The world didn’t end — yet It may be more fun to consider Maya doomsday scenarios, but shouldn’t we be focused on fixing actual threats to Earth like climate change?
So much for another wacky end-of-the-world theory. The hypothesis that the world would be destroyed at the end of the 13th baktun cycle in the Maya calendar (which corresponds pretty closely with Dec. 21) was just plain wrong.
Nor, come to think of it, was the last much-publicized prophet of doom on target. That was Harold Camping, the Christian radio announcer who predicted that the rapture (and end of the world) would come on May 21, 2011. When that didn’t happen, he recalibrated the date as Oct. 21, 2011. He has since given up predicting disasters.
Humans have always been fascinated by the idea of the apocalypse. Sometimes we actually seem to believe in it
What’s odd is that despite our apparent obsession with global catastrophe, we’re surprisingly reluctant to confront the complications of actual, documented threats to our planet. Science and observation seem to indicate that real planetary crises will come more quietly and slowly but just as sadly — and perhaps more so because by that time we will have had years, if not decades, of legitimate warning. The effects of climate change may not be as dramatic as the reappearance of Satan on Earth, but they are a lot more imminent.
The LA Times has proven that they are stupider than Harold Camping, because they haven’t given up on predicting disasters. After all, the great prophet Hansen has told us that parts of Manhattan will be permanently submerged by 2008.
h/t to Marc Morano