End of the world?
Published: Friday, December 11, 2009 - 4:28pm
Believers say that unprecedented catastrophes, such as massive earthquakes, tidal waves, and volcanic eruptions, among other calamities, will precede the end of the world in 2012.
For the sake of entertainment, we'll "suspend our disbelief," as I was taught to in speech class. Let's assume that the Mayan calendar ending at 2012 translates into an apocalypse.
If I believed this was going to happen, I would pile up the credit cards and start living life to the fullest. On Dec. 21, 2012, I'd be happy in the knowledge that I got to have three glorious years of fun. Simultaneously, I would atone for all my sins and stringently adhere to morals until judgment day.
Assuming I managed to survive, I would only need a soldier's survival pack to prosper.
According to ABC News, here's how some people have prepared:
- Two years ago, Patrick Geryl, then 51, quit his job as a laboratory worker for a French oil company. He'd saved up just enough money to last him until December 2012. After that, he thought, he wouldn't need it anyway.
Instead, Geryl, a soft-spoken man who had studied chemistry in his younger years, started preparing for the apocalypse. He founded a "survival group" for like-minded men and women, aimed at living through the catastrophe he knew was coming.
He started gathering materials necessary to survive — water purifiers, wheelbarrows (with spare tires), dust masks and vegetable seeds. His list of survival goods runs 11 pages long.
"You have to understand, there will be nothing, nothing left," Geryl told ABC News from his home in Antwerp, Belgium. "We will have to start an entire civilization from scratch."
Geryl and his Belgian and Dutch followers have similar intentions, though their plan will take them much farther from home. They are looking to buy a plot of land high up in African mountains, where they'll be able to withstand the monstrous tidal waves and wait out the cloud of volcanic dust that they said would block out the sun.
Geryl said the group has recently zeroed in on a location, but won't reveal his find for fear of tipping off rival survival groups in the United States and Canada. On that land, Geryl's group, whose core membership consists of 16 people but whose wait list supposedly lists hundreds, will build concrete dwellings or outfit caves for survival.
Thomas Lehmann, a 25-year-old factory worker from Missouri, spends about two hours a day reading about the end of the world. ABC news mentions Lehmann's preparation as follows:
- "If this stuff does happen," Lehmann said, "I have a way to eat. I can hunt, I can fish, and I can purify water. I think it's people in the big cities that need to be worried. People that can't provide for themselves."
Lehmann said he eventually hopes to move away from Cape Girardeau, built on the banks of the Mississippi River, to the higher plains of southwest Missouri to keep safe from the floods sure to follow the earthquakes of 2012.
On Dec. 22, 2012, I'll be taking five minutes to laugh at all the Web sites and videos that predict the end of the Earth based on a cyclical calendar from a dead civilization.
No doubt, some guy has profited from exploiting gullibility.
After all, the world certainly ended in 2000, and 1986, and every other time someone with a rudimentary knowledge of science or religion shouted "Armageddon!"