Monday, September 10, 2007

Book Review: Apocalypse 2012- A Scientific Investigation Into Civilization's End

Apocalypse 2012 is a book published in 2007 by Morgan Road Books. The Author is Lawrence E. Joseph, a journalist and science consultant. He has written extensively on scientific matters, and is currently the chairman of the board of Aerospace Consulting Corporation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The book is non-fiction, and is geared towards adults with an analytical bent, who wish to enter into an objective inquiry into the various predictions and talk of future catastrophe associated with the year 2012.
The author succeeds in exploring these matters from an objective, non-judgmental point of view. His artful use of humor throughout the book serves to lighten the mood of an otherwise morbid and bleak subject. The author states his purpose as follows:
“The thesis of this book is that the year 2012 will be pivotal, perhaps catastrophic, possibly revelatory, to a degree unmatched in human history.” [Pg. 16]
The book was published in 2007, and represents the culmination of 15 months of research. The author traveled the globe in his quest for information in order support his thesis. He went to Guatemala and spoke with Mayan shamans. He traveled to the South African coast where he interviewed geophysicists working at the Hermanus Magnetic Observatory. He went to Johannesburg, South Africa to meet with a group of psychics called 123 Alert. He visited Durango, Colorado and attended a SORCE (Solar Radiation and Climate Experiment) conference; sponsored by the University of Colorado’s Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics. Finally, he traveled to Novosibirsk, Siberia to meet with Dr. Alexey Dmitriev, who is a renowned geophysicist with the Russian Academy of Sciences.
The discussion draws from diverse sources of knowledge including several branches of the physical sciences, metaphysics, and a wide variety of religious points of view, in order to offer a well-rounded survey of the subject at hand. The book includes an extensive bibliography showing the vast wealth of information the author consulted. Indeed, it would seem that he left no stone unturned. The author successfully guides the reader through a systematic and logical thinking process about such matters, thereby dispelling the hype and hysteria, which so commonly follow topics of this type.
The book explores a variety of points of data, which would seem to indicate that major global catastrophic changes are imminent; and all either point to the year 2012 or at least a time in the near future. The author explores several topics in depth:
  • The ancient Mayan “Sun” calendar is observed in cycles of 5,125 years. The end of each “Sun” cycle is said to be marked by great transformation and growth, as well as catastrophe and death. The end of the current Mayan calendar cycle is December 21, 2012.
  • Our sun goes through cycles of sunspot activity, and has been becoming increasingly tumultuous. The current solar cycle has seen solar storms and activity unprecedented since the closing of the ice age, 11,000 years ago. Significantly, the unusually violent solar activity has happened during the point in the cycle where the sun is supposed to be at it’s calmest. The peak of the current solar cycle will occur in 2012, and scientists are concurring that we will be observing sunspot activity that year, the like of which has never been seen before.
  • Sunspot activity has a direct impact on Earth’s weather and climate. The catastrophic hurricanes Katrina, Wilma, and Rita all occurred in the fall of 2005, which directly coincided with one of the stormiest weeks in the recorded history of the Sun.
  • The Earth’s magnetic field, which acts as a protection from solar radiation has been changing lately. Cracks the size of California have opened up randomly, and scientists are not sure why this is happening. Some scientists say that this sort of anomaly could be a precursor to a magnetic pole shift of the entire planet, during which the north and south poles switch places.
  • Some geophysicists believe, based on their observations, that our solar system has entered an interstellar energy cloud. This cloud has been energizing and destabilizing the Sun and the planets’ atmospheres. As the Earth and the Sun gradually enter this cloud, scientists predict that catastrophe could manifest in a number of ways. Predictions for the Earth’s time of being most affected by this “cloud” range from 2010-2020.
  • It is widely believed by the scientific community that the dinosaurs, along with 70 percent of all other species on Earth, were extinguished by the impact of a comet or an asteroid 65 million years ago. According to the fossil record, these mass extinctions seem to happen in cycles, and they maintain that we are now at the end of one of those cycles, making another massive catastrophe imminent.
  • The Yellowstone supervolcano is displaying ominous signs that it is getting ready for another eruption. The geologic and fossil record shows that this massive caldera, which is the size of Tokyo, has erupted roughly every 600,000 to 700,000 years, and that we are now in the time frame of another expected eruption. The last eruption catapulted enough soot and cinders into the atmosphere to bury the entire continental United States in a meter of debris, and blocked out the sun for a significant period of time. The effects of this sort of eruption can be likened to the descriptions of “nuclear winter” which were described during the cold war.
  • Many other belief systems, in addition to the Mayan one, are predicting the same type of encroaching catastrophe accompanied by global spiritual changes. All of the world’s major religions such as Buddhism, Hinduism, Judaism, Islam, Christianity, and other varied indigenous belief systems are all expecting these unprecedented changes worldwide.
Overall, I found this book to be a well-balanced and logical overview of the issues now facing humanity regarding what the near future may have in store for us. We tend to think that the world will go on just as it always has, and so the exploration of these topics makes us stop and consider that we may not be as invulnerable as we think we are. We all take events like the Sun rising and setting on schedule, the regular turning of the seasons, and the rising and falling of the tides, for granted. This book refocuses the lens, so to speak, to show that in the whole of the Earth’s history, things have not always been stable and constant; but that the Earth has, in fact, gone through many great cataclysms throughout its history. What would make us immune to experiencing one such event, or events, of great upheaval and change?
If for nothing else, exploring these ideas is a great opportunity to do a personal survey of why we are here, living on this little planet, within the vast universe; and what our personal purpose for living might be. It is also an opportunity to pause and realize just how fragile life is, and really take to heart the need to make the most of what we have, and to protect the resources that God, through nature, graciously provide for us.

5 comments:

j.l.navarro said...

I'm reading the book now. I highly recommend it to anyone who's interested in the 2012 target date with all its implications, good and bad.

Anti-Inertiatic said...

I'd love to have your respectful feedback regarding this very topic at http://antiinertia.com/2009/04/27/antiinertia-islam-science-the-2012-predictions--the-beginning-of-the-end.aspx

pogo said...

As a side note, after reading a quarter of your review, about how the sun is at it's most troublesome in 11.000 years: It is not. I agree that metaphysical evidence as the Mayan calendar (you can't exactly name it scientific, can you?) cannot be argued with, but fact is, the Sun is at it's calmest point in 100 years. The sheer size of the number "11.000" should have told you that's complete bullshit since THERE ARE NO WRITTEN ACCOUNTS FROM 11.000 AGO, excluding perhaps some drawings on stones. Furthermore, Sun's activity can only be monitored through a telescope, and that was invented 400 years ago by Galileo(but no, he didn't monitor the Sun for an apocalypse). If there will be a very powerful solar flare(that's what people are worried about from the Sun) that will only disrupt every single electrical apparatus on Earth BUT we will be alive and unharmed. The only credit I can give this guy is that, indeed, the Sun will be in it's most turbulent time of it's cycle in 2012 (Oh, almost forgot. The sunspot - solar flares cycle is of 11 years, give or take 3 - small irregularity) You won't approve my comment but at least I hope you learned something today(if you took the time to read it, that is.) Furthermore, the sun did not have any influence in the hurricanes Katrina, etc. For proof of that, check out NASA's logs of solar activity during that period. If you're ever willing to exchange ideas or if you wish any clarifications, or just wish to mock me, e-mail at borgster04@yahoo.com. Have a nice day!

Eliana Hephzibah said...

Pogo,

I did approve your comment because I have no problem with people who disagree and have more information to share. I find that helpful. Thank you for your added thoughts.

And BTW, I don't take it personally because this is a book review. I didn't write the book. All I did was to give a synopsis of what was in it and what I thought of it. I found it intriguing.

pogo said...

I know you did not write the book, and you don't really need to believe anything written there in order to make a book review, but the way the review was written made me realize that someone, who, let's say, is not really up-to-date with science, would gladly acknowledge everything there as the truth since the author even gave the names of certain scientists. I have nothing against the metaphysical part of the book, anyone can interpret prophecies/myths/legends/etc in whatever way they wish, but this author used the name of science as a means to prove his point, with bogus data. I just want people to know that, and that they should not trust everyone who says "here's the package" without checking if the content is broken. For solar activity data, check: http://www.n3kl.org/sun/ or http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/ - may be a bit hard to figure out but look for sunspots (blacker spots on the sun against the lighter normal color) + the solar wind speed and you can judge Sun's activity based on that. BTW, thank you for accepting my comment, I was not expecting that. Have a nice day!