For the doom merchants amongst us, 2004 showed its fearsome teeth in a cracking start before it was even 10 days old.
On 7 January a report in the journal Nature said climate change could speed a million land-based species towards extinction within the next 50 years.
The next day the Worldwatch Institute declared modern lifestyles were bad for us and unsustainable for the planet.
The UK Government's chief scientist now says climate change is a far worse danger than international terrorism.
A triple onslaught like that defies anyone to head into the new year feeling even slightly positive about the human condition.
Yet life goes on, and most of us worry more about paying the Christmas bills than about a world bereft of a quarter of its animals and plants.
SEE FULL TEXT