Opinion: Early Christmas shoppingPOSTED: 07/24/12 12:58 PM
We still have a couple of months to go, but December 21 will be here sooner than some people wish for. Wild interpretations of the Maya-calendar suggest that our world will come to an end on that date – okay, or maybe two days later. While these predictions have a high silly season character, press agency Reuters commissioned a survey in 21 countries (nice touch) among thousands of people to find out what they think about all this. It’s of course a bit rich to project the results of such a survey on the total global population, but let’s say that 14 percent of the participants believe that they will experience the end of the world during their life time. People who believe in the end of times assume that the world will come to an end on December 21 or 23.
Surfing the internet for relief meets only with gloom and doom. Some people are already racing through all their savings, reasoning that all that money will be no good anymore come Christmas anyway.
Most Maya-experts have dismissed the doom scenarios and there is also no scientific foundation for the theory.
The Volkskrant reported that “two percent of the world population” is convinced that the world will end on December 21. That’s an awful lot of people: with the world population a bit above 7 billion, it would mean that more than 140 million people are of this opinion. But of course, this is not even close to the number of people Reuters had interviewed for its survey, so the conclusion is a bit on the wild side.
So let’s stick to the (unknown) number of participants in the survey: 8 percent is reasonably convinced that it’s all over come December, and 8 percent also said it had sleepless nights over it. But 84 percent is convinced that we’re gonna be okay, though among them is a chunk of 12 percent that is not absolutely sure.
Reuters found most doom thinkers in China (20 percent), followed by Turkey, Russia, Mexico, South-Korea and Japan with 13 percent each. The United States trails at 12 percent and in France and Spain the counter got stuck at 10 percent. The least pessimists were found in Germany and Indonesia: only 4 percent of the participants in those countries see it all end in December.
In a more general sense, apart from the event that might spoil Christmas this year, several other surveys have brought to light what some people think is the most likely cause of a future end of the world. Here is the top ten: a nuclear holocaust, bio-terrorism, genetic manipulation, the eruption of a super volcano, impact by a asteroid, global warming, technology (robots and computers seize power), a reversal of the earth’s magnetic field, over population and, last but not least, an invasion by aliens.
Have a nice summer and plan for early Christmas shopping.