2012 was a leap year which began on a Sunday and is ending on a Monday. Despite patches of believers, 2012 did not bring with it the end of the world, but did change numerous lives with several natural disasters. Hurricane Sandy was certainly one of 2012’s most notable disasters. Hurricane Sandy left 125 people in the United States and 71 people in the Caribbean dead, and inflicted in excess of 60 billion in damage.
Hurricane Sandy was one of many extreme storms of the year. In addition to Sandy, Hurricane Isaac flooded a great deal of Braithwaite, Louisiana. Typhoon Bopha, Hurricane Ernesto, earthquakes in the Philippines and Afghanistan, and the Pakistan Avalanche also took 2012 by surprise. As lives were turned up side down and communities destroyed, the weather kept pushing.
The U.S. saw an incredible drought which impacted farmers across the nation. With what may turn out to be the hottest year on record, 2012 brought extreme wildfires throughout the American West, heavily impacting Duck Lake Michigan, Arizona, Washington State, Colorado, and New Mexico. While the final results are not quite in, the National Climatic Data Center reported that the first 8 months of 2012 were the hottest ever recorded in the United States.
Weather aside, citizens of earth witnessed the Mars Science Laboratory’s rover land on Mars. We also saw Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner break the sound barrier without any machine assistance, the summer Olympics in London, the reelection of Barack Obama as the president of the United States, the death of tech mogul Steve Jobs, the extinction of the Pinta Island Tortoise, the century’s second and last solar transit of Venus, the discovery of a new particle consistent with the Higgs boson, and the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
Festivities aside, the world saw governments worldwide turn upside down. Eurozone ministers of finance provided a 130-billion bailout, the Arab Spring, terrorist attacks directed at the United States abroad, the worst power outage in the history of the world in India, increased fighting between Israel and Palestine, Iran suspending exports to Brittan and France following sanctions, and the EU adopting an embargo against Iran for their efforts to enrich uranium.
According to AAA, the United States saw a regular gallon of gasoline hit $3.60 in 2012. The U.S. public heard excuses such as refinery shutdowns, Middle East tensions, and hurricanes. However, according to thinkprogress.org, BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil, and Shell made a combined profit of $62.2 billion, $341 million per day, and $236,00 per minute. While providing numerous excuses to the world population, ExxonMobil saw a 67% profit increase and Chevron saw an 11% increase in profit. Pain at the pump means extreme profits for a few.
With 2012 full of shock, awe, wonder and amazement, one thing is for sure, it is complete. With one ending we are presented with a new beginning. 2013 is sure to be a year the world will remember. The citizens of the globe are beginning to realize the power the people hold. As populations witness their governments crumble and change overnight, the average citizens are demanding equality and fairness for the masses.
2013 will require a new level of compassion and understanding if we are to move forward. The world as a whole is lacking a definiteness of purpose. We face rising fuel prices, changing weather, growing mental health issues among the people, infrastructure needs, over medication, environmental destruction, and the list goes on. We live in a society that desperately needs an overhaul, however, no one has the time. With busy lives, cell phones always on, and demanding jobs, our lives are packed. We need a breath!
So here is to the end of 2012 and the welcoming of 2013. We give thanks for allowing us to witness another year. We pray for the strength to tackle the many and growing needs of the people in the coming year. We pray for our breath! Change is on the horizon and the most natural thing in the world. Isaac Asimov said it best: “The only constant is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be”.
Be safe tonight while you welcome in the new year! Happy new year.