Montreal Radio Blog

Friday, December 31, 2010

Good Riddance, 2010

As 2010 draws to a close, it’s interesting to look back at predictions that were made at the end of last year. It seems that almost all the big news items of 2010 were unforeseen. Sure, some of the most memorable events are often bad ones, and a lot of them are the result of disasters beyond our control. Earthquakes and tsunamis fall within that category. It’s amazing how life can be forever transformed by something that came out of nowhere and lasted only a few minutes.

Emergency planning is usually lacking in far too many instances. Just look at what happened in Europe recently, as a dozen centimetres of snow shut down airports and caused total chaos. Things like that could very well be avoided. Then there is the other end of the spectrum, when “experts” go overboard in their apocalyptic predictions and preparations.

It is no secret that the attention span of western societies is pretty short. No matter how horrible the disaster, few will literally change the world and the way we see it. In other words, an event must have a direct impact on our lives in order for it to remain on the radar. 9/11 was probably the last such Earth-shattering occurrence.

In 2010, there were two news stories that blanketed the media for long periods of time. The earthquake in Haiti and the Gulf oil spill. For a while it seemed that there was nothing else happening. But as it goes, both eventually became yesterday’s news…

It seems the situation in Haiti has not improved much since the quake hit almost a year ago, but with some exceptions, we don’t hear too much about it now. Likewise, as disastrous as the Gulf oil spill was supposed to have been, it too isn’t talked about that much anymore. Either there has been a miraculous environmental recovery, or it just isn’t as interesting to look at live shots of a capped well. Has anything been learned from those two events and how the world responded to them? Maybe. Will anything change as a result? Probably not. Most policies are reactionary not visionary.

So take note of some of the predictions that are being made about the year 2011. There is little doubt that some of the biggest news stories of the coming year will be things nobody saw coming - even if they should have. As for 2010, it wasn't that great...

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