Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Staying Informed

Hello, all!

I don't have time to keep up to date on all the news. I hear about most things from the internet, but rarely do I actually poke around enough to actually understand what is going on in the world. But since Japan is dealing with a major disaster right now, I want to be informed. I can't just allow myself to be blind to current events, not in a world where everything is fast-paced and there are major issues to be addressed and environmental disasters to confront; problems to solve.

Sure, I may be busy, but what is the excuse for not staying informed? I am a citizen of the earth. I live in a country where I have the right to vote now-- my voice has power now. And I haven't been living up to my duty to understand the details of what is happening here in the United States and abroad; I have been living in the bubble of my own life. I can't do that anymore. I cannot allow myself to be blind, seeing only what people tell me about when the situation is desperate or what I see for those few seconds of the day when checking my email.

Anyway, I'm trying to learn. To see what is going, understand what it means, and what the consequences are. But part of me is still using the (other) excuse that I don't know where to look. That's a complete lie, because, again... the internet.

- The New York Times. (Because I feel that this is most legitimate way to stay informed.)
- My local newspaper. (It's not the best, but it does have local news.)
- Google News. (So convenient!)
- Greenpeace. (Call me a crazy liberal, but Greenpeace does have current news about environmental issues.)
- The Nation. (For political news. Besides, we recently learned about the Nation in AP US History!)
- Earthjustice. (To know about political campaigns regarding the environment.)
- Educated Earth. (Granted, I just found this today and need to poke around a bit more, but it seems like a pretty good place to get news.)
- Congress.org. (To know about what is going on politically.)

The things I want to know about are related largely to politics and the environment. I want to know about things that I am passionate about, and things that affect me. So, that's what I'm going to do. Since I can't be uninformed, I am going to seek out information on topics that are important to me, and I won't shy away from supporting causes that I think are just.

Have you heard about the House of Representatives bill that would cut federal funding to Planned Parenthood? I'm sure you've heard about the Union bill in Wisconsin by now. What about the situation in Libya and Egypt? Do you ever think about Haiti? Darfur? You should know what's going on in Japan. Do you know about the bills that are currently in Congress that attack the Endangered Species Act?

And if you do know about those things, what are you going to do about them? Does it matter to you?

I might be 18, still in high school and relatively limited in what I can do to help out, but I can stay informed. I can write letters to Senators and Representatives, I can volunteer, I can vote in elections, but most of all... the thing I CAN do every day, is to read and be informed.

So, what do you read to know what is going on in the world? Do you look for certain types of news or certain issues?

What will you do to help?

-Aly