The 2010s: A decade of Crises
Not only the year is about to come to an end, but also the current decade. It felt like 2009 was just yesterday, but no: that was already 10 years ago. If I have to describe the decade in one word (from my very European perspective), it would be crisis: right at the start of the decade started, the financial crisis of 2007/08 was still very present and turned into an economic crisis which had an impact on real-world economics. The financial crisis also was the kick-off for the Euro Crisis (European debt crisis) and especially the Greek crisis (Greek government-debt crisis). Crises regarding economical matters were the most prevalent ones during the first half of the decade, in 2015 another crisis emerged: the refugee crisis (European migrant crisis), once this crisis disappeared from the news cycle, a new one was on the horizon: the climate crisis (technically speaking not a new crisis, but it got a lot of attention since 2018).
The sad thing about all these crises is, that none of them is actually resolved: even though the financial crisis started back in 2007, we still can see its effects: interest rates are very low and a lot of money is "printed", yet economic growth (what they were hoping for) only happened hesitantly. Also, those policies rather help people who are wealthy in the first place, common people tend to be on the losing side.
About refugees: even though it is not that present in the media as it was four years ago, the situation in the countries, where the people are fleeing from did not really improve either, so a lot of people there is still more than just tempted to leave.
Regarding the climate: it got a lot of attention, there is a lot of talk, but real, impactful actions are rare (actions which are more than just symbolic gestures).
What will the next decade bring? I have no idea, but I know, that in case of an economic downturn, the climate will benefit. This has of course a lot of bad implications for a lot of people and it won't magically fix all climate related problems, but it will be at least something. There is no magical solution for any kind of problem, every solution has its pros and cons.
But enough of the big picture, personally it was quite a good decade for me :) The finish of the decade (aka 2019) wasn't the best, but overall I have to say, that I liked it very much. I started the decade as a student and I'm still a student now. At first glance, not much changed, but ten years ago, I was a bachelor student, now I'm a PhD student. Also, besides studying, I was also working different jobs and managed to finish three different degrees, that's pretty cool :) I have the feeling, that I grew a lot as person, unfortunately, I also grew a lot in terms of girth.
Anyway, I'm curious, how we will look back at this decade in a couple of years from now.