Musings on 2012 and the Mayan Calendar

19 Aug

By now, I’m sure that everyone has heard about how the Mayan Calendar ends with Winter Solstice in 2012.  That’s not all that distant in the future–I remember how distant the “end of the world” was when I first heard about it.  It seemed so far away that there was no need to spend much time thinking about it–after all, first we had to survive Y2K!

But now, the date is near by, and much talk comes from every direction about it, with nearly as many opinions of what it means as there are people expressing them.

Last week, my guest was Frank Joseph, a writer & researcher who has delved into “pre-civilization” civilizations. Once again, the question of 2012 and the Mayan Calendar came up, and he spoke of what the Popal Vuh actually said.  (Translated into English, of course.)

It seems that according to this document, that morning doesn’t bring the “end of the world” per se, but the story did have an uncanny resemblance to the tales of the Apocalypse according to the Christian Fundamentalist.  It seems that the Mayan equivilent of Satan will descend with his 9 servants to wreak havoc on the earth.

Cheery, huh?

So, if we take this as a symbolic story, associated with some natural phenomena, like most Mayan mythology, rather than a literal translation of a prophecy, we see something different.  Some terrible threat is coming from the sky?  What would this be?

Obviously, the first answer most people would have would be a fear of an incoming asteroid or large meteor.  While those are quite impressive and devastating, there is another anticipated threat for that approximate time that has already been anticipated.  One that most of us are unaware of, yet they occur regularly.

Solar flares.  Specifically, some seriously large ones, ones that could have the potential of delivering an EMP (electro-magnetic pulse) event of sufficient magnitude to cause serious damage to electrical based systems and the electrical supply grid.  It has happened before–in the late 1800s there was one, apparently it caused some serious damage to telegraph lines and injured some people, but there was no extensive use of electricity anywhere in the world.  In the early 1900s, when electricity was still in its infancy, there was another, of less serious nature, but also causing injuries and damages.

What would a big one today cause?

Serious problems.  

No, it’s not a fictitious problem dreamed up by conspiracy theorists with too much time and too little science behind them.  While not all of these things happen every time there is a solar flare, any or all of them COULD occur during a major flare if we were in its path.

  • Failure & destruction of the electrical grid.  Without electricity, industrialized nations would be crippled.  Essential needs such as food, shelter, and water depend on electricity, especially in urban environments.
  • Communications systems destroyed.  Satellites destroyed, the electronic components destroyed, radios destroyed…no way to communicate with anyone outside of shouting or visual signalling distance.  This cripples emergency  and government responses to panic and chaos.
  • Computer systems destroyed.  A lot depends on computers these days, including our cars, trucks and trains.  None of these will work after an EMP destroys their computers.  Engines are nothing more than dead weight, no longer capable of running.
  • Aircraft are disabled, no matter where they are–ground OR air.  They fall out of the sky, crashing to the earth in many cases, and others having a successful crash landing.
  • Police and military response to panic and chaos is non existent as they lack both vehicles and communication ability.
  • Shortages, robberies, riots, looting, gangs, vigilantes, and other forces of chaos have taken over.  People are sick, starving, cold/hot, hungry, and frightened.  People die in violence, leaving behind spouses and children, and further increasing the uncertainty.

How long before there was an “official” response?

Within two weeks, the chaos would be so widespread, it is unlikely that any force could regain control.  Varying by region and area, as much as 75% of the population could have already died, with the majority of the victims being infants, children, and the elderly.  Many would have died after being abandoned by their families or caretakers, as well as due to violence, environmental stress, starvation and thirst.  Others die due to bad food and contaminated water.  More die as chronic health problems, ranging from hypertension to diabetes, leaves them vulnerable and incapable of obtaining medication.

That’s a pretty grim picture, and I know that it isn’t one I want to see happen.  So what kinds of options are there to avoid this?

According to the Popol Vuh, if we are in tune with nature and staying in balance, it won’t happen.  BP Oil Spill, Japanese radioactivity issues, global warming…I don’t think we have a prayer of THAT being true.

Science and society has taken different tactics.  For decades, they’ve been working to protect the electrical grid from just such an event.  Plus, there has been the launch of a state of the art solar probe to give us an early warning of just such a pulse headed our way.  Those are good starts.

So…what do you think?  What would you do if it happened today?  Next week?  Next year?

Thinking about it might be a very good idea, especially considering that the average city contains (in all sources from grocery stores to warehouses) only 3 days of food for its citizens.  That’s not much.

Don’t say it can’t happen to us–it’s happened to every Great Civilization along the way.  Why would this one be exempt?


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