If you’re familiar with the idea of the 2012 Apocalypse, then you know that there are people who believe that the world is supposed to end at 11:11 am on December 21st, 2012, which is one year from today.

The widespread phenomenon of 2012 seems to have taken on a life of its own in recent years. So many random and unrelated fears have been rolled up into 2012, that it seems like this supposed date with doom has more followers than any previously predicted “End Time”. Sure, everything has to end sometime, and most global religions have an end of the world section in their writings; Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and most Native American religions all have some form of the “Last Days.” And every couple of years, somebody comes up with a fresh idea that the world is going to end on a certain date or in a certain way. These folks either take it as their personal responsibility to warn everybody they can, or they keep their ideas quiet and only warn a chosen few.

There were at least 43 publicly advertised predictions that the world would end between 1990 and 1997. The most infamous of these were Harold Camping’s doomsday predictions of 1994 and the Heaven’s Gate suicides in 1997.

Let’s not forget Y2K: That was recent enough to remember vividly. The computers that control the world were all supposed to crash, sending us back to the Stone Age, or at least to the 1800s. You might also remember that nothing bad happened.

Now the Mayan Calendar rears its dusty, confusing, archaic head. This ancient calendar has a cycle that ends on 12/21/2012. The end of the cycle has been tied to a carving of a serpent belching out watery destruction, which seems to be enough for some people to deem it “the end of the world.” I think I already saw that movie, the one with all known disasters happening at once, including a Noah-sized flood and John Cusack’s acting.

What’s Been Attached To 2012

Aside from the flood-spitting dragons that the Mayans associated with The End, plenty of other calamities have been glued to 12/21/2012. Just to name a few, we have:

• A nearby supernova hits the earth with deadly radiation

• Planet X hits us, or passes near enough to set off earthquakes and volcanoes on Earth

• A super volcano blows and covers Earth with ash, creating global winter

• World War III begins

• We get sucked into an unseen black hole in space

• Mega-quakes tear the surface of the earth apart

• The world’s money systems collapse

• The Anti-Christ drops by to say howdy, and to have dominion over the earth

• A big asteroid hits earth

• The next Ice Age begins

• Widespread nuclear warfare

• Super storms create hurricanes, tornadoes and massive flooding

• Solar flares knock out earth’s electricity and communications

• The magnetic poles shift or reverse, causing global mayhem

• A plague, bio-weapon or virus causes massive casualties

• A super computer gains consciousness and sends cyborgs to kill all humans

• Zombies, possibly created by aliens, attack us (See: Plan 9 From Outer Space)

• Aliens attack us directly, without zombies (See: most Will Smith movies)

You know, I actually am a little scared now after compiling this list, but not because of the topics that have already been made into movies. The biggest physical threats that seem real to me are the solar flares messing with our power and communications, terrorists getting a serious bio-weapon, and, of course, our global money troubles. But I can’t predict the future, and apparently I am in good company: No one else can accurately predict anything either, not even the weather.

I think that the most important factor to consider about any Doomsday prediction is that hundreds of judgment days have been predicted over the last few centuries, yet all of these days have passed without “The End Of The World As We Know It” being realized. To be quite honest, I think that there have always been people who expected the world to end, from a time shortly after the world began.

Should You Put Your Head Between Your Knees Now?

Yes, and no. Yes, you should always be prepared for short-term, regional catastrophes; but no, I don’t think you need to worry about the end of the world.

However, it’s not a bad idea to take 2012 as an opportunity to do some realistic disaster survival planning and training. Earlier this year the CDC used the popularity of zombies to inspire people to take a look at their personal disaster preparedness. They put out a guide to surviving the Zombie Apocalypse. While I don’t agree with the CDC’s methods, mainly because Zombies aren’t real, I think the result probably justified the ridiculous means. The guide caused the readers to think about food, water and supplies, maybe for the first time in their lives.
Will We Still Be Here A Year From Today?**

Absolutely. In fact, I’ll take a stand as one of few survival experts who says that the world will NOT end in 2012. I’m not going to use 2012 to scare people into buying my books and taking my classes, like many contemporaries are doing right now.

Here’s my final advice on 2012: Enjoy the next year and do good deeds for your fellow man, living your life as if it really was your last year on earth. That’s what I’m going to do, and I hope you’ll consider doing the same.