I am quite proud of myself; I have survived the end of the world on a number of occasions. Quite an accomplishment for somebody that is still alive and kicking (albeit at a leisurely pace). The problem with end of the world prophets is that I never hear from them on the day after the world was supposed to end! I suppose though, having scared the bejabbers out of so many you daren't show your face just in case somebody expects you to pay for the 800 tins of tuna, 400 candles and 896 litres of Perrier water that they stocked up on "just in case". The end of the world that was supposed to happen yesterday (21 Dec 2012) was courtesy of the Mayans. I am not too sure what sort of sense of humour Mayans had (not much I expect), but maybe they decided to leave this conundrum for us, knowing full well that their own civilisation was toast.
Then there was "The Rapture", who can forget that day? Harold Camping (now where is he today?) predicted that it was due to happen on 21 May 2011, and when nothing happened he then changed it to 21 October 2011! Well, we all survived that one, although quite a few people had severe financial problems afterwards when they tried to explain why they had given their possessions away, and bought themselves fancy sports cars on the never-never. Make no mistake about it, I admire somebody that has faith in their convictions, but I do suggest they do some homework themselves before wringing their hands and cashing up their chips.
My other favourite global catastrophe had to be the so called "Millenium Bug" (aka Y2K bug), that was supposed to cripple us all on the 1st of January 2000. Massive amounts of money were spent on fixing computer dates and overpriced Y2K "experts" went around charging huge amounts of dosh to sort out the potential problem. When the clock rolled over into January 2000 things did not grind to a halt and aircraft did not fall out of the sky. However, could it be that all the precautions that were taken really prevented any problems? Or was the whole thing just a flash in the pan? We may never know the answer to that one.
I don't know when the next end of the world is predicted for. Supposedly were are in for a hefty period of solar activity, during 2013 and 2014. Solar flares have probably been with us forever, so it is really a luck of the draw thing. But, if one of those flares is big enough it could play havoc with the planet, not to mention really slow internet access down (and that in itself is a real disaster).
If anything I expect South Africa is in for its own "end of the world" as the politics become increasingly messy and the economy keeps on shrinking with employment falling all the time. That could be the disaster that quite a few people are ringing alarm bells about, and unless something gets done we are in for a very bad ride. Of course that is assuming etolls don't bankrupt us all first.
So next time somebody sidles up to you and tries to sell you a tee-shirt emblazoned with "The End is Nigh!" on it, just remember that the end of the world won't happen tomorrow because it is already tomorrow in Australia.
Tin foil hat anybody?