What surprised you in 2012? Let's review some of the major world events, listing by month, using Wikipedia's calendar of notable events.
January - new negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program
February - Eurozone agreement on Greece bailout
March - Encyclopedia Britannica ends its print edition
April - North Korea launches a missile
May - The painting, 'The Scream', sells for $120M
June - The century's second and last solar transit of Venus occurs
July - CERN announces the discovery of the Higgs boson
August - The Mars Science Laboratory, Curiosity, lands on the planet
September - Terrorist attacks launched against the US, possibly because of the YouTube video
October - Hurricane Sandy devastates the Northeast
November - President Obama wins reelection
December - No agreement on the UN Climate Change proposals
Mmm. It was a really long presidential election campaign. I'm glad we must only endure it every four years. We lost a lot of notable and good people this year.
But maybe the one event that surprised me the most was the performance-enhancing evidence presented against Lance Armstrong. I really wanted to believe he was that good. A longer-developing surprise was the change in US energy dependence. Although the oil shale and gas are fossil fuels and create a future problem, it leaves the nation in position to fight the battle another day without ransoming its future to energy exporting nations.
Today on New Year's eve, we traditionally look backward. But like leaving a place we never wish to return in the rearview mirror, we also look forward. Maybe this is the year we can achieve traction on reducing greenhouse gases. Maybe we can correct the world's economy and produce the jobs that so many desperately need for economic and psychological well-being.
No doubt I should have mentioned something else. However, I wish you and your family a Happy New Year!