What was the biggest event of 2012? Was it the Queen Elisabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee celebration, the London Olympic Games, or Hurricane Sandy? Or was it something else?
In a year where the world’s population reached 7.058 billion, Gregorian Year MMXII has revealed no less hype, drama and tragedy than we’re used to seeing. Perhaps in terms of enormity the following ten events can be considered (in reverse ‘countdown’ order of importance) the biggest, most memorable:
NUMBER TEN – Mars Science Laboratory “Curiosity” Lands
The landing of the Mars rover, “Curiosity,” was hailed as expert. Curiosity’s job is to study the habitability of the red planet. The Mars Science Laboratory, a robotic space probe mission, landed the 6-wheeled rover successfully on the planet’s surface with incredible precision.
NUMBER NINE – Extreme Weather Events “Sandy” & “Bopha”
Every year features catastrophic weather events, and Hurricane Sandy (October 24–30) and Typhoon Bopha (November 25–December 2 [Philippines]) both leave tales of destruction in their wake. Although the scale of devastation is much smaller than the tsunamis of 2004 and 2011, great human loss, property and environmental damage results.
NUMBER EIGHT – Discovery of Smallest Particle of Matter
After maintaining antihydrogen for over 15 minutes in 2011, the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) makes a discovery on July 4 of a “boson” (smallest particles of matter ever known) consistent with the Higgs Boson—the so-called “God particle” as nicknamed by the mainstream media. This is a major breakthrough in the physical sciences.
NUMBER SEVEN – Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II
After 60 years presiding as Head of the Commonwealth, Queen Elisabeth II celebrates with her subjects on February 6 after ascending to the throne of the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Ceylon and Pakistan on February 6, 1952. Since that time that South Africa, Ceylon (now Sri Lanka) and Pakistan have split away from the Commonwealth of Nations. Queen Elizabeth II’s reign is second only to Queen Victoria’s (63 years).
NUMBER SIX – Felix Baumgartner’s Record 24-Mile-High Skydive
On October 14, Austrian skydiver, Felix Baumgartner, it is the first person to break the sound barrier without machine assistance when he dives from a helium-filled balloon 39 km above New Mexico. Many records are smashed in the process, in a feat of incredible human skill and bravery.
NUMBER FIVE – Response to Innocence of Muslims YouTube Trailer
Beginning on September 11 and ending about September 29, worldwide riots, protests, arson attacks and demonstrations take place by Muslims who consider the film to be blasphemous. At least 75 people were killed and nearly 700 were injured. In Libya, this included the death of United States Ambassador to Libya, J. Christopher Stevens.
NUMBER FOUR – North Korea Launches Ill-Fated Observation Satellite
In what is condemned by the United States and other countries as a violation of the United Nations Security Council demands, North Korea launches an observation satellite, Kwangmyǒngsǒng-3, on April 13, which many think is a veiled missile launch.
NUMBER THREE – Greek Government Debt Crisis Continues
An agreement on a second €130 billion Greek bailout is brokered on February 21. The Euro debt crisis continues and much of the world waits in anticipation of further global fiscal instability as a result. (Added to this is the US-own Fiscal Cliff crisis in December 2012.)
NUMBER TWO – Israel and Palestine Tensions Rise
The volatility between these two states continues when, on November 14-21, Israel launches Operation Pillar of Defense against Gaza Strip, killing the Hamas military chief, Ahmed Jabari. A short ceasefire is negotiated, but tensions continue to threaten.
NUMBER ONE – Kyoto Protocol Ends
As of December 31, the Kyoto Protocol—the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change—ends. This protocol was adopted on December 11, 1997. Given the irrefutable science, world leaders are now faced with negotiating a new binding agreement to endeavour to slow down the effects of global warming.
Links to my analyses of 2011, 2010 and 2009 can be found here:
© 2012 S. J. Wickham.
Acknowledgement: source information from various pages on Wikipedia.
Graphic Source: Wikipedia. Photograph of the Kyoto Protocol member countries.