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December 18th, 2012
So is the World Ending or What?

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By Taina Haiman, Being Latino

At the beginning of this year, as I pondered on New Year’s resolutions, I caught myself thinking, “What if this really is our last year on Earth? What if the Maya were really predicting the end of the world?” I must admit that for a moment there I felt a bit of fear, although I’m not exactly sure of what: solar flares, a catastrophic polar shift, a collision with Nibiru, the return of the mothership – basically the end of life as we know it. But then I went right back to thinking about my New Year’s resolutions, most of which I just couldn’t get around to. I can always add them to this year’s resolutions.

Or can I?

The Maya long count calendar ends on December 21, 2012. This has led many to believe in the impending doomsday. But scientists insist it simply means the end of one cycle and the beginning of a new one. Simple enough, so what’s all the hubbub about? What’s more, back in May, archeologists discovered theoldest Maya calendar found to date in Guatemala, and it continues for a good 7,000 years into the future.

In an attempt to appease doomsayers, NASA posted a page on their website debunking the doomsday theories by answering frequently asked questions about the upcoming apocalypse date. The agency also released — ten days early — a video meant to come out on December 22nd titled “The World Didn’t End Yesterday”, where they further explain why the Maya never meant the world would end.

Some news reports are claiming that panic is spreading as the 21st approaches, but I haven’t encountered any panic-stricken earthlings in my neck of the woods. I took my kids to the fair at the local mall yesterday, and judging by how packed the parking lot was, people seem more concerned about Christmas shopping than stocking up on candles, water and Chef Boyardee.

I don’t believe the world will end on Friday, but I do believe that we humans need to take a good look at how we are treating our planet, our home. Forget about solar flares, Planet X or polar shifts; we pose a greater threat to life on Earth. We pollute the land, we deplete resources, and we kill each other senselessly. That scares me more than any prophecy of doom.

This year, aside from including the resolutions I never got around to, I will include trying to do more to protect the planet and make it a cleaner, safer and better place to live for all of us, our children and the people who will live here 7,000 years from now. Maybe you can do the same.

And maybe, since they seem to have the calendar all sorted out, scientists can finally try to figure out one of the biggest mysteries of all: how the heck did ancient civilizations build the pyramids?

This article was first published in Being Laitno.

[Photo by randallsaxton]

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