A lot can happen in a year on one little planet, what with 6.7 billion humans crawling over the surface starting wars, launching fashion labels, and systematically destroying the environment that sustains us.

You’d think it would be hard to name the ten single most important events of the year, but many of the world’s leading news sources have tried — some might say with mixed results. You decide. Here’s a quick guide to the global headlines in 2008:

Starting with Crikey‘s top ten stories of 2008 (readers choice, voting with mouse clicks):

1. Stewardess in the pilot’s seat: Flying High on Jetstar

2. Could Channel Nine’s Underbelly undergo gastric banding?

3. Weekend at Corey’s: an idiot’s guide to fame

4. Corey Delaney, Party Liason: “get me to do it for you”

5. Unwatched Underbelly has legal ears burning

6. And the Wankley Award goes to… Conroy’s net filtering scheme

7. Henson fracas: Art the victim of child sexualisation

8. CMC allegations of relationship between Beattie and Rose

9. The real Olympic medal tally

10. Bill Henson? Porn Culture? Get real

As usual, TIME magazine has the top ten of everything. From quotes…

“It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, because of what we did on this day, in this election, at this defining moment, change has come to America.” —Barack Obama, U.S. President-elect, during his victory speech in Chicago’s Grant Park after winning the 2008 Presidential election (the video footage of this forms part of Crikey’s 2008 videos of the year montage)

…to fashion faux pas (the editor of Vogue wearing a dress that looks like fossils), gadgets (a tiny projector you can plug into your iPod to watch movies on a bigger screen) and break-ups (Madonna and Guy Richie).

National Geographic’s top ten stories of 2008 were:

10. Solar eclipse on August 1: Where, how to see it.

9. Bigfoot discovery declared a hoax

8. Oldest living tree found in Sweden

7. Greatest pyramid mystery to be solved by hidden room?

6. Sky show December 1: Jupiter, Venus, Moon make “frown”

5. Hurricane Gustav to become Gulf Coast monster?

4. Unknown “structures” tugging at universe, study says

3. Portal to Maya underworld found in Mexico?

2. Large Hadron Collider “actually worked”

1. Alien-like squid with “elbows” filmed at drilling site

Regret the Error has 2008 in media errors, starting with “Trend of the year: Epic organizational failure”. It’s rare to “look back over a year of corrections and errors and see so many examples of organizational failure. Years past have seen plenty of malfeasance by individuals, but 2008 is remarkable for news organizations that pursued completely outrageous behavior.”

The AV Club have the worst films of 2008, most of which Crikey had never heard of (probably a good thing).

10. Religulous

9. Good Dick

8. In The Name Of The King: A Dungeon Siege Tale

7. Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden?

6. Fireproof

5. Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed (Fundamentalist Christians try to debunk Darwin)

4. Meet Dave (Eddie Murphy with himself in miniature)

3. The Hottie And The Nottie (Paris Hilton)

2. The Happening (Apocalypse involving bees)

1. Witless Protection (cable guy being racist)

Gawker have their top 10 videos of 2008 — see Corey Delany Worthington make international top tens for all the wrong reasons… oh that kid:

Foreign Policy’s top ten stories you missed:

10. American company sells ‘sonic blasters’ to China

9. For the first time, a US citizen convicted of torture abroad

8. Aid to Georgia funds luxury hotel in Tibilisi

7. Shanghai steel fails basic safety test

6. Greenhouse gas comes from solar panels

5. Russia makes play for Africa

4. United States helps India build a missile shield

3. The next Darfur heats up

2. Columbian coca production increases

1. The surge in Afghanistan starts early

AdFreak‘s freakiest advertisements of 2008: You have to see to comprehend the freakishness of these advertisements, from creepy snakes and dismembered bodies to literally two faced airline staff.

Tree Hugger‘s top ten stories — dumb and smart eco stuff:

10. The 7 best electric scooters: from prototypes to production models

9. How to make inexpensive DIY home-built solar panels with damaged solar cells from eBay

8. Vertical (diagonal?) farm from work AC in NYC

7. Luxim plasma light bulb kicks some serious LED butt

6. Don’t buy a Nalgene water bottle until you read this

5. 17 electric cars you must know about

4. We’re the big three. We don’t need to compete

3. An entire apartment’s furniture in one small box

2. 5 eco-cars faster than the Porsche 911

1. Chill out on dubious Dubai’s first refrigerated beach

The Golf Channel top ten stories of 2008: to be announced gradually leading up to New Year — none of which are comprehensible to your average joe.

If you like conspiracy stories… Project Censored’s top censored stories of 2008 are…

1. No Habeas corpus for “any person”

2. Bush moves toward martial law

3. AFRICOM: US military control of Africa’s resources

4. Frenzy of increasingly destructive trade agreements

5. Human traffic builds US embassy in Iraq

6. Operation FALCON raids

7. Behind Blackwater Inc.

8. KIA: The US neoliberal invasion of India

9. Privatization of America’s infrastructure

10. Vulture funds threaten poor nations’ debt relief

New Scientist top brain stories 2008:

1. Is it worth going to the mind gym?

2. Brains apart: The real difference between the sexes

3. A unified theory of the brain?

4. How primate p-rn reveals what we really want

5. The secret life of the brain

6. The subconscious mind: Your unsung hero

7. Forgetfulness is key to a healthy mind

8. Does the brain feature built-in noise?

9. Do supercharged brains give rise to autism?

10. The outer limits of the human brain

For the gaming nerds out there, Wired’s top ten game changing moments of 2008 are nicely pulled together in video form with some lovely commentary from a couple of cute dorks.

Scientific American’s top ten stories in photographs:

Vanity Fair also have 2008 in totally different photographs, as do the International Herald Tribune.

Archeology’s top ten discoveries of 2008

10. Sacred Maya blue, Chichen Itza, Mexico

9. Wari masked mummy, Lima, Peru

8. Kuttamuwa’s soul, Zincirli, Turkey

7. American genes, North America

6. Oldest oil paintings, Bamiyan, Afghanistan

5. First European, Atapuerca, Spain

4 Earliest shoes, Tianyuan Cave, China

3. Portuguese Indiaman, Nambia

2. Imperial Colossi, Sagalassos, Turkey

1. Origins of whaling, Chukotka Peninsula, Russia

Church Forward’s top ten religious stories

1. Election 2008: Democrats woo evangelical vote, making only slight gains from Bush era

2. Voters turn back California Supreme Court’s same-sex marriage decision

3. Christians in Orissa, India, again become scapegoats for Hindu extremists

4. Anglican Communion continues to implode in slow motion

5. Christians flee Iraq and Gaza

6. Candidates’ religious associations come under scrutiny

7. Ministries hold their breath as financial crisis threatens the global economy

8. Muslim and Christian interfaith dialogues get serious

9. Todd Bentley’s Florida Outpouring divides charismatic movement

10. Texas authorities raid FLDS ranch

And the top ten oil stories of 2008

1. Crude prices soar in 1H, WTI tops $147, Brent right behind

2. Push begins to lift offshore drilling ban in US; Obama and McCain differ on approach

3. Shale gas supply in US surges, a new factor in supply/demand balance

4. OPEC, first time in years, implements deep cuts in output

5. Mexican output still dropping, Cantarell way down

6. Developed nations’ total oil demand in ’08 to decline

7. Credit crunch slows activity for once free-wheeling traders

8. TNK-BP pressured in Russia, CEO departs, resolution reached

9. Diesel surges, gasoline/naphtha plunge; traditional cracks skewed

10. Iraqis launch first post-war bid round, completion in 2009