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Political Dynasties in the Philippines: In My Opinion

Next year’s Philippine midterm elections are fast approaching and it paints an all too-familiar image once again: candidates that are ei...



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JR Lopez Gonzales 4:02 PM 0

December 21, 2012.
Doomsayers believe that on that fateful day, we can expect billions of people to die. It will be the day where Mother Nature will turn into executioner. They say, it will be the end of the world as we know it.

How? The following are some doomsday theories:

1. Meteorites and Asteroids

Meteorite impact hypothesis met criticism when the theory was first raised in 1980, but it has since been widely accepted that a meteorite strike could have actually wiped out the whole dinosaur population some 65 million years ago. It means that the giant pieces of rock falling from space which made exciting plots for ‘90s sci-fi movies like ‘Armageddon’ and ‘Deep Impact’ are not actually far from happening in real life. 

According to a Yahoo! News post, Russian scientists have issued some more apocalyptic predictions. An asteroid dubbed ‘Apophis’, estimated to be the size of two football fields, could collide with Earth as early as 16 April 2036 if a change in gravity causes it to fall out of its orbit. While they admit it is theoretically possible for the asteroid to hit Earth, they note that the chances are remote; in fact, they put the odds at one in 233,000.

2. Solar storms

Powerful solar storms exactly like the ones the world witnessed at the beginning of last year occur once every eleven years as the sun’s magnetic field flips over. ‘Solar Cycle 24’ has been building gradually with the number of sunspots and solar storms set to reach a ‘solar maximum’ by 2013. Super solar flares send great geysers of hot gas and huge quantities of charged particles erupting from the surface into space. These flares of charged particles, called “coronal mass ejections”, slam into the Earth's magnetic shield impairing electrical devices in their path.

This already happened in 1859. Dubbed as the ‘Carrington Event’, the solar flare lasted eight days, wreaking havoc on all of the world’s telegraphs and set buildings on fire. The National Academy of Sciences says that in modern times the solar flares could knock out 300 important transformers within 90 seconds and cut power for 130 million people.

3. Pole Shift

According to some modern astronomers and the ancient Mayan prophecy, on the winter solstice of December 21st 2012, the Earth will be in exact alignment with the sun and the centre of the Milky Way Galaxy - an extraordinary event which happens once every 25,800 years. For the first time in recorded history, our entire solar system will move below the Milky Way galaxy.

The Mayans believed that the consequences of the inter-galactic occurrence would be catastrophic. It is imagined that a magnetic field effect reversal will take place, where the entire mantle of the earth would shift in a matter of days, changing the position of the North and the South Pole. Such a rapid change in the Earth’s dynamics would result in countless earthquakes, tsunamis, global climatic change and eventually the ultimate planetary disaster, similar to the one depicted in the disaster movie ‘2012’.

The recent striking of earthquakes is pretty alarming. In New Zealand, a massive earthquake hit Christchurch on February 22, 2011 registering 6.3 on the Richter scale. Less than a month later, on March 11, Japan was rocked with an intensity 9 quake which killed 19,000 people and destroyed more than $100 Billion worth of property. According to scientist Richard Gross, because of the Japan Earthquake, the earth now revolves 1.8 seconds less 24 hours. It is also noted that about 2.4 meters of the Earth’s tectonic plates moved.

In the Philippines, the February this year was opened with a quake with the epicenter between Negros and Cebu islands which tipped 6.9 in the scales. According to Dr. Mario Aurelio of UP National Institute of Geological Sciences, a 7.2 magnitude hitting the Philippines would surely be catastrophic given the fact that the country rests in the Pacific Ring of Fire where about 1,500 earthquakes occur each year.

4. Super Volcano Eruptions

According to volcanologists, the last super volcano to erupt was Mount Toba in Sumatra, Indonesia, some 75,000 years ago. Thousands of cubic kilometers of ash and sulphur dioxide were thrown into the atmosphere - so much which it blocked out light from the sun all over the world, resulting in global temperatures plummeting by 21°c.

It is imagined that black acidic rain would have fallen due to gas poisoning. Such an event supposedly eradicated mankind, cutting the population to just a couple of thousand people, and three quarters of all living plants in the northern hemisphere are thought to have been killed.

5. Global Warming

Climate change indeed has had some effects that baffled even the smartest of the scientists:
A surprising snow in Hawaii, unexplained bird fall last September 2010, and some extreme floodings in Saudi Arabia.

Based on the study commissioned by the UN, global warming is projected to increase the average temperature by 3.5 degrees over the next century. As a proof, temperatures in various regions, and/or increasing extremities in weather patterns.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has drafted the worst-case scenario. According to an assessment of how global warming could progress beyond 2100 - the normal time frame of model predictions - if temperatures rise by even 6°C rainforests will be wiped out, fertility of many soils will be destroyed and the Arctic will be left ice-free even in midwinter. London will be as hot as Cairo with air quality so poor it would endanger human respiratory systems. The world’s most populous low-lying cities like New York, Mumbai, Tokyo, Shanghai and Dhaka will be engulfed by floods after an eleven-meter rise in sea levels. Extreme weather events, like hurricanes and droughts will become more common, with climate change spreading more infectious diseases.

A flashflood like this which happened in Iligan City may also happen
in unlikely places due to climate change.

On the other hand, there is also but a large majority of naysayers regarding the December 21st 2012 Doomsday Predictions. Consider this simple inference:

In a NASA press statement, it disagrees, predicting that the polar shift event will not mean that Earth meets it fate. Experts debunked the theory, saying: “Nothing bad will happen to Earth in 2012. Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than four billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012. There are no planetary alignments in the next few decades, Earth will not cross the galactic plane in 2012, and even if these alignments were to occur, their effects on the Earth would be negligible”.

In a simple analysis regarding the actual date of the doomsday, one may find the setting of the date erratic, though. There have been about 514 Leap Years since Caesar created it in 45 BC.
Without the extra day every 4 years, today would already be in the year 2013. Also, the Mayan calendar did not account for leap year so technically the world should have ended in 7 months.

It’s pretty alarming on how our actions proved to put its toll back to us (read: Global Warming). But some scientists, too, seem to agree that we have the same odds of seeing the day tomorrow or on any other day as on December 21st 2012. Anything can happen, although yes, there’s no denying that we were warned.

Of these theories on doomsday, of whether or not it would happen, a thing is certain: Humans are survivors. We have survived the Y2K Millennium Bug on January 1, 2000. We have survived Year 2000’s “Planetary Alignment Doomsday Prediction”. We have gone through June 6, 2006 (6/6/6) which believed by some to be the “Rise of the Devil or the ‘Anti-Christ’ ”.

But granting without conceding that the end of the days is near; in the Philippines, there are still a lot of things that has to be answered.

Where was the Marcos’ wealth hidden?
Who truly killed Ninoy?
When will the Maguindanao Massacre case be finally closed?
When will the Philippines bag the elusive Olympic Gold?
When will justice be served for the Vizconde family?
Is Jonas Burgos still alive?
When will rise up again as a nation?

Although I believe, the most important question I may ask is:
If ever the world ends, where will you spend your eternity?


Picture Credits:

Images of Pole Shifting, Solar Storms, and Super Volcanic Eruptions are screenshots from Discovery Channel's '2012 Apocalypse'.
Typhoon Sendong Photo by Aimeelyn Fuentes.

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