September 25, 2020

JackParkinsonBY JACK PARKINSON

When historians look back at 2014 they will find a year of hardship and almost unimaginable human loss. But they will also find a year of endurance.

There is no mincing words: a lot of bad things happened in 2014. As early as February, the Ebola outbreak was rearing its head, and the crisis in Ukraine was starting. Although in its infancy, the deep-seated divide in the European country culminated in the annexation of the Crimean peninsula by Russia.

Moving into March, the situation only worsened as Russia was suspended from the G8 for its actions, and Malaysia Airlines flight 370 disappeared over the Indian ocean on a routine flight and likely crashed, never to be found. Another flight overseen by that company was shot down over Ukraine. Hundreds of lives were lost between the two flights.

In April, approximately 276 girls were abducted from a school in Nigeria and are still being held hostage, and the Korean ferry MV Sewol capsized after cargo shifted during transit, killing more than 290 people.

In May the World Health Organization announced the spread of polio in at least 10 countries, June saw ISIS begin their campaign in northern Iraq, and in July Israel launched numerous missile strikes on the Gaza Strip.

The world stage was mostly quiet from August until November, although the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the final part of its fifth assessment report, warning everyone that the world faces “severe, pervasive and irreversible” damage from climate change.

But in the midst of all this negative news there were rays of hope. One of them was the spacecraft Philae landing on a comet nucleus this November, more than 10 years after its initial launch – the first time in history such an event has occurred.

Looking at the months that preceded that scientific breakthrough, you might feel inclined to write it off. But in trying times like 2014 every speck of optimism and progress should be cherished. We can look at the success of the Philae mission not only as a success in its own right, but as a success for the human race.

We will survive. We will always shoot for the stars.

The views herein represent the position of the newspaper, not necessarily the author.

 

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