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Mesa Musings: 2012 could be disastrous or best year yet

January 02, 2012|By Jim Carnett

The last float of the 123rd Tournament of Roses Parade has exited Colorado Boulevard.

2012 has arrived!

What doth the new year bring?

A few years back, I looked at 2012 with trepidation. Staring a root canal in the face was infinitely more appealing to me than thinking about this year's prospects. But now I'm feeling decidedly more sanguine.

Three years ago, news media outlets blasted us daily with reports on an event of cataclysmic proportions predicted for Dec. 21, 2012, — now just 11½ months hence.

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The slightly hysterical coverage dealt with the end-date of the 5,125-year-long cycle of the Mayan Long Count calendar. Reports proliferated that at the end of the cycle humanity would be summarily cast into some corporal and/or metaphysical limbo, preventing the further advancement of the species. Mayan calendar doomsday prophets referred to it as the "end of days."

We amateur observers simply called it the end of the world!

Media pundits prattled ad nauseam that Mayan eschatology left no hope for humankind. Beyond Dec. 21, oblivion.

Major bummer!

Might as well rip the last few pages from your 2012 date book, they'll not be needed. After the 21st you won't be requiring a pedicure, a teeth-whitening appointment or a meeting with your taxman. Nothing, nada, bubkes!

The media has breathlessly reported a host of Mayan calendar postulates, including one in which the Earth will collide Dec. 21 with a black hole (I didn't know black holes collided … don't they inhale objects, much like a Hoover?), a passing asteroid or a "wayward" planet named Nibiru. Or, less artfully, it might work out to be a geomagnetic reversal or a supernova.

Pick your poison.

By the way, don't bother looking Nibiru up –- it doesn't exist. Not as far as I can determine. For those refusing to take my word for it, you'll find Nibiru up the Yellow Brick Road a few off-ramps north of Oz, next to the planet Krypton.

As Dec. 21 draws nigh, many scholars in recent days have pretty much debunked the whole idea of cataclysmic fireworks for 2012. One NASA scientist went so far as to label Nibiru an "Internet hoax."

Whew!

Some scientists say Dec. 21 may end up being nothing more malevolent than the busiest shopping day of 2012. As I review the collected wisdom of the scientific and media communities, I see a couple of options: 1) Dec. 21 will develop into a grotesque fire-breathing dragon that burns humanity to a crisp or 2) It'll be a cuddly puppy that licks our faces.

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