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Monday, March 3, 2014

Apocalyptic Alarmism in the Year 2012

In the three or four years before 2012, apocalyptic dogma emerged from various religious groups and began to infiltrate the mainstream, with a lot of help from Internet sites like YouTube and Facebook. … Do you remember? ... A lot of people were worried about a certain date in December 2012 when doom was supposed to happen. After a year or two it became "apocalyptic alarmism" on a grand scale! It even spawned a Hollywood blockbuster!

The spike in 2009 would be because the movie '2012' was released in the United States on November 13, 2009, and in the rest of the world shortly after that date.

By the way, perhaps the most widespread myth during those times was that the ancient Mayan race predicted the end-of-the-world on December 21, 2012. Anthropologists said that the Mayan culture does not include end-of-world beliefs. It just happened to be the date when the ancient Long Count calendar was due to end one cycle and start another. It was the gringos ('white' people) that latched onto the date and invented various world-wide disasters that had zero evidence to back them up. Most of them were not in the least bit plausible.
(Interesting videos on this page :- Mayans Never Predicted an Apocalypse)

What follows is *part of a blog post I wrote during that year. .. I hoped that the worried people would not be obsessed by one or more natural events that they thought would be “signs” of an apocalypse that would surely happen in December. (The post was also on the 'www.2012hoax.org' site. … That site now redirects to 'www.cosmophobia.org')

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Natural Earth Processes

Statistics [and history] tell us that on *any day during the year there is a good chance that somewhere on Earth there will be *one or more* of these events :-

~ algal bloom or major pollution,
~ avalanche or land slide,
~ deaths of varying numbers of animals,
~ earthquakes of varying magnitude,
~ flood or storm surge or whirlpool,
~ freezing or very hot temperatures,
~ hurricane or cyclone or typhoon,
~ major storm with snow or hail,
~ sand storm or dust storm,
~ sink hole or mine collapse,
~ tornado or water spout,
~ tsunami or tidal wave,
~ volcanic eruption.

We cannot predict or forecast most of those things, but we do know there is a good chance that *one or more* might happen somewhere on Earth on any given day. So we shouldn't be surprised if one or more of those things happen on any particular day(s) in December. It will just be the Earth doing its thing. It will always do its own thing no matter what its human inhabitants think. Also, we have no reason to expect that any particular day in December will have *zero natural disasters. If a natural disaster does happen it will be a "sign" of absolutely nothing, other than the Earth continuing as normal.
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Apocalyptic alarmism about various natural events is an old problem. ... Alarmism can also involve events that *might originate from outside of the Earth's atmosphere. Astronomer David Morrison, senior scientist with the NASA Lunar Science Institute, coined the term 'cosmophobia' after answering questions at the NASA "Ask an Astrobiologist" page. He defined it as "An unreasoning fear of the cosmos".
Further information is at the 'www.cosmophobia.org' site; and at the NASA JPL site about asteroids and comets. "No one should be overly concerned about an Earth impact of an asteroid or comet. The threat to any one person from auto accidents, disease, other natural disasters and a variety of other problems is much higher than the threat from Near Earth Objects."
Also, see my last post: What If Saturn "Explodes or Something".