Get real — The world won't end today

Lisa Goudy
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There has been far too much talk of the end of the world.

The latest date that quite a few people have selected as the end of the world is today because it was believed the Mayan calendar ended and “predicted” it. However, for a multiple of scientific and cultural reasons, the world did not and will not end today. It is a waste of time and energy buying into yet another doomsday hoax. We should be spending our time living life to the fullest instead of worrying about nonsensical claims.

The theory originated because the ancient Mayans did a 5,125-year-long long count calendar. Many have interpreted this as a sign that the world will end because the calendar runs out.

There are literally thousands of doomsday blogs and websites speculating on how the world might end. There was even a movie released in 2009 called 2012 that was about the apocalyptic disasters that might cause the end of the world.

That is a very wrong interpretation of the ancient calendars. Leonzo Barreno of Regina immigrated to Canada from Guatemala in 1989 and he is the global chair of the University of Regina School of Journalism. I know him personally from my time as a student there.

He is the source of a story on the front page of today's Times-Herald. Last year, he was interviewed as a source in a CBC article about the supposed doomsday. Barreno was trained by Mayan elders to read the ancient calendars. He stated in the article that after the end of the long count calendar, another calendar cycle will begin. Mayan elders have said this will be the fifth time something like this has happened. Not to mention that, far too conveniently, another one of these calendars was discovered on Thursday.

But people are wrong about more than just the wrong interpretation of the calendar. There is scientific reason to substantiate my position. A lot of the buzz regarding the end of the world has revolved around planets aligning to hit Earth (particularly a supposed planet called Nibiru), total blackouts, being hit with a meteor or being affected by a giant solar storm.

Let’s face the facts here, as offered by NASA scientists and other major scientific organizations around the globe. All of those organizations confirm all those claims are false.

Firstly, according to NASA’s website, there is no scientific evidence the planet Nibiru exists. Had it been heading toward Earth, astronomers would have found it and been tracking it for at least the past 10 years. A planet can’t just appear out of nowhere and destroy Earth.

One major planet alignment occurred in 1962 along with one in 1982 and 2000. NASA said on its website each December, the Earth and the sun align with the approximate centre of the Milky Way Galaxy. It’s an annual event of absolutely no consequence.

There is no scientific organization predicting a total planet blackout at this time either. Of course the planet could be hit with a meteor, but that possibility is always there.

Besides, major hits are extremely rare. The last big meteor hit was 65 million years ago. NASA astronomers now conduct a survey called the Spaceguard Survey to discover any large asteroids near Earth long before contact is made. There aren’t any on the radar.

As for a giant solar storm, solar activity has a regular cycle and solar flares can interrupt some satellite communications. There is no risk associated with today or any time this month. So in short, all of those claims are hoaxes with no scientific evidence to support them.

Someone always predicts the end of the world every few months. Buying into that is a massive waste of time and energy. We live in a culture of fear. People seem to feed off of it and so people take anything and spin into an apocalyptic tale. There are so many other things we can spend our time doing, such as spending time with the people you care about or helping a neighbour or something.

So the next time the world’s doomsday and apocalypse is predicted, ignore it and live your life to the fullest every day.

Organizations: NASA, University of Regina School of Journalism, Times-Herald CBC

Geographic location: Canada, Guatemala

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