Yesterday, I read Stephanie Pappas’s article ‘Two months ‘Til Doomsday? Yesterday was the 21st October 2012, an auspicious date for those who believe that the end of the Mayan calendar indicates the end of the world. Whilst Ms Pappas is pointing out the doomsday predictions; she also reassures her audience by providing a link to the space.com site and the article ‘Don’t Panic! 2012 Doomsday Myths Debunked by NASA.’ And indeed NASA does debunk the myths related to planetary alignment, collisions, and solar storms; myths that appear to be within the area of expertise of the unnamed NASA scientists. Other popular doomsday fears include nuclear war, infection, aliens, zombies and robots. According to Charles Choi, who also contributes to LiveScience, strategies exist to combat some of the threats to mankind including cosmic impact and nuclear attacks. Perhaps it is the threat of what mankind can do to itself that we need to fear, not what nature may do to the planet.
According to ‘a recent poll’ an astounding 10% of people around our planet worry that the world it is going to end on 21st December. The ‘recent poll’ does not inform the reader of the demographic of the poll, or the sampling mechanisms used. Hmmm! And, of course, there are the websites that are making money out of the topic. One website, for example, has an ‘official’ countdown of the Mayan Long Count Calendar, it reaps advertising benefits, and also redirects the reader to a website that sells Global Sun ovens, emergency survival food supplies, anti Radiation tablets, and many more survival tools and kits that are displayed under the site heading “2012 Survival Supplies – Everything needed to survive 2012.” Phew, glad that I discovered this site!
However, if the experts consider it to be a true threat, I would expect to read and listen to more on the subject. One can search on new age sites, some religious sites, and sites with a particular interest in the Mayan calendar, information is certainly available; but it does not seem to be particularly newsworthy. I feel comforted that the media do not, as yet, consider it to be front-page news.
21st December, 2012 will pass like any other ordinary day; Christmas will follow, and a new year will begin. If not, who is going to contradict me?