The end of the end of the world
THURSDAY DECEMBER 20, 2012
This article was first posted here almost two years ago on 21 November 2010. Nothing has arisen since to have made me alter my viewpoint. Because we are now approaching the dreaded date this article is being re-issued.
Chances are high that you will still be around on 22/12/2012. Those who hide in caves, underground bunkers or trek up hills to see a cosmic fireworks display may feel short-changed or ripped off, along with all those who read the books, saw the movie, bought the T-shirt.
Until a few years ago there were not many familiar with the end-of-the-world-in-2012 prophecy put forward by authors and scholars who have studied the Mayan 'long calendar'. Now the idea and the merchandise surrounding it are everywhere.
This Long Count calendar has lasted for five thousand one hundred and twenty five years, and although the end of a calendar leads to different interpretations, as all ancient calendars from other cultures do, one of the most popular has been the belief that at the end of this cycle the world (or humanity’s existence) will come to an abrupt end.
In order to fully understand this, you should first understand that it is a calendar at the center of this controversy. The current cycle, or baktun, began on August 13th, 3114 B.C. It marked the end of the previous period and the beginning of the current one. This present baktun is the thirteenth, and the end of it has been considered to be of importance to the Mayan people, which is why so many have come to the conclusion this one means the end of life as we know it.
But the end of a calendar might not mean the end of any world, any more than New Years Eve brings the collapse of all past and future years. 'End' can mean end of everything or end of counting, or the end of the act of counting.
While there is no definite vision of how the end of the world this year is supposed to happen, those who have studied this calendar claim the long calendar was created in order to correspond with a long term astronomical prediction which by its nature will be calamitous. This has led some scholars to claim that this scenario is to do with something from beyond this world.
Whilst correlating to outer space is not definite, there is a feeling that Mayan culture had advanced and unique understandings of astronomical phenomena and planetary alignments, and if they wanted their calendar to end with the Mother of all Bangs they would pretty much know on which date to arrange it.
Another belief is that this year's end of the world will come from our own Sun. Those who have studied the timing of the prophesy believe the end will come via a large solar flare. This flare will come because of the infiltration of the orbits of the planets in our solar system by an outside orbiting planet that the Sumerians and the Babylonians referred to as Nibiru, now called Planet X.
Those who subscribe believe Nibiru only orbits through our system once every 3600 years. Astronomers would love Planet X to exist because it would explain the anomalies of the other planets' orbits better. But starting with something poorly understood and creating deeper levels of confusion around it is something alarmist scientists have honed.
sealevels are supposed to be rising so much a tipping point is due, yet no one can point to one single beach where this is happening
It gets worse. In addition, some cultures believed that there were a race of people who lived on Nibiru that were known as the Anunnaki. This superior race of beings, according to their creation mythology, came to Earth and genetically engineered human beings. They did this because they needed to get gold ore from our planet in order to help save their own environment. The humans they created helped them by mining this gold from Africa.
The basis for this was found in ancient writings recently uncovered in relation to the ancient Sumerians, and it was apparently documented in detail in their writings. If they are correct, then the end of the world depicted in the Mayan calendar will also coincide with the return of the Anunnaki. It would be the return of our creators, and hence the belief the Mayan calendar also signals the forthcoming Apocalypse.
If you were to genetically engineer a species it is odd to think you would make something like a human which would have so many design faults. Walking upright wrecks everybody's back sooner or later. Our teeth do not regrow like those of the superior shark. A sudden temperature change or draught can confine one to the sneezing and wheezing horizontal for about a week.
One sex continually finds aggravation with the other sex.
But then, if you just want gold diggers then a hastily assembled pair of hands with legs to carry them is maybe all that is required. Still, if they were smart enough technologically to come here in cleverly designed spaceships, couldn't they just build digging-robots? Even we can do that right now (they are big and yellow and called excavators), and some scientists are still so backward mentally they haven't yet discovered how to allow others to have different ideas.
According to the 2012 hoax, when this planetary body re-enters our system it will cause massive disruptions in the orbits of Jupiter, Uranus, Venus, and Earth. When Nibiru crosses our orbit they believe that it will cause the gases in Jupiter to ignite because it will get too close to the sun, causing the precarious balance that keeps its gas structure in check to be lost, turning Jupiter into a secondary sun and our own sun to turn black.
In combination, solar flares released from the sun on their naturally reoccurring cycle were supposedly set to peak sometime this year. This in combination with the cycle of Nibiru was forecast to cause a massive amount of damage to the planet on a level that has never been seen before. It hasn't happened yet, and with only a day now to go, it had better get cracking.
There are a few things wrong with this too. If we can work all this out then presumably the smarter Anannukai can figure it put too, and unless they are lemming-like we can assume they are not going to be in a rush to get into their spacebuses to come down here, only to get instantly cindered into charcoal dust.
There are others who contend the prophesy actually refers to a very rare planetary alignment that will occur during the winter solstice on December 21 2012. According to them, at this time the entire Milky Way (including the earth and the sun) will align at a point known to us as the Galactic Equator. This alignment is so rare that it only happens about every 25600 years.
Imagine a child's spinning top slowing down and wobbling as it does so. Planet Earth is also doing that since its inception 4.5bn years ago. The North Pole is wobbling, called the Polar Wobble or the Precession of the Pole, and unless the calendar is reset once every 72 years, we do lose a day. it means every 12,500 years summer will be in the now winter months. All the older cultures had ways of resetting their calendars to account for this, so they didn't lose their calendric ability to keep track of the growing seasons. The re-measurement was usually done on the vernal equinox.
It was one function of the old stone circles like Stonehenge. Stones were set so that the setting sun on the equinox fell into a V-shape in the distant hill shapes. A day either side of the sun that was setting due west missed it. That day set the first day of either spring or autumn, depending on which hemisphere you were in. Most places had old stone circles all aligned to the moon for this purpose, amongst others. Auckland even has an ancient hilltop site, right in the middle of suburbia, where we can still see this system working.
Just because the Mayans knew about the 26,000 year precession cycle does not mean it wasn't common knowledge elsewhere too. We have simply lost traces of ancient civilisations, due in part to the old Crusader zeal for the vandalistic burning down all libraries that contained ancient texts, because they contained descriptions of heathen cultures.
Moreover, it is possible that we have been living in civilisations for over a million years, and, according to people of the Indus Valley who built Lord Ramas Bridge, 2 million years. Just Google it and decide for yourself. If so, 26,000 years is only like yesterday, a speck in the historical time-line.
Some say that this rare planetary alignment could signal a shift in the magnetic poles. This polar shift has happened before in the distant past, and if it were to happen now it could supposedly cause massive destruction across the globe. The more fanciful claim that the reason the Mayan long calendar ends on this exact date is that it's all going to happen at once, at the exact minute, this alignment, the return of Nibiru, meeting and greeting the Anunnaki, and the solar flares.
If nothing else, the December date does raise questions about the Mayans' knowledge of celestial events and happenings that they could not have possibly understood, let alone have mapped out.
This stems from a reluctance to admit that people in the past may have been smarter than us.
We know we don't have the knowledge today to reconstruct the Pyramids, Stonehenge and some obviously purpose-built ancient harbours, and we acknowledge that our modern mathematics comes from Persian/Arab/Indian/Hebrew/Asian astrologers and whoever preceded them, but still we like to educate our children that people lived in caves and communicated by grunting right up until a few thousand years ago.
One minute our primate ancestors are supposed to have been walking upright in the tall grasslands because the trees they used to swing through were disappearing, and next we find they had been living in caves for hundreds of years. What happened between? Did they sneak around from caves to long grass? Then we cling somewhat romantically to the story of the caveman, clubbing females and dragging them by the hair, ignoring the fact that there wouldn't have been enough caves and that caves would have been efficient death-traps (imagine 2 bears: one to guard the entrance, the other to enter and grab dinner - bearstyle 'checkmate').
The end of the world 2012 scenario is one that sincerely frightens many people nowadays, and that indeed is one proof that we may be dumber than the Mayans. Well, we have it for you...da daa - HERE is the planetary alignment on 21/12/2012.
Fooled you - there isn't one. The solar system does travel in a wave pattern as it circles the centre of the Milky Way during a 250,000,000 year period but will not cross the mid-plane or disc of our galaxy in 2012. We are currently around 30 million light years above this plane and moving further away from it.
There is not an alignment of all or indeed even of several planets on 21-12-2012. The sun is in the middle of the diagram.
Jupiter and Saturn (outside the frame and not shown here, but Saturn is at 10.30 clock-position and Jupiter at 3.30) will however be involved in an astrological formation known as a Yod (finger of God, three planets in a long triangle, with apex planet in quincunx aspect to the other two, and the other two in sextile aspect to each other, but not a particularly powerful aspect).
Oh, almost forgot, and the Solar system will not be any closer to the Galactic core in 2012 than on any other year, or in any way in a position which might affect gravity levels between us and the Milky Way’s central black hole.
Nor is the polar wobble significant. During a cycle of somewhere between 25,600 and 25,800 years our view of the constellations shifts in a 360-degree circular motion. The movement of the Earth’s axis (and by default the solstice and equinox points) occurs at the rate of approximately 1-degree every 71.5 years of this cycle.
This was known as the Platonic or Great Year and was the driving force of so-called astrological ages, which were not about meeting handsome strangers, going on journeys across the sea and expecting windfalls from unexpected inheritances, but were sensible calendric divisions of time.
There are two theories to explain the shift in the viewing of the stars on the horizon from the Earth. The most widely excepted theory is the Luni-Solar model, which holds the cause to be the Moon’s gravity pulling on the Earth and causing it to slowly wobble on its axis as it rotates. The second theory is the binary model, which explains precession as caused by our sun orbiting a binary twin not yet detected by telescopes.
Most likely it would have to be either a Brown Dwarf Star or small black hole (both hard to detect). It is sometimes noted in respect to 2012 information, that there may have been a close conjunction of the sun and galactic equator on the winter solstice of 1998/99. Due to the width of the sun being half a degree in the sky the crossing of the entire solar disc through the equator takes 36 years in total. This gives us a period from 1980 to 2016 possibly of significance, but we cannot focus any narrower than that.
The biggest problem with placing importance on this event is that we have no idea exactly where the Maya would have considered the plane of the Galaxy to actually be. One theory that makes sense in light of the aural, written and carved history of them is that they were interested in a period of time surrounding 21/12/2012 rather than just that single day. And if we further take a single degree of precession centred upon this date we then have a window of time running from 1976 through to 2048. This ties in neatly with what we also know about Mayan ideas about the cosmos, that they were general and not date-specific cosmological thinkers.
So what will happen on the 21st?
There was earthquake activity in NZ in the preceding week and two weeks, because on 13 December the moon was at new moon, southern declination, and second closest to Earth for the year, (perigee#2). It was the same moon position as at the time of the 7.1-mag Canterbury earthquake on 4 September 2010. But the day of perigee#2 always has to come at some time of every year.
So what happened? Well, in Tokoroa exactly two weeks, half a moon cycle exactly, beforehand, on 7 December, in the hour that the moon passed exactly overhead of the North Island, there was a 6.3mag earthquake in Tokoroa. This was the size of the earthquake on 22 February 2011 in Christchurch. Luckily there was no damage this time and no tragic loss of life. It is why the media have not told many about it.
Today, the 20th, the moon moves across the equator heading north. This is usually a time of turbulence and the generation of currents and wind within two days, and happens twice per month. But nothing out of the usual.
So here's the expected weather for the 21st, and this was posted two years ago by us when we assembled our weather almanacs, e.g. the Weather Almanac for NZ for 2012 (Random House publishers), that has been on sale all this year. At least the weather will be good for the end of the world, so that's a blessing:
Auckland: fine and sunny, 20°C, light southwesterly.
Wellington: fine and sunny, 19°C, gentle northerly:
Christchurch: rain developing, 21°C, calm easterly
Dunedin: fine and sunny, 17°C, gentle easterly
Sydney: dry, high pressure, 23°C
Melbourne: dry, 33°C
Brisbane: rain easing, 23°C
Adelaide: dry, 34°C
Perth: dry, 24°C
Darwin: drying after recent rain, 31°C
Dublin: dry, cloudy, 15°C
Cork and Belfast: light showers, overcast, 13°C
Galway: wet, cloudy, 14°C
After midnight tomorrow the date will pass into folklore as another end-of-the-world fizzer. The authors of doomsday books will recalculate. They are already preparing a date for global warming to pass the tipping point and burn the planet to cinders. It will probably coincide with the day the oil runs out, when rising sealevels cover the last bit of land on the highest hill the last of us who have not suffocated from CO2 will scramble onto, the spot we will share with the last polar bear, the last whale and the only remaining Indian tiger and Maui Dolphin. It is the day to again supposedly watch the sun go black and the planets collide, and wave to Our Saviour, the head Annukai in the shuttle Mothership as it lands extending the ladder. Believe it if that makes you happy. Or happily unhappy.