12 Sep 2012
Get a grip. Why the world won’t end in 2012 … or anytime soon.
Last week I received the latest issue of the American Wired. They gave this October issue such a positive theme: Apocalypse not! In the magazine is written about the new project of Stewart Brand called Revive and Restore to bring back extinct species like the passenger pigeon. It is a starting point for many more de-extinctions, as he said. And he mentioned in that article that the world needs good worriers too – ‘people who watch the evidence and know when to stop worrying, to move on to something else, like good enthusiasts.’
More people freak out over end-of-the-world scenarios, as Matt Ridley writes, and his anti-apocalypse article even diggs deeper. On 11.11 on December 21 this year the Apocalypse will happen, as the believers think. Not only does the Mayan long count calendar end that day, but ‘the sun will be alligned with the center of the Milky Way for the first time in about 26.000 years’ as the website 2012apocalypse.net proclaims.
Matt Ridley, the rational optimist, and known for his vision that the capacity of humans for change and social progress is underestimated, gives in the article a brief overview of the apocalypse thinking and the past 50 years history of the four apocalypse horsemen: chemicals, disease, people and resources. He indicates that the specters have turned out to be exaggerated and shows the full-depth of the apocaholism to understand why we keep getting it so wrong. This is an interesting essay for everyone who worries about the future while thinking of chemicals, disease, people and resources. ‘Just as policy can make the crisis worse, technology can make it better. Humanity is fast-moving target. We will combat our ecological threats in the future by innovating to meet them as they arise, not through mass fear stoked by worst-case scenarios.’ I second that! This is a better approach and will take us further. There are so many reasons to be more positive and even more optimistic about the future. Our next Second Sight issue is about Infinity and the infinite possibilities that lie ahead. Get a grip. The world won’t end in 2012!
All images are from the Wired.