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Mayans and the end of the world

By Malcolm King - posted Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Who knows what evil lurks in the hearts of men? The Mayans know - but if they were so smart, why didn’t they predict their own demise?

On 21 December 2012 the Mayans said the Earth and its inhabitants will undergo a ‘physical or spiritual transformation‘, which includes, but is not limited to, being consumed by a black hole. It was ever thus.

Neither side of the global warming ‘debate’ has been well served by the media. The media on the one hand, aims to trivialize the issue while on the other, depicts the worst case in apocalyptic terms.


It’s one of the great post-modern conundrums that even though we have more mediums to transmit news and information, we have less intelligent content. It’s as if the public domain has been seized by FM radio jocks, whose pranks and cackling laughter, remind us that there were good reasons why we didn’t hang around the class idiot at school.

With the decline of text and the rise of the image; with the abandonment of reason in favour of opinion, we have created our own Camelot. We live in a time when divination and the personification of data to ‘prove’ an ideological point have produced ‘magical media facts’. These ‘facts’ congregate and become ‘proofs’ for a vision of a dystopian future or no future, as the case may be.

I have no idea whether the world is getting warmer or getting colder. Does anyone know how a carbon emissions trading scheme works? Is what was reported as fact yesterday, still a fact today or has it been crushed by a louder and more exciting opinion? What would George Orwell, who had such a keen eye for cant and humbug, made of this?

In the last 15 years there has been considerable work done on global weather patterns but we are still a very long way from understanding the mindboggling complexity of these systems. Even so, there appears to be enough science to make some reasonable calls based on probability. The most consistent is a rise in temperature over the next century of about 2C.

I have been skeptical about global warming because much of the debate has been hijacked on the pro-warming side by the anti-population and anti-immigration lobbies. Both display overt anti-democratic and far right ideals.

Over the last few years there have been some large claims made by the global warmers and their ilk and they include:

  • Recently the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research Climate experts updated their predictions saying that sea levels will rise an average of 3.2 millimeters (0.125 inches) per year causing global devastation.

  • Millions of thriving colonies of bees have been disappearing every year without leaving a trace. Seemingly healthy communities fly off never to return.

  • A spate of small earthquakes in British Columbia’s remote northeastern corner were caused by a controversial technique called Fracking used to extract natural gas from shale rock, says a report by a Canadian newspaper.

  • Human population growth is a major contributor to global warming, given that humans use fossil fuels to power their increasingly mechanized lifestyles.

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About the Author

Malcolm King is a journalist and professional writer. He was an associate director at DEEWR Labour Market Strategy in Canberra and the senior communications strategist at Carnegie Mellon University in Adelaide. He runs a writing business called Republic.

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