This time last year, Gulf News readers were most concerned that violence and terrorism would dominate the year 2007 (back then, they were split on whether the "war on terror" has made the world an unsafe place or not.) To a certain extent, they were proven right for over the past 12 months, we witnessed bloodshed and acts of terrorism in parts of the Middle East and Asia.

Unsurprisingly, our online readers chose the assassination of former Pakistani prime minister Benazir Bhutto on December 27, 2007 as the event which made the biggest impression on them.

Besides violence, there are also signs of pessimism with regards to the environment, and these remain strong amongst our readers this year.

In light of the climate change conference, which took place in Bali, Indonesia, many UAE residents are saying the responsibility does not only sit with developing nations but developed ones as well.

Signs of optimism that the year 2008 will bring about positive developments are found across nationalities.

The big event many UAE residents will be looking at takes place in the world's only super power, the United States. Indeed, it is the presidential elections.

While some don't foresee a major shift in American foreign policy with a change in presidency, others are simply thankful that current president George W. Bush will be out of the White House for good.

Gulf News readers say ...

Need to fight global warming
There needs to be more awareness about global warming. Even though there seems to be a general consensus catching on [in the fight to reduce global warming] but it is moving very slowly. We need to get China and India to take some big steps in reducing their emissions of greenhouse gases because it matters a lot what the big nations are doing.
- Erik Nielsen, Norway, shipping manager

Hoping for a brighter future
I am hoping that Australia's new prime minister will sign all the environmental treaties issued in line with the United Nations climate talks in Bali.

Developing countries contribute a great deal in global warming but they are unable to reduce their greenhouse gases until they sort out themselves on a day-to-day level.

People are not very aware about the dangers of global warming, but I hope that in the coming year people will take a greater interest in it. I see a brighter future and more awareness about the environment in 2008.
- Anna Kerrison, Australia, organisational developer

Greed and money and oil
I don't think the change of presidency in the United States will change any of the problems we are faced with today, because it's not about the personalities but the political parties.

All parties are practically the same now, which is that of a Western Anglo-Saxon Protestant policy.

The problems are not going to disappear until the people in our own system rise up and put a stop to it. I think 2008 will stay the same with regard to the presidency's greed for money and oil.
- Tim Devine, England, professional footballer

Call for stability in Middle East
I do not care if the new president is from the Democrat or Republican party but I am sure of one thing — that George W. Bush will not be elected and this can bring with it good things.

I have hope that the US troops will be removed from Iraq and more stability will prevail in the Middle East region in 2008. I hope that the new president will bring positive international policies."
- Ellen Hay, Australia, jobseeker