The year is almost over so nearly all of the accomplishments of 2019 have already happened.
Some people are complaining that Greta Thunberg shouldn’t have been chosen as TIME Person of the Year on the grounds that she didn’t accomplish anything (China and India are still growing and burning coal;, American say-gooders are still driving their pavement-melting SUVs, etc.).
If not Greta T, then who? On a planet of 7.6 billion souls, who among us is worthy of this singular honor? (a tougher challenge than what the Nobel Prize committees face since they are able to spread out the honors among 20+ people)
- Donald Trump, since he has generated more media stories than anyone (and CNN viewers consider him a god; he already won in 2016, but that was when he was merely a human and Obama was selected twice)
- Harvey Weinstein, since he kicked off the lucrative #MeToo industry (Person of the Year need not be a saint; Adolf Hitler was selected in 1938; note that the people getting paid were selected in 2017 as “The Silence Breakers”)
- Robert Mueller, who spent two years and tens of $millions in tax dollars to figure out that some young Americans wanted to be paid to have sex with older Americans and that some Americans wanted to evade paying income tax
- Volodymyr Zelensky, who has managed to keep roughly 50 percent of Americans spellbound with tales of a country that almost none of them would be able to locate on a map
- Bill Dally, chief scientist at NVIDIA, the hardware behind the end of the AI Winter
- someone in China who accomplished something awesome that we can all use? (the folks behind the Hong Kong–Zhuhai–Macau Bridge are disqualified, though, since it opened in 2018)
- Xi Jinping, since he directs the world’s most important economy without hogging the headlines all the time
- Martin Herrenknecht, whose tunneling machines are transforming the world and enabling the Chinese to get everywhere quickly on their new metro systems
- Bernard Ziegler, who has kept tens of millions of people safe with the fly-by-wire systems that he pioneered at Airbus
Readers: Better ideas? (I hope!)