2012: Doomsday

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Between August and October 2011 it was predicted that a comet called Elenin, travelling exactly between Earth and the Sun, would cause disturbance to the Earth’s crust causing chaos that would lead to the extinction of the human race. It was further predicted that, On June 30th 2012,  the World’s governments and economies would fail and some people will develop the ability to fly and some people will be able to walk through walls. Seeing as how governments and economies didn’t exactly fail on that day, and I am unable to fly or walk through walls, the predictions obviously did not come true. Predictions of the end of the World are very common. Up to now, over 150 predictions have been recorded stating that the world was going to end, one way or another. And now it looks like we have another one.

Ladies and Gentlemen, the world is going to end on December 21st 2012. A rogue planet named Nibiru is headed our way to collide with Earth, killing us all, and a series of planets that will be perfectly aligned will contribute, in some unspecified way, to the destruction of our planet; Oh! and lastly, the date December 21st, 2012 marks the end of a 5125-year-long cycle in the Mayan Long Count calendar, hence, the end of the world.
To most people, these kinds of predictions are just jokes and they make fun of it, but there are a surprising number of people who actually take these predictions quite seriously, like the man who spent his whole life savings building an ark, to save his family from what is supposedly going to happen on December 21st.
Another prediction that is actually much more believable is that the sun is scheduled to be at a “solar maximum” during the predicted time; solar maximum is a period when sun spots and solar flares are very active in the 11-year solar cycle. It is true that this kind of activity can cause real problems. Such activity can disable and damage satellites, electronic equipment and, to a certain extent, can have a considerable effect on the Earth’s weather pattern. Back in the early nineties, such solar flares caused a complete blackout in Québec, Canada. But will it end the world? Again, it is very unlikely.
The quintessential question remains ‘why are we so obsessed with Armageddon?’ It is stated in religious books and by scientists that the end of the world is inevitable; there is no specific day, month or year, but it will happen. Yet, for some reason, we seem to have the need to set a date for doomsday. Spiritually, we all have our own truth and that truth depends on which faith we follow. But scientifically there are different possibilities on how our planet will slowly deteriorate. There is climate change; we can’t really deny that, and if not dealt with alacrity, consequently, a great disaster will befall us. 
NASA has stated that the Earth has always been subjected to impacts by comets and asteroids, although big hits are very rare. The last big impact was 65 million years ago, and that is considered to have led to the extinction of the dinosaurs. NASA scientists carry out what they call the “Space guard Survey” to identify any large Near Earth Objects (NEO) long before they impact the Earth. They have stated that, for now, there aren’t threatening objects like asteroids, as large as the one that wiped out the dinosaurs, near our Planet.
There is also the theory that is widely accepted by scientists concerning the fate of our Earth, which is related to the end of the Sun’s current phase of development, after which it will swell into a “red giant”, either swallowing the Earth or, at the very least, completely incinerating it. There is the belief that, as the Sun grows gradually hotter, planet Earth may become too hot to sustain life in only a billion years’ time.
A billion years seems pretty far away, and normally it is an issue that would not concern us right now or even a million years after, especially to us commoners.
But, unfortunately, the end of the World isn’t just a subject of religious or scientific predictions. Our planet has seven continents arbitrarily divided into different countries; countries that, for some reason or another, are antagonistic to each other; countries that have the need or urge to prove they are better than other countries (It might sound like I’m talking about unruly teenagers, but governments of some countries do act like 15 year old girls in competition with each other). Such countries led by unruly and intransigent governments  might be tempted to push, what I assume is a big red button, that launches  nuclear missiles just to prove a quite ridiculous point.
Be it a global nuclear war, the sun growing hotter, huge asteroids or a prediction based on somebody’s calendar, setting a date and waiting for doomsday is, I believe, absolutely not the way to go. But waiting for the alignment of the planets, with great excitement, to see what will happen? Now that is the icing on the cake and is something everybody should fuss and talk about.
My Prediction: on November 16th 2016, the World as we know it will be history. All the Fairies, Dragons, Unicorns, Centaurs and mermaids that we thought were just mythical creatures will come out of hiding and unleash a magical force that will wipe out humans. That’s right! You heard it from me first. These creatures that we have read about or heard about in stories are going to be the end of us.
That is MY prediction for the end of the human race.