Come on baby, don’t fear the reaper. We’ll be able to fly. – BOC
Many apologies to my regular readers for my recent extended absence. The holidays are one of the few times of year I actually take a long vacation and today is my first day back into the work week. I wanted to take a moment and wish everyone a great new year, this being 2012 — the end of the world countdown beginning.
Seriously though, having watched “Apocalypse Week” on History Channel 2, it has given me some interesting insights into just how pervasive this idea of apocalypse actually is. It is astonishing that there are so many people following this as if there is actually a countdown to December. I have talked to people who are seriously worried about this, and are wondering what they should be doing. There really is nothing one can do to avoid an apocalypse, especially when you don’t know what the apocalypse entails. So what could actually be occurring? There are so many opinions on this, as varied as there are people in the world. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Galactic Alignment: Around this time, though this is highly debated, the earth, sun and the supermassive black hole at the center of our galaxy will cause havoc on the earth. While it is well-known that alignments do cause a gravitational anomalies, it is not known whether the supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky Way would have any significant effect on anything, let alone destroy the earth.
- Solar Maximum: This is a very realistic, though not necessarily catastrophic theory. The sun does go through a cycle of activity that lasts roughly 10 to 12 years — not a 20 year Mayan cycle. That being said, 2012 thru 2013 is the most activity the sun has been in a few decades, and we have been seeing a great deal of solar flares and CMEs from the sun. We also know that a solar flare can cripple electronics, as it did in 1859 with the telegraph services and in 1989 with the ‘Quebec Blackout’.
- Pole Shifts: The Earth periodically shifts its magnetic poles, which is a function of the dynamo at the center of the planet. This can, theoretically, be caused by a solar flare, or other anomaly. We have not ever experienced a pole shift, so we have no data on how that could actually happen. While we know that the poles will shift at some point, and it will cause serious issues for life on the planet, it is not at all cyclical, and is not something that starts on one day and ends on another. Pole shifts take thousands of years to complete.
- Planet X: This theory is preposterous. It states that there is a planet on a collision course with the earth that will destroy us all, similar to the idea of Wormwood falling from the sky. However, any object as large as a planet would already be visible in the night sky. It would have to be moving at superluminal speeds to suddenly appear this year and destroy us all.
- Nemesis Star: This is one of the more interesting theories I’ve read. It states that there is a brown dwarf star which is the binary twin of our star. This is very plausible, and worthwhile to investigate for many reasons. The first is that brown dwarf stars are very dim and hard to detect against the full backdrop of other farther yet brighter stars. The second is that the majority of stars in the universe are indeed binary stars, meaning there are two for every solar system. I find this even more interesting because if there is indeed a binary star, and if its orbit is highly eccentric or elliptical, it could indeed swing in closely to us, causing gravitational disruptions, or cause other objects to be deterred from their normal course.
- Enlightenment: As I try to be more Zen, I think its important to mention the idea that 2012 will usher in a period of enlightenment, though there is no scientific evidence to suggest such a thing has ever happened. But, what makes this interesting is the growth of our current global network. Could our interconnectedness through vessels such as Facebook and Twitter assist us in finally overcoming our differences, and have an ‘A-ha!’ moment as to how we all need to live in peace and harmony? It would be nice, wouldn’t it? But it’s probably not very likely.
These are all very interesting things to consider, but why are we considering them at all? There are so many other civilizations that were just as advanced as the Maya, yet we do not collectively spend nearly as much time obsessing over their doomsday predictions. And having said that, the Maya didn’t really say it was a doomsday, but a time of great change. We follow their doomsday prediction because they were amazingly astute in their understanding of astronomy, able to achieve amazingly accurate calculations with very primitive devices, compared to what we have today. But we must also remember that at night, they did not have TV, computers, phones or even books. All they had was their eyes, the campfire, and hours of laying on their backs gazing up at the stars. We have polluted our skies with light to the point that we only see a few of the stars and planets with the naked eye – but if you’ve ever been to a place far away from any city or town, you know that the skies are filled with them and they are absolutely beautiful and worthy of reverence.
So, today I’ll end by saying this – there really is nothing more or less you can really do about a nebulous prediction about the end of the world. But you can live this year better than any other you have in the past. Live like the end is near by cherishing those around you.
Happy New Year!