NASA and the End of the World

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NASA and the End of the World

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by Pax Rasmussen

The Mayan prophecies for 2012 are getting scientific support from an unlikely source: the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

rasmussen_endoftheworldNormally, I’m not one to buy into prophecy. I have a hard time believing in anything further ‘out there’ than acupuncture, to tell the truth. To pique my interest, I need to see a little cold, hard evidence (a double-blind, peer-reviewed study is favorite)—until then, I cast most things into the “Sure, why not?” category of healthy skepticism, neither belief nor disbelief. Strangely enough, when it comes to 2012, it’s starting to look like there’s a hefty dose of cold, hard evidence after all.
Year 2012: Apocalypse. End of the world. End of history. The Great Turning.

Chances are you’ve heard of the ancient Mayan prediction that the year 2012 holds something major in store for us, especially if you’re a regular CATALYST reader. I know of at least five stories we’ve published in the last few years on just this subject. Check out our website and do a search (upper right-hand corner)—there’s some neat stuff. Interviews with David Pinchbeck, James O’Dea and John Major Jenkins, to name three.

Normally, I’m not one to buy into prophecy. I have a hard time believing in anything further ‘out there’ than acupuncture, to tell the truth. To pique my interest, I need to see a little cold, hard evidence (a double-blind, peer-reviewed study is favorite)—until then, I cast most things into the “Sure, why not?” category of healthy skepticism, neither belief nor disbelief.

Strangely enough, when it comes to 2012, it’s starting to look like there’s a hefty dose of cold, hard evidence after all.

In April, WIRED.com published an article (www.wired.com/wiredscience/2009/04/storms2012) with evidence the 2012 apocalypse may have more to it than just prophecy. According to the article, a combination of atmospheric and solar events will coincide right around the year 2012—quite likely wreaking havoc here on Earth.

A report, titled “Severe Space Weather Events — Understanding Societal and Economic Impacts,” released by a group of NASA-assembled researchers claims that we are entering a period of increased sun flare activity, something that happens every 400 years or so. These cycles last about 11 years, and peak out somewhere in the middle—just right for 2012. According to the report, the solar flares could likely disrupt Earth’s magnetic field, overloading electrical transformers and potentially shutting down power grids worldwide. There are other disruptions possible, too, and the researchers estimate the cost just to repair the power grid could be as much as $2 trillion. And that’s just for the first year. Repairs would take anywhere from four to 10 years. There’s some scientific speculation of the sun reversing its polarity, too, although there’s little consensus on what that would mean here on Earth.

In addition, this period of solar activity coincides precisely with an unusually large hole in the electromagnetic “shield” that encircles the Earth, screening out much of the usual solar radiation. Using a special satellite named THEMIS (for Time History of Events and Macroscale Interactions during Substorms), NASA researchers have discovered that under the right conditions, this magnetic shield lines up with that of the sun, causing weak spots over the poles that allow solar flares right in. During the year 2012, the shield is exactly where we don’t want it: perfectly aligned for a crack in the wall. “The crack is huge – about four times wider than Earth and more then seven Earth diameters long,” said researcher Wenhui Li, in a NASA publication about the hole (www.nasa.gov/mission_pages/themis/news/themis_leaky_shield.html ).

Does this mean the end of the world? Probably not. Still, though, I can’t help but imagine what would happen if the power grid went down, even for just a week, nationwide. I’m not building my bomb shelter and stockpiling food and guns, but I have to admit, I’m a little spooked. Just a coincidence? Maybe, maybe not. When stuffy NASA scientists start to get worried, so do I.

Here’s the original NASA report, if you’re curious: www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=12507

Pax Rasmussen is a CATALYST editor, an Agent for Change and a lieutenant in the H.E.A.D. Revolution. He writes and edits from his desk in balmy Oakland, California.

 
 
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