2012 Are you ready? - Macleans.ca

2012 Are you ready?

It’s not just a movie for those who believe the world really will end then


2012 Are you ready?Even though there are still three years to go, give or take a few months, before the end of civilization as we know it, Hollywood has decided to cash in now with 2012, director Roland Emmerich’s $200-million love letter to special effects. Perfectly reasonable plan. After all, millions worldwide believe that cataclysmic destruction—or, just maybe, total spiritual transformation—will commence as soon as the millennia-old Mayan calendar grinds to a halt on Dec. 21, 2012. In either case there won’t be any Ferrari dealers, cocaine suppliers or anyone else to lavish the film profits on. And, for true believers, there’s every motive to go for the gold now. That may have been the thinking of Richard Heene, when the father of six-year-old Falcon concocted the Balloon Boy stunt. “Heene believes the world is going to end in 2012,” according to his friend Richard Thomas. “Because of that he wanted to make money quickly, become rich enough to build a bunker or something underground, where he can be safe from the sun exploding.”

Our friendly neighbourhood star going supernova may be the only destructive touch missing from 2012. The official trailer for the movie, which opens on Nov. 12, has earthquakes, tsunamis and super-volcanos. Whole cities slide into the ocean, and an aircraft carrier, tossed like a child’s toy, lands on the White House. Religious imagery is even harder hit: the dome of St. Peter’s rolls over the faithful; in Rio de Janeiro the giant statue of Christ the Redeemer crumples to the ground; and a lone Buddhist monk (an ecumenical touch, perhaps) is swept away as a wave crashes over his mountaintop shrine. What brings on this Götterdämmerung is barely hinted at in the trailer; according to early reports, it’s not much clearer in the film itself.

The movie opens in the present, as scientists note unusually fierce solar storms, which they fear will have alarming, although unspecified, effects on earth. By 2010 the American president (Danny Glover) knows the planet has had it; he calls a meeting of world leaders, in part because he needs the help of a dictatorship untroubled by nosy news media or basic human rights. And so in China, the army starts displacing villagers to begin what it calls a dam-building project.

By 2012 signs of the coming apocalypse—minor earthquakes and random fissures along the U.S. West Coast among them—are plentiful, and the movie proper begins. John Cusack, playing Los Angeles science fiction writer and limo driver Jackson Curtis, picks up his two children to go camping in Yellowstone National Park. (Leaving L.A., what with the quakes and the fissures, is a good idea; heading to Yellowstone, the currently quiescent site of the world’s largest super-volcano and a major focus of 2012 anxiety, is not. You’d think a SF writer would know that.)

Meanwhile, the conspiracy, like the San Andreas Fault itself, cracks wide open. We learn what the Chinese were really up to: constructing high-tech ships for world leaders and a sprinkling of the global elite to ride out the storm. The only happy ending in sight means cheering for the Curtis family to make it onto one of those new arks; that almost everyone else on earth will perish is a given. “I said to myself that I’ll do one more disaster movie, but it has to end all disaster movies. So I packed everything in,” Emmerich cheerfully sums up.

As over the top as 2012 may seem—a tsunami that washes over the Himalayas?—for those who actually believe 2012 marks the end of all things and have actual explanations why, it may not be over the top enough. Belgian author Patrick Geryl, who in 2002 penned the bestselling The Orion Prophecy: Will the World Be Destroyed in 2012? (he dispensed with the question mark in 2005’s The World Cataclysm in 2012), believes the North and South poles will switch positions in a cataclysm of destruction. He wrote in a recent online posting, “I explained abundantly clearly that life after a polar reversal is nothing but horror, pure unimaginable horror. All securities you presently have—food, transport, and medicines—will have disappeared in one big blow, dissolved into nothingness. As will our complete civilization. It cannot be more horrifying than this.” He then added, in the aggrieved tone used by prophets through the ages who found their audience’s attention drifting, “Are you grasping the facts?”

Millions have. Books and websites about 2012 have mushroomed: Amazon lists 299 doomsday 2012 titles and another 87 “2012 transformation” texts; Googling “2012 end of world” brings 13 million hits; and 2012 conventions are a booming business. Popular awareness of the end of the Mayan Long Count calendar began to take off in 1987, when Mexican-American author José Argüelles, one of the originators of the Earth Day concept and founder of the first Whole Earth Festival in 1970, published his influential book, The Mayan Factor: Path Beyond Technology. In it he argued that the end of the Mayan calendar would bring the dawn of a new era of spiritual awareness. At next January’s Tipping Point meeting in Cancun, Mexico, Argüelles and other leading New Age thinkers will discuss their visions of the future before leading a tour of Mayan sites.

That all sounds decidedly un-Emmerich, but the German director is well in the mainstream (so to speak) of 2012ers, most of whom—like Richard Heene—expect a far larger, and considerably more physical, bang. Their conventions tend to be survivalist-themed and feature tips on seed swapping and living off the land. The two wings of the movement have influenced each other—the New Agers often allow that birth brings pain and blood, as well as joy, and the doomsayers were happy to pick up a date stamp.

Those who predict disaster suggest, among other causes, the Yellowstone super-volcano that Jackson Curtis is heading straight toward. (But its appearance in 2012 is only as a sideshow, a mere continent-killer.) For real, planet-wide annihilation, you need something bigger. Outside the film world, some doomsayers have lasered in on the planet Nibiru, which—despite having no evidence of its existence— many say is completing its 3,600-year-long orbit around the sun. In 2012 it will crash into the earth or at least wreak serious havoc by a near miss. Or perhaps polar reversal. As Geryl and others argue it, North and South have suddenly switched position before, and are going to do so again you-know-when. The globe will start rotating in the opposite direction, making the sun seem to rise in the west, even as the momentum of the former rotational direction causes the planet’s crust to buckle and the seas to sweep, 2012-style, over the land. What links these suspects is the coming solar maximum: a Nibiru near miss will whack us by causing polar reversal: polar reversal, in 2012, triggers Yellowstone; most explanations of the pole switch pin it on a massive solar storm striking earth.

The sun’s storm activity waxes and wanes according to an 11- to 13-year sunspot cycle. That the next solar maximum, when storms are most frequent and powerful, will climax (probably) in three years is what gives the 2012 phenomenon its veneer of scientific validity. Although scientists reject the idea that a solar storm—or anything else for that matter—is about to start the earth abruptly turning in the opposite direction, many have their own worries about the coming maximum. The sun cycle’s supposed quiet period has actually been quite active, leading to questions about how it will behave at maximum. And as Laurence Joseph, a skeptical science writer and author of Apocalypse 2012, notes, “the cycle we’re now in is like the one that led to the Carrington event.”

That six-day solar storm of 1859—the most powerful ever recorded—brought down telegraph systems worldwide. Something like another Carrington event would now strike a civilization far more electricity-dependent. Joseph points to a study by the National Academy of Sciences entitled “Severe Space Weather Events.” The NAS notes that electricity makes everything else work; if we lose it for long enough, “water distribution will be affected within hours; perishable foods and medications lost in 12-24 hours; loss of heating and air conditioning, sewage disposal, phone service, fuel re-supply and so on.” A worst-case scenario would see giant solar flares frying the transmission grid sufficiently as to leave more than 130 million North Americans without power, perhaps for years.

Even so, despite the suffering that would result, it would hardly add up to the extinction of humanity. And the solution, according to Joseph and many experts, is relatively simple: a series of large-scale surge protectors placed at strategic points along the electrical grid. The cost? About $300 million to $500 million, chump change, Joseph says, in the age of billion-dollar bank bailouts.

Despite its recent rumblings, fear of 12-21-12, as it’s often styled, can hardly be blamed on our local star. Or even on the Mayans, who had virtually nothing to say about the day after—most scholars assume they expected to do what we do when the desk calendar reaches Dec. 31: start a new one. But it says a lot about what 2,000 years of half-expecting Armageddon has wrought in what was once Christendom, and about our fascination with numerology. A decade ago, for everyone who feared computer chaos as the clock ticked down to 2000, many more were simply in thrall—all those numbers turning over together had to mean something. But 9/11 notwithstanding, life hasn’t changed much. The sun still rises, and in the east too. But maybe a few surge protectors would be prudent.


2012 Are you ready?

  1. Surge protectors are *always* prudent.

    I *like* end of the world movies, and I enjoyed Independance Day. This one, however, leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    2012 rumors have been circulating for years, fueled by various new-age authors and people who thought that the Maya had some sort of pipeline to the cosmos. As an amateur astronomer involved in education and outreach, I have been fielding these questions for several years now. Now I’m longing for the times when kids would ask me things like “What would happen to you if you fell into a black hole?”

    This movie used a viral marketing scheme that actually *built* on the pre-existing fear of 2012… something that I find despicable. The whole “Charlie Frost” blogs and “IHC” commercials which were *NOT* obviously associated with the movie, at least not at first, encouraged people to be afraid. Even the “Find the truth, search 2012” commercial encouraged people to go and get their information from the various apocalyptic websites.

    Here’s what people who are concerned about 2012 should know: It’s a lie.

    It’s a lie, it’s a hoax, it’s a fraud.

    Those sites that say that 2012 is the end only want one thing: your money. They want you to buy their books or their videos or their useless memberships.

    At http://2012hoax.org we refute all of those claims.

    • in a polar reversal, only magnetic field is reversed, rotation does not change.
      maybe migrating birds will be disturbed, and that is very unclear, but really.. seriously..
      it does not matter..
      we love to be frightened. I love heavy special effects movie (although since CGI made them cheaper and easier to do, they became the star of a movie instead of the frame for the story.. not good).
      the author suggests it rightly, follow the money.. many will make money from 2012 (not only the movie).
      always expect these doomsday.
      I predict the one after 2012, will be this asteroid coming to Earth a couple of decades later..

  2. We do not know when the end of the world is. The Bible says ” it will be like a thief coming in your house to steal”, we do not know when, but it is coming the signs are there.

    • The bible also says that I should stone my children do death ?for working on Sunday. Do you believe that as well ?

      • Tell me, which chapter in the bible you read that, mI am sure really smart person, but don't said stupid things like.

        take care.

    • Hopefully I'll remain asleep and undisturbed the whole time and wake to find muddy footprints in the kitchen and my silver wear missing as the only signs that the world just ended. Wow, the bible really has it all worked out for us.

      • But you see, my dear Hastings, that the mud was brown. Brown, n'est-ce pas? Yet the carpet is blue. Ah-ha.

    • Exactly; check Mark13:10 & 2Tim 3:1-5. Maybe the end of this present system is not a specific time but certain conditions have to be met? Thanks – LWF

  3. Wow! You have silverware? I can only wish….

    • thats so true

  4. Another example of the "King of Doom Magazine'

    Macleans needs to run a happy piece once in a while.

  5. Wow – Y2K all over again– & we know how that turned out.

    • Get a genny while there cheap!

  6. so someone else is wanting to get rich on our money, so what else is new….
    life goes on, we each make our own hell & learn to life on, & on…….
    have some spare money put it under your pillow……

    • THIS IS ALL FAKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. The Mayans died off when? And they were worried about 2012.

    • Ummm…

  8. after 17 year of studying the subject of the end of civilization,I made a blog about it:
    please have a look.

  9. big yawn………………………………

  10. I don't quite follow the concept of building a bunker to hide in if the sun goes supernova. Exactly how long do these wackos think they can survive? 15 seconds longer than the rest of us ? And if the world ends do I still have to pay my mastercard bill?

    • Only if the postal service can still deliver it. You know..Neither rain nor sleet nor snow nor apocalypse…

    • LOL! I loke that!

  11. It's not a lie, or a hoax…

    Have you ever heard of the '11:11 Phenomenon'? If you don't experience yourself you probably haven't, but there are countless people around the world who are experiencing it. Why haven't they gone public with it? Well, many who experience it don't even realize that it is happening to others too. And those who have found out usually discuss it privately amongst themselves in Internet groups that have been created over the years, to try and figure out how and why it is happening. "Someone" is trying to tell us "something." But even those who experience it cannot come to a general consensus regarding the who, what, and why. (Plus, because the phenomenon involves the paranormal and coincidence, many people are not comfortable discussing it because of the negative backlash and "crazy" comments that inevitably follow, as probably will be evidenced after this post :)

  12. When I found out that this movie 2012 was being released on November 13, I thought the creators of the movie must not have known about the 11:11 connection; otherwise, they would have had it open on November 11 – 11/11 – for a more dramatic, symbolic effect. However, I recently viewed the 'Worldwide Release Dates' online and found that the movie actually IS opening on 11/11. (I think that it is very symbolic that it is opening on 11/11 in Egypt.)

  13. But it turns out that 11:11 is connected to this December 21, 2012 date. The Winter Solstice occurs that day at exactly 11:11 am UT.

    Also, and even more astounding I believe, is that there is a significant astronomical alignment that occurs that night at exactly 11:11 pm Giza time ( (9:11 (Emergency) pm UT). If you have read the book 'The Message of the Sphinx' it is believed that the Pyramids/Sphinx are an astronomical "clock" which tells the 'First Time' (Zep Tepi) and foretells the 'Last Time'. This specific alignment – designating when the "clock" runs out – occurs on this December 21, 2012 date at the 11:11 time stated above.

  14. So, as an experiencer of this '11:11 Phenomenon', I can tell you that it is not a lie or a hoax. Of course I don't expect you to believe me, but I ask that you research this on the Internet and see for yourselves before you dismiss this as a bunch of ridiculous nonsense. I truly believe it is connected to this December 21, 2012 date, and in fact, I came to this conclusion back in 2000 while trying to figure out why the '11:11 Phenomenon' was happening and discovered the December 21, 2012 connection.

    My findings regarding this 11:11 Phenomenon and its connection to December 21, 2012 can be found here, if you are interested: http://seeingisbelieving.webs.com/Chapter13.html

    There is definitely more to this December 21, 2012 date than just a "movie" but this movie has certainly succeeded in bringing it to the attention of the public, where until recently, it has been kept mostly "underground". At least people know about it now, and can research it, and decide for themselves what to believe or not.

    • 2012 is not a hoax. Roland Emmerich's 2012 movie trailer depicts pretty much what is to happen.The Maya were not the only ones who knew about 2012 as most of the world did also up to the 1800s when the knowledge was lost. Washington DC was laid out to remind us of 2012. Monuments carved in stone worldwide were left for our generation to know that date. Christ taught it. Read my non-fiction trilogy, The Ark of Millions of Years. These books are the most comprehensive books on 2012 in the world and are based on scientific, historical, biblical, and Mayan facts. I write under the pen of E.J. Clark. Available in bookstores and online bookstores.
      Thanks, E. J. Clark/Mary England author

      • Yes Jesus taught about a time of calamity in Scripture (Matthew 24), but He also said "No one knows the day or the hour when these things will happen, not even the angels in heaven or the Son himself. Only the Father knows" (Mt 24:36). To say Jesus taught about 2012 is misleading.

      • Exploiting irrational fears to sell merchandise… how delightfully sinister!

  15. More evidence of the tragedy of extreme liberal philosophical relativism, I'm afraid. When the truth can be different for different people and requires no reasoned justification, the floodgates open up for every manner of idiocy. Here's hoping we find some motivation to return to an appreciation of reason without having to repeat circumstances similar to those that led to reason's first flowering: the Black Plague and its resulting superstitious hysteria. The irony is the only danger of global destruction these days comes directly from those most convinced it is inevitable and desirable.

  16. I'm guessing there would be a very high overlap in 2012 World Enders and 2020Warmongers Saving the world form CO2 crowd.

    Both are very entertaining to sane people, although I am told it is very un PC to have a laugh at the expense of the mentally ill these days.

    But these folks are different that real mentally ill.

    These folks are self inflicted mentally ill.

    • Alright I admit it, the world would be a whole lot more boring without wackos.

  17. Very scary stuff indeed. However, if the 2012 stuff is real, there is a least one positive out there for Leaf fans, since accepted wisdom says that another cup for them would surely mark the end.

    Perhaps the Hip should get a new song out now, while the prospects for sales are good.

  18. what's wrong with the end of the world? it's bound to happen sometime. The sun is bound to expire…humans are bound to destroy each other…and with all our efforts in war, I doubt we'd put enough research and scientific development into technology development that would allow us to overcome earth's natural phenomenon or if the sun decides to go supernova eons from now. All things end. Not a bad thing in my opinion. I think it beats world war 3. Or crazy religious people trying to convert you into their beliefs cause they are scared silly about the world and can't use their brains for logic/reason.
    Maybe it will teach people to live in the now.

    • I agree.
      My thing is, if the world WERE to end on 12-12-12, bring it on……as long as I have in my arms to die with me, the two most important people in my life……my four year old daughter and my husband…………OK…….and a bag of Cheezies :-)

  19. When they say North and South will switch direction I am pretty sure they are referring to magnetic North and South. The magnetic polls have switched before and are actually moving right now. I doubt the possibility of the world stopping and turning in the other direction (which would require a great force to make that happen) and also that the earth will just topple over.

  20. So, those of you who believe in this entertaining legends, you know that you can't build a boat to escape the coming disaster, because you'll sail off the edge of the world, right? But, sure, the sun will always be driven across the sky in a chariot, and moon is made of cheese, so, if you can get there, you will have something to eat.

  21. Whoah, did Kady send over all the crazies from CBC?

  22. After 37 yrs. as On paramedic , Death is no big deal , it is what it is !

    BUT , I will be ticked off if I die before the big whatever. Gotta love mother nature !

  23. What a bunch of gullible twits we are, us, human beings. As if the world is gonna end according to the Mayan calendar. Give me a break.

    • its true the world aint going to end because some stupid directors and people said

  24. We may have two days grace when it comes to the end of the world in December 2012. Some academic scholars such as Linda Schele and David Freidel interpret the end of the Long Count Calender to fall on December 23, 2012 (A Forest of Kings: The Untold Story of the Ancient Maya, 1990, p. 81). A check of some authoritative sources on the Web confirms that there's no universal agreement among Mayan scholars regarding the end date of the Long Count Calendar. Schele and Freidel, as do other scholars and scientists, also point out that this calendar, along with the other Mayan calendars, were cyclical, went on forever and made no predictions about the world being destroyed. Schele and Freidel wrote (p. 82) "The Maya, however, did not conceive this to be the end of this creation, as many have suggested. Pacal, the great king of Palenque, predicted in his inscriptions that the eightieth Calendar Round anniversary of his accession will be celebrated eight days after the first eight-thousand-year cycle in the Maya calendar ends. In our time system, this cycle will end on October 15, 4772." I'm documenting these and other fascinating facts and fiction about apocalyptic prophecies and visions on my Doomsday Blog (http://doomsdayblog.wordpress.com).

  25. It has been recorded that some ancient Chinese once saw the sun rise, sink and rise again within a few of hours. They experienced a “dual Dawn.”
    It has been recorded that ancient people witnessed that the sun and the moon stopped moving (presumably from East to West) for several hours during a huge battle in an area near Jericho, Israel.
    It has been recorded that ancient people in Mexico experienced a night that lasted considerably longer than twice as normally expected.
    The Greeks have a myth about the sun that changed its location within the zodiac within one longish day.
    The painting of a night sky inside one of the Egyptian pyramids is upside down, by today's standard of normal astronomical behavior.

    Could all these historical astronomical events have happened at the same time? Could they all be explained by a spinning earth taking a few hours to turn upside down? Possibly!

    • best story of this is reading a book called "the day the sky fell" it is based on the work of Hadgood

  26. In MacLean's 2012 article the sentence “… The globe will start rotating in the opposite direction making the sun seem to rise in the west, …” is incorrect.
    Try this.
    With the South Pole at the top, place a globe of the earth in a bowl in the centre of a “Lazy Susan”. Somewhere near the equator mark the letter E on the left side and the letter W on the right side. Shine a flashlight on the globe.
    Rotate the Lazy Susan a couple of times from left to right. Note that the W moves into the light before the E does.
    NOW, raise the globe and turn it upside down, ensuring the North Pole at the top, then lower it back into the bowl.
    Rotate the Lazy Susan as before. Note that now the E moves into the light before the W does. In other words, for someone now living on the globe between E and W, now the sun rises in the East but it used to rise in the (W)est. Similarly, now the sun sets in the West but it used to set in the (E)ast.
    By always rotating the globe in the same direction, but turning it upside down, reverses where the sun appears to rise and set.

  27. Let's discuss paleomagnetism. Assume that the earth's magnetic field always points in the same direction, with the North Magnetic Pole (NMP) being above the earth and its South Magnetic Pole (SMP) being below it. Imagine a piece of cooling volcanic rock; that rock will become magnetized like a weak bar magnet with the NMP pointing up.
    Turn the globe upside down and the lava rock is also turned upside down. Now the earth's True North Pole is aligned with the North Magnetic Pole but the rock has its NMP pointing to the globe's True South Pole.
    Now, not realizing the globe had turned upside down, one would have to assume that the magnetic field that magnetized the rock had flipped, and the NMP and SMP have exchanged places. This is a very logical conclusion based on a false assumption.

  28. if 2012 passes by with no real disaster,doesnt matter anyway as we are destroying this planet and all thats on it with no help from nature at all,oil companies and big industries ,governments making manmade diseases to control population,will doom this place we call home

  29. All the doomsdayers, please send me your flat-screen t.v.'s, laptops and any loose change you have, as you won't be needing any of it.

    • haha that's hilarious!

  30. this date will reign terror over humanity….the world may not die from this event – but mankind will cease to exist.

  31. bitchhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  32. hahahahahahhaah every1 suk it the world aint ending unless the stupid states dosnt stop terrorizing all these countries. bbrraaahhhh

  33. I have no idea what may (or may not) happen on 2012, but it is my wish that it would be a massive revelation of the TRUTH. i.e. Who are we? Is there a specific purpose we are here (on this earth)? etc, etc. I hope that such revelation will result in the END OF EXPLOITATION of man by man (i.e. the END of EXCESSIVE GREED, RACISM and EXCESSIVE SELFISHNESS). That we will be so enlightened with the TRUTH, such that we begin to DO UNTO OTHERS WHAT WE WANT OTHERS DO UNTO US. We really NEED to change, and if we will NOT change, then we deserve being "cleaned out" with the destruction we see in the movie "2012'.

  34. let see if it is sun flares that cause all the problems guess you would want to go to northern Canada for your Dec 21 date cuz the sun won't be coming up for another 3 months funny thing about winter in Canada a one night stand can last for 5 months

  35. In Islam, in the final days the sun shall rise from the west. Arabic of-course is a lot more complicated then english so this definition may not be the best – however, it is considered a true "hadith". It shall only happen once and then the sun will rise normally. After that, no prayer shall be accepted and the end of the earth will be shortly thereafter. It is interesting to note that it talks about the end of "life" and that all other creations (planets, stars, etc.) will continue until their appointed time.

  36. To the Y2 K deniers, remember the preparations made and billions spent prior to the year 2000. So what if. You can not say.

    Next, in the year 2004 Polaris (North Pole Star) aligned with the pit of the Great Pyramid of Giza and is also the year of the great tsunami. If my memory serves me, it moves 1 degree every 72 years.

    Next, how can the primitive Mayans develop such a calender without help from a more advanced source?

    5/5/2005 by Richard W. Noone has more interesting stories.
    The ancient map of the South Pole land mass?

    Edger Cayce is a more current prophets, and one should always stay current with the times (like Sikhism upgrading the prophets). Cayce ism.

  37. That would mean 2004 plus the 12 years is 2016. Some people will be so disappointed.

  38. Wanted to read something great on the themes of 2012. But fairly ok with what ever has been posted here. You can read someone's views at <a href="http://www.just2012.com.” target=”_blank”>http://www.just2012.com. I am fairly impressed the way things are being put there. This story here makes good sense to me. Although movie has been released but its hype is over. The field is left open for the people who want to research the theories. I am one of them. I would go after the theories and try to make sense of it for myself.

  39. the thing aboiut the maya are right you know they did a calender and they dstoped a 2012 some say its beacause theworld will end some say they just stoped there . …….. we dont really know what wil happen but from my opinion i think weee wil all live hapaly ever after :)

  40. We all gonna die in 2012

  41. The world doesn't end until 2015, at least.
    The ones who don't believe me, go see the movie "Back To The Future (part 2)". In that movie, is shown beyond any doubt that Marty and Dr. Emmett Brown traveled forward into the future, to 2015. The human society will be active, and no one can see any sign of destruction.