New Year, Bad News

Welcome to 2020! A brand new decade that will hopefully be filled with progress and fulfillment. However, if you’ve taken a glance at the headlines so far you may be a little pessimistic. Australia is burning and some are saying we are on the brink of World War 3...sort of a downer. A glance at the news or social media may have you feeling devastated and nervous for the rest of 2020. Political tensions are on the rise as the next U.S. Presidential Election draws closer and severe weather caused by climate change is wreaking havoc worldwide. It is times like these that we must band together and create positive change.

Let’s first take a look at the United States and Iran crisis. After years of wavering political alliances, the United States, under President Trump, ordered a drone strike that killed Iran’s top military commander, General Soleimani, on January 3rd. The media immediately jumped to theories of war and nuclear attacks, none of which have been confirmed. It is important to keep updated on the situation, but not make assumptions that may cause widespread fear and panic. Additionally, a lot of people took to social media to discuss their own opinions, fears, and even memes regarding the topic. While it is certainly everyone’s right to freely use their voice, some have expressed concerns about the negative discussion surrounding both U.S. military personnel and the Iranian people. I believe that social media can be a good news source, however, when bad news is met with hate speech and disregard for the lives and feelings of others, it can be a very complicated and ugly platform. Instead of tearing down a person or group of people, especially without having all of the information, social media could be used for support and comfort in these troubling times. Hopefully this year we can work towards a more positive and peaceful world.

In regards to the Australian wildfires, they have been covered all over the news, but people are still not satisfied by the action actually being taken. Wildfires are common in Australia’s dry summer season, however with more intense droughts and higher temperatures, wildfires are becoming even more common and more deadly. So far at least 28 people have died from the fires and many more have been displaced as the flames engulf entire neighborhoods. Approximately half a billion animals have been affected and many are at risk of extinction. The good news is that many organizations and people have donated to help combat the blazes. Social media has helped spread the news and inspire people to think of creative ways to help. These fires have brought attention to the need for more drastic efforts against climate change and global action to help others in an unfortunate situation.

While these are just two of the biggest news stories so far this year, there are plenty of others to look into. Although devastation and misfortune tend to make the major headlines, there have also been many positive stories this year. Many cities are developing more free public transport to combat inequality, more young people are getting involved in politics, and airlines are going carbon-neutral. Knowing what is going on in the world is important so try and make an effort to seek out more news in the future, whether it be on television, in a newspaper, or scrolling on social media. Learn the facts and get involved in a beneficial way. Here's to more positive news this year!

 

For victim relief and recovery, you can donate to Australian Red Cross, Salvation Army Australia, the NSW Rural Fire Service, and the St. Vincent de Paul Society Australia.

To help the animals and wildlife rescue and treatment groups you can donate to WIRES, the Port Macquarie Koala Hospital, and Currumbin Wildlife Hospital.