Doomsday 2012 – Mayan Prophecy Turned Hollywood Movie Or Eighth Event to End the World?

The hype cycle of the film “2012”, working full tilt, about the Earth’s impending destruction has been so powerful that Nasa representatives have been shunted out to appear on American talk shows to reassure viewers that it simply that: hype. However, they have far from soothed the general public’s propensity for panic.

The timing of its release has been impeccable, with only a few weeks left before the Climate Conference in Copenhagen convenes. It is said that the conference, although unlikely to reach international agreement due to perceived unfairness over the burden of responsibility facing the undeveloped world, is essential and that the world’s governments must reach a consensus so that a Copenhagen Protocol can be agreed upon, thereby committing all nations to reduce carbon emissions dramatically to prevent further instability over “global warming” and climate change.

On the ground, however, public concern about doomsday in December 2012 has grown exponentially and is spreading internationally, causing almost mass hysteria. Indeed, some Mayan and Nostradamus believers, who predict Earth’s ultimate extinction in three years’ time, assert that this date will be the dawn of a new age and “spiritual growth” for survivors. Jokingly, a recent New York Times article mocked these soothsayers with: “It is kind of depressing if you were looking forward to taking a vacation from mortgage payments to finance one last blowout.”

Today, there are literally mountains of conspiracy theories that inhabit YouTube on the subject, most of which suggest an alignment between the Sun and the centre of the galaxy that will bring about a “radical event”, with maximum emission activity storms on the Sun’s surface which will pour out massive subatomic particles, known as neutrinos. All of this, astronomers say, is objectionably absurd, akin the putative black hole at CERN. Moreover, they argue, the Sun and the galactic centre will not coincide, as doomsday theorists would have us believe, in 2012.

The essence of this end-is-nigh school of thought is tied in with predictions that Nibiru, a planet supposedly discovered by the Sumerians, is headed toward Earth. The fallout from this, to paraphrase David Morrison, a CSI Fellow and Senior Scientist at the NASA Astrobiology Institute, is that associated attributes to this event encompass a reversal of the Earth’s magnetic field, create severe solar storms associated with the eleven-year solar cycle, cause the reversal of the Earth’s rotation axis, long with bombardment by large comets or asteroids, and with a fanciful bit thrown into the mix about the Sun aligning with the galactic centre on December 21, 2012, subjecting us to potentially deadly forces.

This now populist theme, based on the Mayan calendar and ways to survive the coming apocalypse, seems to be causing havoc with the minds of the irrationalists and the huge hordes of the psychologically unhinged. According to one website, many people in Russia are saying they are “anxious by problem Nibiru”, with one woman asking: “Why doesn’t your government put a ban on the TV shows and report telecasting about Nibiru and 2012. If [the] US can [take steps] to protect the world physically from terrorism, why can’t it protect us mentally from [this] news, if they are hoax?”

If it’s clearly a hoax, then mentally we should ignore it. However, according to Wiki: “There are a variety of popular beliefs about the year 2012. These beliefs range from the spiritually transformative to the apocalyptic, and centre upon various interpretations of the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar. Contemporary scientists have disputed the apocalyptic versions.”

Whilst the film’s impact on the human psyche is building up to the “event” in 2012, let’s not be too hasty about denying the affects of climate change altogether though. While the world’s leaders assemble in Copenhagen next month, James Lovelock, a respected voice in the scientific community, said in an article in The Guardian newspaper, “Enjoy life while you can”, and talks about the catastrophe that will “inevitably happen” (for the full article see ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/theguardian/2008/mar/01/scienceofclimatechange.climatechange ). For interest’s sake, let’s look at some of the extracts:

“Working alone since the age of 40, Lovelock invented a device that detected CFCs, which helped detect the growing hole in the ozone layer, and introduced the Gaia hypothesis, a revolutionary theory that the Earth is a self-regulating super-organism. Initially ridiculed by many scientists as new age nonsense, today that theory forms the basis of almost all climate science.”

Lovelock has been dispensing predictions with consistent accuracy since the 1960s, which have earned him “a reputation as one of Britain’s most respected – if maverick – independent scientists.”

“His latest book, The Revenge of Gaia, predicts that by 2020 extreme weather will be the norm, causing global devastation; that by 2040 much of Europe will be Saharan; and parts of London will be under water. The most recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report deploys less dramatic language – but its calculations aren’t a million miles away from his.”

“Somewhat unexpectedly, Lovelock concedes that the [Daily] Mail’s plastic bag campaign seems, ‘on the face of it, a good thing’. But it transpires that this is largely a tactical response; he regards it as merely more rearrangement of Titanic deckchairs.”

Then the pièce de résistance: “There have been seven disasters since humans came on the Earth, very similar to the one that’s just about to happen. I think these events keep separating the wheat from the chaff. And eventually we’ll have a human on the planet that really does understand it and can live with it properly. That’s the source of my optimism.” Why then, I plausibly ask, after seven “events” already, weren’t we the source of our ancestors’ optimism?

However, seven disasters already of this magnitude? Is he saying that the micro disaster scenario, that is to be debated by the world’s leaders next month in Copenhagen, is a complete waste of time? Well, I suppose he is, yes.

He argues in the piece that: “Most of the things we have been told to do might make us feel better, but they won’t make any difference. Global warming has passed the tipping point, and catastrophe is unstoppable. It’s just too late for it. Perhaps if we’d gone along routes like that in 1967, it might have helped. But we don’t have time. All these standard green things, like sustainable development, I think these are just words that mean nothing.”

In this quote there is no allusion to a cyclical macro pattern, but in his interview with The Guardian newspaper ( http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/video/2009/apr/22/james-lovelock-gaia-space-biochar ) he reiterates the coming of the “Eighth Event”: “Don’t forget that in the Earth’s history, while humans have been on the planet – that’s about a million years – there have been seven major climate events of this kind. And I think the geneticists say that at one of those events, we were reduced to a mere two thousand individuals; a genetic bottleneck. If that is true, then they are very violent events indeed. And the one up ahead looks every bit as violent, if not more so than the ones that have happened in the past…”

He continued: “As soon as the system grows unstable, it goes into positive feedback. And as the positive feedback strengthens, then any small perturbations, in either direction, get amplified. So the tendency to cooling will give you a really cold winter,” he suggests. “More extremes are likely because the system is becoming stressed.”

While the greenists run about suggesting that we all plant trees to alleviate the impact of climate change, he warns: “This is the trouble with climate science and green actions: they theorise all the time and never do experiments. Now, people have seemed to have forgotten that experiment and observation are at least half of science.” When he planted 1,000 trees years ago he found out it really wasn’t a good idea at all, because “you can’t plant an ecosystem”.

So, while the film “2012” is an obvious and clever marketing hoax – one that is based on the exploitation of human fear in return for quick returns – dig a little deeper into both the micro level (Earth’s biosphere) and the macro level (the course and interaction of all celestial bodies) and the conclusion is that we really haven’t got a clue about what could potentially become reality; unless, of course, you believe in the stern warnings of Mr Lovelock.