Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year to my readers

It's the last day of the year, and I thought I'd take the time to wish all of my readers a happy new year. I hope you all have a great evening, and that 2010 will be a good year for you all.

On a personal plane, 2009 has been an uneventful year, with nothing extraordinary going on. Globally, the same cannot be said. 2009 was the year when we finally got rid of the Bush administration - Obama might not be everything we wished for, or even what he promised to be, but compared to what went before, he is a beacon of rationality and personal integrity.

As in any year, we lost some great people in the last people, among them one of my great heroes Norman Borlaug, but most of these had lived long and bountiful lives. Much worse were all the lives lost in violence and unnecessary wars, cut short before time - 2009 has been a bad year on that front, and hopefully 2010 will be better.

2009 was a year of science - celebrating both Darwin and Galileo, and Science did better than any other time during this decade - the Obama administration not only didn't wager war against science, they actually tried to listen to the scientists, and Obama even included a Nobel Prize physicist Steven Chu in the administration. Outside the US, science has always had it better, and this thankfully continued.

In 2009 anthropogenic global warming was a focus point of the world, and while COP15 didn't result in anything concrete, it gave a basis upon which future talks can be based upon. The most positive thing to come out of cop15 was, in my opinion, the fact that the US was an active participant in the negotiations. Something they haven't been before.

Of course, not everything which happened in 2009 was positive. Guantanamo still exists, filled with people held without trial. In Afghanistan, the Taliban has regained a lot of power, and as recent events show, Al-Qaeda and other radical groups are still out there. Inside the US, far-right terrorism has begun to reappear, with e.g. the murder of Doctor Tiller (another of my heroes who passed away in 2009) and the attack on the Holocaust Museum.

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