Loading...
Disasters & Extreme WeatherHumor

'Pole Flips', Earth Wobbles, Bird Deaths and 'End Times' [VIDEO]

…oh, and don’t forget the Mayan prophecy (does anyone actually know how to read or speak ancient Mayan?)…No need to spare anything too arcane, it’s surely all bad news anyways.

I was reading an article about an airport in Florida that had to temporarily shutdown so as to change its navigational signs due to the southward drift of magnetic north (it’s making lots of news these days)…

…but what prompted me to write this post was not the article itself (see link below), but the comments that people were making — over 2000 of them so far. Most of these are expressing some form of doom and gloom, with even the more rational ones admitting to feeling  “a little strange” lately. I also noted that many responders were confused about the ‘polarity flip’ and the Earth’s ‘wobble’ (its precession) which is causing the sun’s progression through the traditional zodiac to fall out of alignment…perhaps causing a problem…somewhere.

“Wobble” and “Flip”…no wonder people are “feeling a little strange” these days…they’re practically nauseous…info-vertigo,  too much bad news from pop Science, too much fear-factoring from big Media — and too little time to check facts (who has time for fact-checking, when it’s the end of the bloody world?)

I took these many comments (to what is a rather basic and matter-of-fact news story) to be a sort of psychological barometer of the times we live in. Let’s see, let’s call them…the um…end (again) times.

In times that are seen as ‘end times’, no amount of calm, reasonable argumentation will convince the (seeming) majority that some things are not true, or not calamitous (for all of Earth)…especially when you write for a blog that offers regular doses of climate change news — news that is crisis-oriented.

It matters not that the Earth’s poles are continuously in flux and it will take thousands of years for a complete reversal of the magnetosphere to happen, and in the mean time it could just as readily flip back to its old orientation (oh, and the north pole is shifting southward towards Russia, on average, 40 kilometers per year, not 40 miles)…

It matters not that mass bird deaths (and fish kills too) happen quite frequently, but mostly in remote areas that don’t get much news coverage. This is not to say that the causes of these die-offs (small and large) are completely understood (making it all the easier to recourse to malevolent / metaphysical forces at work)…or, that maybe the natural fluctuation in the magnetosphere (a two for one!) is causing some birds to fly into storms, instead of away from them (kind of like what that airport was trying to avoid with planes)…then again, maybe it’s the government’s fault…

Interestingly, we tend to ignore multiple, equally probable causes while we accept multiple “signs” to validate our fears. Meanwhile, enforcement of the Clean Air and Water Acts continues to be lax…

black_storm_Maya-Dresden-Chen

Because these dreadful things fascinate us so, scare us so, we give these stories more of our attention — guaranteeing greater news coverage — and also (seemingly) more occurrences of these Fortean events.

Yes, it’s difficult to advocate for a mind state of reason and calm (things that, I believe, will aid the  challenge of climate change remediation) when we eco-evangelists espouse taking action on human-induced climate change now (while we still seem to have time to contemplate it), and while our voices are joined by a chorus of other concerned folks — some of whom see the situation in far more dire terms than others.

I want people to take our emerging climate change crisis seriously, to take sensible, informed and concerted action to forestall a potentially looming, global calamity, or series of calamities…Oh, and by the way, don’t take all that other fear-mongering seriously — that’s just crack-pot pseudo-science or right-wing religio-doom-saying…Their crisis is over-blown, ours is under-appreciated, etc.

Admittedly, sometimes, it’s a tough sell. Thus, I try to keep a balanced outlook and maintain a sober, measured reading of the science of climate change (which has a near consensus about the big picture, but some disagreements on the particulars…hmmm, just like the apocalypse camps!)

new-sun_Maya-Dresden-Yaxkin

Oh, and the “Mayan calendar” doesn’t predict the end of the world on December 21, 2012…There are, in fact, two Mayan calendars (the Tzolk’in and Haab’ calendars, 260 and 360 +5 days respectively) neither of which assigns numbers to years, as we do.  To arrive at a future date in the Mayan system,  one must combine the two and count; this combined system repeats in cycles of 52 years (well past an average Mayan’s lifespan), the next one of which ends on December 22, 2012…Of course, there are also those 5 days “left over” at the end of each calendar round (the Wayeb) and which were thought to be unlucky and a bit chaotic (but what’s 5 days, right?), so, maybe avoid air travel from Dec. 18 to 22… *

…and then it starts all over again. Nearly everything in Nature is cyclical in some fashion, even the climate (the question is whether or not we humans will still be flourishing come next time around…but there I go again!).

I once saw a poster that quoted Buddha’s last words as “do your best”. That is my aspiration through all of these may-you-live-in-interesting-times…end (again) times.

And, if the fear-mongering starts getting too much for you, just remember this…in the really, really BIG picture, the Universe is likely to be cyclical too.

Here’s the original story that prompted my post (don’t forget to read the comments): Earth’s magnetic pole shifts, screws up runway at Florida airport

*Or, would that be Dec. 23 – 27 ? That’s one of the main problems with using ancient calendrics to predict modern events — knowing where to start, and stop, counting.

Finally, for an alternative view of the End (Again) Times, please watch my original video poem ‘Apocalypse Later’ (that I made in 1998…before Y2K!) :
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XATMw6d8DMk]




12 comments
  1. John Jensen

    It gets a little disheartening to me to read (and re-read) comments that have little if anything to do with reality, and almost everything to do with a particular philosophical or other agenda. Facts should be the basis for every opinion. In other words, you don’t get to espouse or defend a ‘belief’, if the facts don’t support your contention. Here is a small example. The ‘facts’ in the geological column, do NOT support gradualism, or long duration stable epochs. At most they support random cycles of periodic catastrophic changes occurring, on average, about every 7,000 years. Evidence of several ‘Polar’ locations, like Hudson’s Bay, Lake Chad, etc. supports a careening of the globe has occurred, ending a particular Epoch. That careen, or rollover is supported by many facts, including world wide examples of glacial striation. Of course there are, in fact, other trigger mechanisms, such as near or actual Impact Events, Electrostatic Field increase or de-gaussing, (massive lightning charge or discharge), Polar Wander, (where the Pole location and Axis of spin changes, but the Lithosphere does not). The list goes on. Other inconvenient facts include the irrefutable rock solid evidence that Newtonian Physics, Einstein Relativity and Sagan Astrophysics with there axioms based on ‘the Fixed Law of Gravity’, is at best quaintly oxymoronic, and at worst, sinister and evil, That ‘Gravity’ as a fixed ‘Law’ does not now, nor has it ever existed, is well know to anyone with the slightest knowledge of Electrical Engineering. The phenomenon called ‘Gravity’ is a simple definition of the Unified Electrostatic Field, which is made up of several composite phenomenon; Electrostatic, Electrical (current), RF, Electrogravity, Electromagnetic and Plasma. Polarity creates + (Positive) and (-) Negative attraction, and rejection. Period. Case in chief; the Dinosaurs that weighed 300,000 lbs and 450 lbs birds and mile high trees could NOT live in our current so called ‘gravity’. So by definition, whatever you want to call it, IT is widely variable and not the least bit ‘fixed’. These facts, (that fit the dynamics of the Electrostatic Field perfectly) now call into question EVERY theory based on Newtonian Physics, including the mind bending ‘thought experiments’ of Astrophysicists. Black Holes? Not even a smidgeon of a chance. String theory? I don’t think so. Speed of Light as a barrier? Not even close. The Electrostatic Field (ESF) is the Unified Force in the Universe(s).

    I have a hundred other responses to the content and responses on this blog, but those will suffice for the time being. Please, if you are a student of the current paradigm and choose to defend it by attacking me personally, please don’t waste your breath. Attack the ideas. Prove they are wrong. The fact that I have an 8th grade formal education leaves me invulnerable to Academic criticism. Who I am or what my credential are have NOTHING to do with the argument against Newtonian Physics. Don’t call me names. Defend your position.

  2. steven

    If this author is so celebrated, then how can he take a story like this and turn it into such a puff piece. Seriously this is not a “fun” read, his writing is all over the road. He needs to go back to school and learn how to write all over again

    1. Michael Ricciardi

      Steven

      Thanks for your comment.

      I am guessing here…but might you be a more religious, or true-believer, type of person? Perhaps my modest jibes at such beliefs and believers (in the article) offended you in some manner.

      I judge this based upon the lack of humor in your comment. How SHOULD one approach or write about over-blown, apocalyptic visions (of the arcane or occult kind) that otherwise offer no real proof?

      Should one write only in a prose style of a fearful, funerary solemnity?

      It is helpful sometimes to take a more humorous view (not gallows, as such) at dire predictions or prophecies of global apocalypse…it helps remind people that our multiple, looming crises are often self-made…and meanwhile there are real crises of accumulation in our future (pollution, CO2 warming, deforestation, disease, excess consumption, over-use/depletion of resources, etc.) that will take collective action to stall or stop.

      Perhaps you would find my more recent post The Science of Apocalypse: Climate ‘Flips’ and Global ‘Collapse’ – Two Dire Visions of the 21st Century – Source: Planetsave (http://s.tt/1dlOJ), which I posted today (coincidentally), more to your liking.

  3. Michael R.

    Thanks for your comment and for visiting our site.

    In truth, the Earth is continuously “wobbling”, that is, precessing. It is also varying its axial tilt (towards and away from the sun, within a defined range, over the course of a years); both cycles have impact on the Earth’s heat budget, but as to how these translate directly into climate changes, for example, is a highly complex issue.

    The wobble in the earth’s orbit, which causes an apparent change in the position of the “rising” sun against the constellations, has been “known” about, observed, for centuries, perhaps longer. Thus, forecasting a wobble is no major revelatory or mystical matter.

    Trying to correlate mystical or religious prophesies or visions with the actual workings of Nature has been (and will be) attempted by many (e.g., see Immanual Velikovsky, Worlds in Collision) over the decades/centuries. The problem is, such correlations seldom if ever match up neatly with reality, and, as any good scientists will tell you: correlation is not causation (just because “a” occurs with “b”, does not mean that “a” caused “b”…It COULD mean so, but often, a “strong” correlation indicates that a third factor is at work, perhaps producing the conditions fro the appearance of both “a” and “b”).

    further, even if a prediction comes true, this does not in any way mean that one’s imagined/envisioned cause for this event, is true.

    As for the “pole flip”, as I have said (based upon past flips in the geologic record) will take thousands of years, most likely.

  4. gemmy

    I came to this site because I was looking for the effects of an earth wobble. I am a practising catholic and have just heard news from a nun who was informed by a father in India who had been informed that part of the secret of Fatima was that the earth will ‘wobble’ in 2012, this will affect the whole world, but it is not the end, and for people to not be afraid. Pray from your hearts and pray the rosary. God Bless you.

  5. F. Kozlowski

    Nice to read a voice of reason with all of the hysteria going on about Global Warming. I wish more like this were forthcoming.

    It seems few people are aware of how many times the pole has flipped over many millions of years. Far too many people have a Hollywood view of things in life. Countless species have lived and thrived just fine through many other pole reversals. And you are right indeed, in that a pole reversal is a magnetic, quantum mechanical event, in that it could reverse or it could stay. It happens with a fairly regular periodicity which we can physically see in the geologic record of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge.

    Also interesting to note that the Mayans had a 360 day calendar for the year as did the Sumerians. We have ‘inherited’ their calendric system in more ways than we are generally aware of. Its called a sexagesimal base – or base 60. Everything in multiples of 12, 60, 360 etc. 360 degrees to a circle, 60 seconds per minute, 60 minutes per hour, 24 hours in a day, the list is quite extensive.

    That the ancients were aware of precession is amazing as well. It was something which could not have been noticed in a single lifetime, the slow backwards ‘precessional’ movement – about one degree of arc per 72 (60+12) years.

    To remember that it comes to us from deepest antiquity is quite humbling to say the least. Our predecessors had a uniquely integrated number, calendar, navigational system that was attuned to the earth itself. Interesting stuff.

  6. george

    Good stuff Michael. This was quite an uplifting article to read. But then, I suppose, any level-headed, intelligently written article is uplifting compared to the crap on the regular mediasphere.

  7. Chris Milton

    Heh, nicely written Michael.

    It’s a horrible symptom of Man’s over weaning ego that “whoops, we may be in trouble” is translated to “the end of everything”. A bit like someone with a sprained wrist believing a nuclear bomb’s about to be dropped on his home town. Ridiculous.

    The simple facts are a) climate change is happening b) over population has happened. The rest is all about finding the paddle and bailing out the canoe.

    And for once, just once, I wish people would stop yammering on about the symptoms (which is where all the fearful “what will happen next” stuff comes from) and do something about tackling the causes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *