sarcastic. I shouldn’t scoff at USA Today‘s belated recognition as much as I should marvel that a tipping point is happening right before our eyes. The real news here is not that the debate is over — it’s been over, of course, for quite some time — but that USA Today and other media like it have finally awarded a TKO to climate scientists and greens.

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As it turns out, USA Today’s conviction is because big corporations, utilities, Republican governors, and even religious groups are now demanding action on climate change. There really is increasingly broad-based recognition of the problem. Still, it’s more than a little annoying that media evaluate critical issues based not on the overwhelming scientific evidence, but rather on the proclamations of Arnold and a few CEOs.

But on the other hand, if even USA Today says there’s a consensus on climate change, then we’re just about to arrive in a brave new world where we can actually begin to do something about it on a large and systemic level. Hold on to your hats: next week we’ll find out that burning gasoline warms the atmosphere through something called the "greenhouse effect" …

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