As I sit here checking out my Facebook page and the BBC news it is hard to get away from the whole Donald Trump thing and the doom and gloom that surrounds his inauguration. As a staunch supporter of the environment I find myself terrified at the implications of a climate change denier running one of the world’s largest polluters, especially as he has filled his cabinet with fossil fuel executives and fellow deniers.
As more and more countries join the battle to try to stop climate change, including China and India, both traditionally countries with very bad records in terms of environmental damage and pollution, it felt like there was some hope and we might be able to turn the tide of environmental destruction and climate change. Much of Trump’s rhetoric has felt very protectionist and isolationist, suggesting an America that can just go it alone without any concern for the rest of the world. Whilst this may be fine for some things, when it comes to the environment and climate we are all interconnected and each country impacts the rest of the world. What Trump does in his Ivory Tower (or indeed any other world leader) has an impact on the death of our oceans and our global biodiversity.
So … this is all frightening and depressing. There also seems to be no way of getting away from all this doom and gloom as everywhere we look the world is talking about Trump. But wait … there is hope! There are people out there battling against the doom and gloom and offering a glimmer of a smile. There are people still sharing funny cat and dog videos! As I watch these I am able to take my mind off the potential disaster that looms. I also find that I do not have to log off the internet and become a digital hermit for the next days to years – there is more out there! In fact here are a couple of my favourite funny cat and dog videos to help in this fight against the doom and gloom:
Laughter aside the above does raise a really important point – how pervasive the internet has become and how global it has made us all. Whilst US presidential elections or large national disasters have always made the headlines, in the past we could just ignore or walk away by not watching TV or reading newspapers. The internet has now made that just that bit harder and it has also turned very national news stories into global stories. Whilst we are all watching the US presidential inauguration there are other national stories that are making global news, such as the Italian earthquake or the IS destruction of Palmyra. The internet has made our world that bit smaller and has made us aware of the impact of some national news has on the world as a whole. Frankly it can be overwhelming and depressing. All the more important therefore that we also share the happy and funny stories. Laughter is critical for our health and we need to balance the bad news with the good, the sad with the happy, and make sure that our internet activity also offers this balance. So go ahead and share that funny video! Bring some balance back into our internet viewing and make sure we continue to smile despite all the world’s woes. But remember … animals can be jerks too!