2017: The year of Controversy
2017 has been quite the buzz when it comes to environment related issues and many controversial events.
Let's just rush through with some facts;
- January 1st was the 3rd warmest on record (NASA)
- Chinese government decides to roll back plans on over 100 coal power plants
- Production of the much-hyped Tesla Model 3 begins and plans for the Semi-trailer truck were revealed
- Tesla builds solar farm in Kauai Island, Hawaii and back up battery system in South Australia
- Worst Hurricane season with 3+ Category 4 Hurricanes
It's being a mixed year with quite the number of complicated controversies going on. But for now let's talk about the bomb that was dropped in August.
"Tiny, tiny amount", the words said by President Donald Trump about how much the Paris Agreement aims to reduce global temperatures. Limiting temperature rise comes in stages and in each stage we make our goal more ambitious, with the final target being keeping temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Unfortunately, we can't do much if USA would pull out of the Paris Agreement. Some say it's a good thing because that way, the USA won't influence the pledges of other nations, and will not block or oppose any resolution that would be passed in regards to climate change. But fear not, as many states in USA refused to back down from the Paris Agreement and would continue to meet the goals.
We must never forget that this was the year of the rise of populist movements in several European countries and of course, the USA. These populists shared the same dangerous views... Anti-EU sentiment, racist anti-Islamic sentiments and of course, strict immigration laws. The champions of this movement being; Marine Le Pen of the NAtional Front, France, Geert Wilders of the Party for Freedom the Netherlands, Alexander Gauland and formerly Frauke Petry of the AfD, Germany. Thankfully, for the time being at least, none of these people came into power and the EU will live to fight another day. However, these elections have shown us how much instability plagues this region and more importantly, it has shown me, an Asian student, how much racism is rampant in some regions and how sly politicians like the aforementioned ones are using fear mongering as a fast way to farm votes from the populace.
On the topic of controversies (and the fact that YouTube has always being a huge part of my life), I just couldn’t resist talking about YouTube’s biggest drama in 2017; Pewdiepie and of course Logan Paul.
Pewdiepie got backlash from Wall Street Journal thanks due to anti-semetic jokes (jokes which he admitted he took too far and apologized for) and Nazi jokes taken out of context. This led YouTube to cancel his Premium show and Disney to sever ties with him. In response he came up with the biggest internet troll which was promising to delete his channel once it hit 50million subscribers. At the end of the year Logan Paul released a more controversial vlog of him and a few friends in the Aokigahara Forest of Japan, aka the “suicide forest”. He came face to face with a body of a hanged man and went on with the vlog showing closes up of the body and his deranged reaction to it, making some comments which were inappropriate. Although this video has being met which such harsh criticism, I have to say the he DID talk about the problems with suicide and he DID mention that suicide and depression is a serious issue and that people must seek help and advice and talk to their friends and family. So I believe that the public was a bit too harsh on him.
Nevertheless, amid all this chaos, there's one photograph that truly symbolises what I'd call the "True Essence" of what 2017 was to me. It was an year I started a new life in the Netherlands and I started studying Global Sustainability Science, so for me, the theme of this year would be “Sustainability” and no picture could tell the story better than this.
This is the former US Secretary of State John Kerry signing the book for Paris Agreement while holding on to his granddaughter; the perfect image capturing the responsibility of the current generation of policy makers and politicians to safeguard the ability of the future generations to live a comfortable life and to protect this home we call Earth, for us and people who will take over afterwards.
- Cheers from Droovi de Zilva