2015 as a collective whole, was one of the most important years in the history of our species.
2015 as a collective whole, was one of the most important years in the history of our species. This year we hit some major milestones for humanity— starting movements among the masses, and touching a distant point in our solar system that we had never seen quite this way before. This year, like every year, we faced the trials and tribulations of living on Earth. We faced the endeavors of evolution. Together, we have made great strides in our efforts towards peace globally— in racism, violence, oppression, segregation, and equality. We are in a transition period in the history of our species. In some regards, this year was not a year riddled with scientific breakthroughs that would forever change us; but, the paths that we have been marching along will continue to grow, longer and longer, throughout the years, until humanity finds itself in a brand new world— one where we function as a whole species, collectively searching for more, out among the stars.
But I digress.
INTERNATIONAL NOTEWORTHY EVENTS
May 2 – “The Fight of the Century:” A fight we were all waiting for; and, Floyd Mayweather remains undefeated, taking a unanimous point victory over Manny Pacquiao.
May 9 – After more than a year since outbreak, the World Health Organization (WHO) declares the outbreak of the Ebola epidemic in Liberia, over.
June 26 – The Supreme Court rules 5-4 in favor of same sex marriage, making it legal in all 50 states. Married same-sex couples will now enjoy the same legal rights and benefits as married heterosexual couples and will be recognized on official documents such as birth and death certificates.
June 17 – Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced that a woman’s portrait will be added to the $10 bill starting in 2020. America: Acknowledging that women are important too, since 2015.
July 14 – A deal is reached to substantially limit Iran’s nuclear weapons program. In exchange, various international sanctions on Iran will be loosened.
July 14 – NASA’s New Horizon spacecraft passes Pluto for the first time. It sends back enough data that it will take months to download.
The images it sent back this year are stunning. Pluto is really, really strange: It has water ice mountains as tall as the Rockies; smooth plains of frozen nitrogen; a weird series of pits dotting its surface like pores; a heart-shaped region 1,000 kilometers across; and, perhaps oddest of all, blue skies. Its moons are no less bizarre; Charon is half the size of Pluto itself, assembled like a Frankensteinian patchwork, and has a huge red blotch (nicknamed Mordor) at its north pole.
July 20 – USA and Cuba talked it out, and have officially re-establish diplomatic relations after a whopping 54 years.
July 31 – Beijing, China is chosen to host of the 2022 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. In 120 years of the modern Olympic games, this will make Beijing to host the Summer and Winter games.
September 22-28 – Pope Francis visits the united states and is only the fourth head of the church to do that since 1965. While in the United States, the Pope spoke at a joint meeting of Congress, addressed the U.N. General Assembly in NY, held Mass in Madison Square Garden, and… attended a festival of families in Philadelphia.
November 6 – President Obama rejects the request from a Canadian company to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline. For seven years this has served as a thorn in the review of Obama’s climate change policies. President Obama is hunting down that climate change legacy. His denial of the proposed 1,179-mile pipeline, which would have carried 800,000 barrels a day of oil from the Canadian oil sands to the Gulf Coast, only served to polish that legacy. America has become a leader in climate change, and Obama is intending to lead the way.
December 12 – A landmark climate change agreement is approved in Paris at the 21st Conference of Parties, or COP21. 195-countries agreed to this climate change plan. The agreement isn’t enough to stop climate change alone, even with the help of all 195 countries, but it sires in a new era of global unity that will definitely serve to bring the wealthy and poor countries closer together.
December 21 – Democratic Presidential Candidate, Bernie Sanders goes after the DNC after they suspend his voter data access due to a breach in their own security. Whether or not the DNC tried to sabotage Sander’s campaign is still under speculation; but, Bernie will be suing them. Sanders is convinced that he is being subjected to a “blackout” campaign. “A recent report finds the flagship news programs at major networks NBC, CBS and ABC have dedicated 234 minutes this year to stories about Donald Trump—compared to just 10 minutes for Sanders. We are joined by Symone Sanders, national press secretary for the Bernie Sanders campaign.”
AROUND THE WORLD IN VIOLENCE
In order to stamp out evil, we must remove that which gives it power, and as power comes from more than one place, the only true action we can take is to discredit those who have wronged us. No villain shall be remembered in history by his or her name. There will be no legacy of hatred and violence. No songs sung of the virulent in our race. If you strike against the goodwill and nature of humanity, you will be dealt with and then forgotten.
January 7 – Two gunmen, attack the Paris offices of the French magazine Charlie Hebdo, wounding 11 and killing 12. The gunmen attack Charlie Hebdo in order to punish the magazine for the publication of cartoons that mocked the Prophet Mohammad. Later on January 9, the shooters are shot and killed in a standoff with police in Dammartin-en-Goele, France.
January 9 – A gunman, associated with the Charlie Hebdo gunman, attacks a Jewish grocery store in Paris taking more than a dozen people hostage and killing four. The gunman also shot and killed a policewoman just the day before. Later that even the gunman is killed when police storm the market.
April 2 – Four masked gunmen attack Garissa University College in eastern Kenya— killing 147 people and injuring 104. Al-Shabaab , a Somalia based militant group, reports that they were responsible for the attack.
April 27 – After Freddie Gray’s funeral, once peaceful protests become violent riots in Baltimore, Maryland.
June 17 – Another gunman, 21, shoots and kills 9 people at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, in Charleston, South Carolina.
July 16 – In Chattanooga, Tennessee, another gunman opens fire at a military recruitment center. Seven miles away, the gunman then opens fire at a naval reserve facility. In total, five people are killed. The gunman is shot and killed by police in a gunfight shortly after.
September – During the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudia Arabia, a stampede kills more than 700 people and injures nearly 900 more. It happened during an even known locally as ‘stoning the devil.’
October 1 – Gunman shoots and kills nine people, injuring another nine, at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. The gunman then commits suicide after having a shootout with officers.
November 13 – Three separate teams of gun-wielding ISIS suicide bombers attack six locations around Paris, killing 130 people and wounding hundreds more.
December 2 – Two Gunman open fire on a holiday party taking place at Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, killing 14 people.
When the oil industry is BOOMing…
On January 14, Three Prong Road in Mississippi had a natural gas pipeline explode. Nearby houses told authorities that their windows rattled. Smoke plume visible by satellite.
On January 17, Montana pipeline ruptured and spilled 50,400 gallons of oil into the Yellowstone River, contaminating the nearby Glendive drinking water with a cancer-causing benzene.
On January 22, the media was alerted to a spill that actually began on January 6 in Williams County, North Dakota. A pipeline was “breached” and spilled over three million gallons of brine – the salty wastewater byproduct of hydraulic fracking – into two individual creeks outside Williston.
On January 23, a tanker overturned on West Virginia’s Route 92 and spilled 3,975 gallons of diesel into Anthony Creek. All 12,000 residents of Lewisburg were without water.
And on January 26, a gas pipeline in Brooke County, West Virginia exploded into a massive ball of flame.
April 1 – California Governor Jerry Brown implements mandatory water restrictions. The state’s historic drought worsened to its lowest point ever. The four year drought is ongoing.
April 25 – A 7.8-magnitude earthquake strikes Nepal, near Kathmandu, killing more than 8,000 people and injuring 17,866.
May 12 – A second 7.3-magnitude earthquake strikes the country.
August 5 – The Animas River in Colorado turns orange after millions of gallons of contaminated water poured out of an abandoned mine. The accident occurred when EPA officials tried to safely pump and treat the toxic water.
August 12 – Huge explosions occur at a warehouse in Tianjin, China, killing over a hundred people and injuring more than 700.
NOTABLE DEATHS IN 2015
Mario Cuomo – January 1
Donna Douglas – January 1
Stuart Scott – January 4
Rod Taylor – January 7
Anita Ekberg – January 11
Adam Gadahn – January 19
King Abdullah – January 22
Colleen McCullough – January 29
Rod McKuen – January 29
Sam Simon – March 8
Dean Smith – February 7
Bob Simon – February 11
Ben Woolf – February 23
Leonard Nimoy – February 27
Sir Terry Pratchett – March 12
Lee Kuan Yew – March 23
Cynthia Lennon – April 1
Mary Doyle Keefe – April 22
Jayne Meadows – April 26
Ben E. King – April 30
B.B. King – May 14
Ann Meara – May 23
John F. Nash – May 23
Beau Biden – May 30
Christopher Lee – June 7
Dusty Rhodes – June 11
James Horner – June 22
Dick van Patten – June 23
Ken “the Snake” Stabler – July 8
Omar Sharif – July 10
Satoru Iwata – July 11
L. Doctorow – July 21
Bobbi Kristina Brown – July 26
Frank Gifford – August 9
Julian Bond – August 15
Wes Craven – August 30
Dean Jones – September 1
Moses Malone – September 13
Yogi Berra – September 22
Paul Prudhomme – October 8
Maureen O’Hara – October 24
Flip Saunders – October 25
Al Molinaro – October 30
Fred Thompson – November 1
Allen Toussaint – November 9
Scott Weiland – December 3
Robert Loggia – December 4
As 2015 comes to a close and we prepare for the next year, we must remember to carry with us the efforts of 2015. The future is always coming, one day, one breath, one word at a time.