2012: Will it be the end of the world as we know it?

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Aurora
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2012: Will it be the end of the world as we know it?

Post by Aurora »

The Torygraph - 04/09/09

Will the world end in 2012 as some believe the calendar of the ancient Maya predicts? Here we examine the fact and the fiction behind the most popular doomsday scenarios.

Article continues ...
Aw Shit! :lol:
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JohnB
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Post by JohnB »

Rob Hopkins made some interesting comments on 2012 the other day

http://transitionculture.org/2009/09/02 ... -gullible/
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Ludwig
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Post by Ludwig »

JohnB wrote:Rob Hopkins made some interesting comments on 2012 the other day

http://transitionculture.org/2009/09/02 ... -gullible/
Of course there is no reason to believe that most of the predictions for 2012 will come about, but I really dislike the smug, superior tone of articles like this. There are other forces at work in the world than billiard-ball determinism. If you think that's unscientific nonsense, read what Erwin Schroedinger and Wolfgang Pauli, two of the greatest physicists of the 20th Century, had to say on the matter.

People have been saying for centuries that our civilisation would collapse around the turn of the Second Millennium. I have always been kind of half-expecting it, not because I believed the predictions implicitly, but because the empirical evidence was that, perhaps coincidentally, they were right.

I'm not saying I don't think there are a lot of gullible people out there, just that those who smugly think that mankind is in charge of his own fate are in for a shock. And let's face it, mystical claptrap or no mystical claptrap, 2012 is certainly looking a good contender for a turning point of some sort.
Last edited by Ludwig on Fri Sep 04, 2009 11:14 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Post by biffvernon »

Nicked this from the Green Building Forum as it has a certain literary je ne sais pas about it.
marktime wrote:My friends, we are on the brink of a catastrophe that dwarfs even your wildest imagination. We now know for certain the effects of our profligate past on the course of our future. Each day brings more news of the changes that are occuring as a result of climate change. Our neighbours in Greenland are seeing their hunting grounds disappear. Those in Tibet and others living on the the slopes of the Hymalayas are seeing their livestock perish. Drought is afflicting our cousins in Ethiopia and Kenya and a nomadic way of life that has been enjoyed for more than ten thousand years is no longer possible today because there is no rain, there is no grass and there is nowhere to go.

The seas and the oceans will become as barren as deserts and what once we took for granted will no longer be true. The whale and the dolphin, the herring and pilchard that form the great chains of life in the vast oceans will vanish, and we will be left with a featureless and acid sea, something that has not been seen since life began.

India is building walls because they know their Bangladeshi family will soon be seeking sanctuary due to the rising ocean and they fear being overrun. Other island people will lose their homes and become refugees in already crowded planet. Soon, patience will be lost and men will turn to violence to provide for themselves and their families. The world has a terrible aresenal of weapons that once unleashed, will touch every man, woman and child on this precious land we call home.

There will be enormous sacrifices to be made. Your life will never be what it was, but you will have life, and you will have hope, for you and for your children, and their children after them if we grasp the nettle today,
Always good to remember the pilchard.
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Ludwig
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Re: 2012: Will it be the end of the world as we know it?

Post by Ludwig »

Aurora wrote:
The Torygraph - 04/09/09

Will the world end in 2012 as some believe the calendar of the ancient Maya predicts? Here we examine the fact and the fiction behind the most popular doomsday scenarios.

Article continues ...
Aw Shit! :lol:
"Peak Oil, likelihood 4/10"... This reminds me why I rarely read the mainstream media.
"We're just waiting, looking skyward as the days go down / Someone promised there'd be answers if we stayed around."
Prono 007
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Re: 2012: Will it be the end of the world as we know it?

Post by Prono 007 »

Ludwig wrote:"Peak Oil, likelihood 4/10"... This reminds me why I rarely read the mainstream media.
To be fair it also says:
"Peak oil is a near certainty"

AND

"some oil companies that they have overstated the reserves held underground have raised fears that we are at or may already have passed the peak"
It's not clear what the 4/10 refers to: 40% chance the world will end because of peak oil, 40% chance global peak oil will be in 2012, 40% chance peak oil means the end of the world as we know it...

However I have to agree with you that most of the mainstream media is generally shite.
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Post by Mattw »

I wrote the following article on this topic, which you might find interesting.

Supernatural Events - No
Nuclear War - Maybe

Is 2012 Doomsday for Real?

It turns out that the idea of doomsday (1) in or around 2012 is not farfetched at all. Although it won't happen quite like the movie, but rather the old fashion way - war.

The movie "2012" is coming out in theaters on November 13, 2009. Based on the movie trailer (2), it looks like the Earth will be destroyed in 2012 by meteorites, earthquakes, giant waves and more. The question is - could it really happen?

There is no particular reason that the Earth should experience a series of supernatural events in 2012. Yes, the Mayan calendar ends on December 21, 2012, but there is absolutely no evidence that date means anything in real life.

Unfortunately, real life is going to be even scarier than the movie. Imagine going to bed one night and waking up to a destroyed America. That's assuming you even wake up. That's the kind of scenario that is becoming more and more possible, and might really happen around 2012.

The world has not seen a major world war for over 60 years. The idea that this type of war could even occur is beyond the imagination of most people. Yet, a major nuclear war (3) is now more likely than it has ever been.

To understand why a major nuclear war is likely one must look back at how prior wars started (4). For example, what were the conditions (5) that caused World War I to start, and are they present today?

The first condition for World War I is a declining superpower. Britain was already in decline in 1914 and was just not up to the task of confronting Germany.

Today it is the United States that is in decline (6). We have trillion dollar deficits as far as the eye can see. The nation is divided politically. Soon our standard of living must start decreasing.

The impact of this decline should not be underestimated. It is huge.

The idea is that a certain world order that has existed for many years is in the state of change. This period can be very dangerous.

The second condition is powerful rivals. This was Germany in 1914, and today it's Russia (7) and China.

China is busy taking the profits it earned from the United States and building more nuclear-tipped missiles to point at us. Russia is busy upgrading its nuclear missiles and warheads.

Additionally, for some reason both Russia (8) and China (9) are investing a lot of resources building underground nuclear bunkers capable of protecting millions of people.

The third condition is weakened alliances. Currently NATO has no clear purpose. The Europeans are not fond of the United States and most likely would not come to our defense in a nuclear war.

The alliance with South Korea is very weak because the people have become more and more anti-American.

Even the alliance with Japan is set to change with the recent election of a new political party to power.

The fourth condition is the existence of terrorist supporting states. That was Yugoslavia in 1914, and today it's Iran, Syria, Lebanon and other Islamic states.

The fifth condition is the existence of terrorist organizations. They existed in Yugoslavia in 1914, and today there are Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Hamas and more.

The first three conditions set the stage for war but might not necessarily start a war. The last two provide the catalyst to actually start the war.

There are other conditions that one could use to determine if war is near. For example, there are the three Es of war (10): Empires in decline, economic volatility and ethnic conflict. These are all present today.

The United States is in decline. Russia and China are experiencing economic volatility due to the global financial crisis. Ethnic conflict is a major source of problems in the Middle East.

Another way to understand war is to look at how major wars tend to follow cycles (the cycles of war) (11) based on the human life span. As a crisis generation gets older and starts to die, the younger generations (12), having not directly experienced a major crisis involving war, start to become susceptible to a major new war.

The cycles of war point to a major crisis occurring between 2005 and 2025.

You can see our susceptibility increasing as Obama is cutting the number of nuclear weapons down to 1,500 and possibly even 1,000. A major attack by both Russia and China means that we can retaliate once then we have nothing left. Meanwhile, millions of Russians and Chinese can wait us out in their nuclear bunkers.

Could they wait us out if they knew we could retaliate four or five times over several years?

How would a nuclear war start (13)?

Recently, we learned that Iran has enough uranium to build one nuclear bomb. It doesn't actually have a bomb, but it could build one if it wanted to. Additionally, it is building enough centrifuges over five years to create about 25 bombs per year.

We have now crossed a threshold where Israel must act. In a couple of years Iran will be in position to have 20 or 30 nuclear bombs. This is intolerable to Israel, and a very real threat to its existence.

In the next year or two Israel must attack Iran and destroy or cripple its ability to create nuclear weapons.

What do you think will happen after Israel attacks Iran?

Iran will launch a coordinated attack against Israel using Syria, Lebanon (Hezbollah) and Hamas. They will seek to destroy Israel once and for all.

Both Syria (14) and Hezbollah (15) have chemical weapons that could be launched on Israeli cities.

What do you think would go through the mind of a Jew when chemical weapons are exploding over Israeli cities?

There can be only one response: nuclear. Whoever would dare to use chemical weapons against Israel will be obliterated with nuclear weapons.

Once Israel starts using nuclear weapons then it must destroy all of its hostile neighbors. That means about 10 to 15 million deaths will occur over a short period of time.

Naturally the rest of the world would be pretty upset at Israel, and America would be blamed too.

Is that a good reason to launch a nuclear war against America? It turns out that the answer is yes, but not right away. It will take a few years to properly prepare for nuclear war against America.

The normal scenario where a small conflict escalates into a major nuclear war will not happen. In this case a small nuclear war will not escalate, but rather it will die out. The escalation will occur a few years later when the entire world is not expecting anything to happen. It will come out of the blue for no apparent reason.

Back in 2008 a Russian general (16) announced that Russia reserved the right to use nuclear weapons preemptively to protect itself and its allies. Okay, but which countries are allies of Russia?

Syria is an ally (17) of Russia.

So Russia is already telling us that if Syria is destroyed by Israel then Russia may launch a nuclear strike over this event.

Doesn't Russia have a lot to lose by going to war with America? The article, Beware Failing Rogues (18), describes how economically distressed states might go to war. The more a state has to lose, the less likely it is to risk losing it. However, Russia is looking more and more like an economically distressed state due to the huge drop in the price of oil.

Russia has another big problem in that its military is declining. It simply cannot upgrade its military equipment faster than it is degrading. So there will be a significant reduction in Russia's nuclear missiles in the next 15 years. Analysts expect Russia's nuclear missiles to eventually stabilize at around 300 in the next 15 years.

By 2030, America will probably have the technology to take out most of the Russian missiles during their boost phase. This will be a disaster for Russia.

So Russia has a window over the next ten years where it can destroy America. After that period Russia may have to start living under the thumb of America for a long time.

What about China?

Already one can read about the thousands of protests each year from unhappy citizens. The environmental pollution is so bad that it is devastating to the people. The country's one-child policy is a demographics disaster. The country's leadership is mostly unresponsive to the complaints of the people. There are significant water problems covering large portions of the country. There's wife kidnapping because men are getting desperate for a wife, and this will get worse. There are abandoned little girls because the parents wanted boys instead.

Even though things don't look too bad in China right now, they can easily change due to the above mentioned internal problems.

If you want to see what nuclear war looks like then check out this YouTube film clip from the movie, "The Day After". (19)

In conclusion, a nuclear war in the Middle East will act as a sign that the United States could be subject to nuclear retaliation from Russia and China. The actual retaliation would probably take two to three years to occur in order to give Russia and Chine time to prepare.

Sources for this article: http://www.1913intel.com/2009/09/11/sou ... -for-real/

(1) The Next War of the World

(2) Institute For Human Continuity: The IHC, Keeping You Safe For '2012?

(3) Chance of nuclear war is greater than you think: Stanford engineer makes risk analysis

(4) The War of the World: Twentieth-Century Conflict and the Descent of the West

(5) Geopolitics: The Three E's of War

(6) Empire Falls - Why the sun is setting on the west

(7) Look back at Weimar and start to worry about Russia

(8) Russian bunkers against nuclear attack

(9) Shanghai Completes Massive Underground Bunker to Protect Citizens from Disasters

(10) Geopolitics: The Three E's of War

(11) Winter's Coming for the Boomers

(12) The Coming Era of Russia's Dark Rider

(13) The Coming Nuclear War in 2012

(14) Israel is on a collision course with Syria

(15) Agencies Say Iran Has the Nuclear Fuel to Build a Bomb

(16) Russia's Nuclear Threat

(17) Russia to defend its principal Middle East ally: Moscow takes Syria under its protection

(18) BANKRUPT ROGUES: BEWARE FAILING FOES

(19) The Day After (Attack Segment)
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

The truth about the Mayan calender and 2012 is here .... perhaps.......
Carlos Barrios, Mayan elder and Ajq'ij (is a ceremonial priest and spiritual guide) of the Eagle Clan. Carlos initiated an investigation into the different Mayan calendars circulating. Carlos along with his brother Gerardo studied with many teachers and interviewed nearly 600 traditional Mayan elders to widen their scope of knowledge.

Carlos found out quickly there were several conflicting interpretations of Mayan hieroglyphs, petroglyphs, Sacred Books of 'Chilam Balam' and various ancient text. Carlos found some strong words for those who may have contributed to the confusion:

Carlos Barrios: "Anthropologists visit the temple sites and read the inscriptions and make up stories about the Maya, but they do not read the signs correctly. It's just their imagination. Other people write about prophecy in the name of the Maya. They say that the world will end in December 2012. The Mayan elders are angry with this. The world will not end. It will be transformed."

............................
Action is the antidote to despair - Joan Baez
woodburner
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Post by woodburner »

The world will not end. It will be transformed
A thought to be considered by climate change supporters.
You can see our susceptibility increasing as Obama is cutting the number of nuclear weapons down to 1,500 and possibly even 1,000. A major attack by both Russia and China means that we can retaliate once then we have nothing left. Meanwhile, millions of Russians and Chinese can wait us out in their nuclear bunkers.
1000 nuclear weapons will probably end the world, certain end most life on it. Who gives a stuff if the US can't retaliate more than once. Bonkers thinking.
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Post by Aurora »

'Yeh baby, bring it on!' :lol:

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Erik
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Post by Erik »

'Doomsday' rumours hit French village of Bugarach

I do find this highly amusing, the idea of thousands of doomers turning up to spoil the tranquility of this idyllic little village so as to escape the Mayan apocalypse. Can't wait to see a few photos of the Burgarach local bus stop on the morning of the 22nd of December as sheepish end-is-nighers try to make their getaway...
"If we don't change our direction, we are likely to wind up where we are headed" (Chinese Proverb)
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Post by Little John »

woodburner wrote:
The world will not end. It will be transformed
A thought to be considered by climate change supporters.
You can see our susceptibility increasing as Obama is cutting the number of nuclear weapons down to 1,500 and possibly even 1,000. A major attack by both Russia and China means that we can retaliate once then we have nothing left. Meanwhile, millions of Russians and Chinese can wait us out in their nuclear bunkers.
1000 nuclear weapons will probably end the world, certain end most life on it. Who gives a stuff if the US can't retaliate more than once. Bonkers thinking.
http://www.askamathematician.com/2010/0 ... ear-bombs/
Q: Would it be possible to kill ALL of Earth’s life with nuclear bombs?

Physicist: Probably not. We could kill all of the large (insects and up) life no problem. Hell, we’re doing all right by mistake so far. There are about 30,000 nuclear weapons in the world today, so in what follows I’ll assume the worst case scenario; that all of them are evenly spaced across the Earth’s land masses and set off. That should put them about 70km apart (in a grid).

Certainly everything on the surface within several dozen km of a nuke will be dead (like, really dead) but surprisingly, several feet of dirt or stone offer remarkable protection from the light and fire of the initial blast. Not directly under the explosion, but pretty close. It takes an amazing amount of energy to heat up and/or move dirt, so while the surface may be heated to red hot, the ground underneath can stay surprisingly cool.

So sure, you’ve kicked the legs out from under the ecosystem, but how do you ensure that you get everything? Fall out and nuclear winter are a good place to start. Nuclear winter is caused by dust thrown up in the air blocking out sunlight. The “sunlight blocking” shouldn’t last for more than a few weeks, but it takes very little time to starve all the plants and plankton that rely on sunlight. Or really just plankton, since you’re not going to find plants left standing within 35km of a nuke. Now, whatever survives (burrowing critters, seeds) will have to contend with ash instead of food, and radioactive fallout.

Modern weapons are fairly efficient, in that they use up almost all of their fissionable material when detonating. The initial flash involves a lot (as in “holy shit”) of radiation that mostly takes the form of gamma rays. Gamma rays are just high energy photons, so they’re gone immediately. Unfortunately, when fissionable stuff splits it breaks up into smaller isotopes which also tend to be highly radioactive. Most of these by products have short half lives. There’s a strong correlation between an isotope having a short half-life and the isotope radiating especially high energy crap when it decays. So most of the nasty stuff goes away pretty quick. The glaring exceptions to this are Caesium-137 and Strontium-90, which both have half-lives of about 30 years (and are delicious). Today the background radiation of Hiroshima is due primarily to Caesium, and that accounts for very little radiation total.

Basically, in order to survive the worst case scenario you have to: 1) live under ground or underwater, 2) be highly resistant to buckets of radiation, 3) not be particularly bothered by losing the sun for a while, and 4) not be particularly sad about the surface of the Earth burning and then freezing (or continuing to burn, just not as much. Some of the jury is still out).

A creepy blind fish from an Australian cave, a Pompeii Worm from a black smoker vent, and a Tardigrade (Water Bear) from freaking everywhere. The last two are harder to kill than werewolves.

We live in the largest ecosystem on the planet, but we definitely don’t live in the only one. There are fungus driven ecosystems deep in caves scattered around the world for example that may be safe. If however those caves can exchange air with the outside (or are forced to by a bomb for example), then the radiation would probably wipe out everything in there too. At the bottom of the ocean you can find black smokers, usually at the edge of tectonic plates. Black smokers are vents that spew out super-heated acid water laced with poison. I can only assume that the creatures that live down there must have been kicked out of every other clubhouse on the planet. These ecosystems depend only on heat and material from beneath the Earth’s crust, and as such are completely independent of the Sun. Although, poetically, since they depend on the nuclear decay of heavy metals in the Earth that were produced in at least one supernova more than 5 billion years ago, they still rely on a Sun, just not our Sun. The creatures in the black smoker ecosystems have to deal with radioactive crap flying out of the vents all the time, so they may be able to put up with fallout that manages to drift all the way down to them. Also, back in the 1950′s a bacterium called “Deinococcus radiodurans” was discovered that flourishes in radiation upto 3 million rads. By comparison, 1000 rads is usually fatal to people. 3,000,000 rads means that the glass of the test tube you’re keeping this bacteria in is going to turn purple and fall apart long before the bacteria dies.

I mean, how does that evolve? Where in the hell is this bacteria finding an environment that horrible?

Finally, Water Bears. God damn. Those guys don’t die. Ever. You can freeze them (-272°C), boil them (151°C), dry them out, irradiate them (500,000 rads), and even chuck them into space (seriously… space!), and they couldn’t care less.

So as long as there’s liquid water somewhere on Earth (even ultra-high pressure acid water) there will almost certainly be life. We would probably be more successful (at killing everything) with toxins and run-away global warming. So, if we could turn Earth into another Venus.

It worth noting that if this post seems a little “guessy”, it is. A lot of research has been done on the subject. The United States alone has detonated at least 1,054 weapons in tests, injected at least 18 people with plutonium, and exposed many more to radiation. The exact results of all these tests are largely classified (as in fact were the tests themselves). And of course, the world has never been destroyed by an all encompassing nuclear disaster. Hence the guess work.

However, we have fossil evidence of microbial life dating back about 3.8 billion years, and the moon’s marias were still being created (by really, really big impacts) until about 3 billion years ago. So we can expect that the Earth was subject to several ocean-boiling impact events since life started, and we’re still here (suck on that, space!).
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Post by SleeperService »

Good find there Steve.

One little point is that the heavier dust will come back to ground in weeks as stated but the smaller particles will end up in the stratosphere where they'll persist for a long while. The volumes will be hundreds of times that of the CFCs which caused a drop in temperature over the last few years. The 'nuclear winter' will probably be extremely severe for a few weeks then turn into a perpetual winter for three or four years.

Won't be pleasant in any case!
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Post by kenneal - lagger »

SleeperService wrote:The 'nuclear winter' will probably be extremely severe for a few weeks then turn into a perpetual winter for three or four years.!
Then turn into a global ice age for a few thousand years???
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Post by PS_RalphW »

There was a piece on Radio 4 this morning about research at Cambs University studying the four biggest threats to the human species

Global Warming
Disease
? Unintended side-effects of nanotechnology (ie pollution)
and the biggie
Overruled by run-away artificial intelligence.

No hint of resource depletion or famine.
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