The Big Eye has shown us and told us as much: floods, famine, tropical storms, earthquakes, tsunamis - some of them natural, others man-made, affected by our shoddy treatment of the planet. Ice caps are melting, sea levels rising, and Australia is on fire.
It's climate change, the greenhouse effect, depletion of the ozone, too many cars, too much industry.
I have a friend with property on Georgian Bay in Ontario who says he has 20 to 30 feet more shoreline and can no longer get his boat in the water. It's to make you weep.
There is also man's inhumanity to man: war, disease, murder, rape, torture, poverty, hell in a hand basket - that's the train we're taking.
Not to despair, there is hope; there is hockey on the horizon.
Our heroes have returned from their own war of avarice and high-end hotel rooms, and it is behind their well-muscled backs and their $1,000 suits that we will skate into a better, brighter, more expensive future.
There will be obstacles to overcome in a shortened season, an alienated fan base primary among them, and Brian Burke's raving diatribe following the loss of his job with the Leafs.
There is only room for one opinionated, big mouth in the league, and that's Don Cherry.
But in the end, games will be played, beer consumed, merchandise bought, and Roberto Luongo will get a job somewhere.
But what of the fans? How are they to be placated? Some, of course, feel no enmity toward the league and the players.
They missed the game so much they will welcome it back under any circumstances, including the neglect of their household chores and the deterioration of their marriages, just when they were starting to talk to their spouses again.
These people have no shame, they need their fix and they're willing to spend the kids' college money to get it.
Others want a little something back, a show of remorse and redemption from the greedy players. So here, for free, is a list of steps hockey might take to win back the fans:
1) Canuck players can invite a fan and his family to dinner at their palatial home in Point Grey, where you will watch old games on a 108-inch screen and play table hockey with your hero - who will send you home with an autographed copy of his contract.
2) Sponsor a low-income child who wants to play hockey but can't afford the new gear and has to shop secondhand. Buy the kid some equipment and pay for his registration and then promise to show up for some of his games. Maybe tell him he could be an NHL prospect sometime, if he gets rid of the front teeth and the big vocabulary.
3) Go into schools and talk about the love of the game as your primary motivation. Tell them money isn't happiness and that a million bucks a year is nothing if you can't score off a breakaway or punch the crap out of an opponent.
Then when they all laugh at this observation, give each of them $20, which should cover two beers and a hotdog at the game.
4) Burke and Luongo can take their act on the road - going to comedy clubs and festivals - telling funny stories about their careers. Burke plays the Angry Irish Guy and Roberto the Dumb Italian Sidekick in an Abbott and Costello takeoff: Who's in goal, What's in the manager's box, etc.
5) Gary Bettman can leave the game and enter a career in politics with the Conservative party and an eye to becoming prime minister.
Hockey's a lot like politics and the government's relationship with the electorate. There are a few people at the top with fat salaries and great pensions, and then there's the rest of us, paying taxes and exorbitant parking fees and drinking beer.
@ Copyright 2013