Seven Years Of Safety?
Well hopefully you’ve all made it safely through the season of excess, materialism and over-indulgence otherwise known as the New Year Sales. (What else could I be talking about?)
A few of you may also have breathed a sigh of relief at getting past 22nd December – some people seemed to think the end of the world was coming just because the ancient Mayans hadn’t bothered printing calendars for that far ahead.
But last month’s doomsayers weren’t the only ones to get it wrong. Other apocalypses have failed to materialise – the Y2K computer meltdown, the 2003 collision between Earth and the rogue planet Nibiru, the 2006 nuclear war and the 2010 world-eating micro-black holes created by the Large Hadron Collider getting up to speed.
In fact, Wikipedia lists forecasts of ‘apocalyptic events’ going all the way back to a Roman myth that their city would be destroyed in 634BC. (Not sure this is in the same league although I guess that for its ancient inhabitants Rome was the world.)
Since then, the ending of the world has been scheduled on more than 160 occasions – predicted by everyone from Nostradamus, Isaac Newton and Charles Berlitz to Jerry Falwell and The Amazing Criswell.
In the 1990s alone there were around 30 predictions of the world ending. On the other hand there were clearly some periods in history when people were a bit more chilled out – there were no prophecies at all for the 1400s (maybe the records have been lost) and only one apocalypse predicted in the 1950s.
One of the things I found really remarkable about this list, though, is how precise many predictions are – lots of prophets of doom don’t just tell us the world is going to end in a particular year or month they even give us the precise day.
But all this made me think. What’s coming next?
And the good news is we can all relax for a bit. Well seven years or so anyway. There is one prediction of apocalypse for 2012 (if you’re really worried or want to cancel any insurance policies it’s due on 19th May) but I’m not too excited by this one as Ronald Weinland also predicted the end of the world in 2011 and 2012.
After that, Armageddon isn’t booked in until 2020 (although again this is a repeat from Jeane Dixon after her prophecy for 4th February 1962 was scrubbed from the diary). If that one fails to materialise then the Second Coming – and all the fun that entails – is due in 2021 according to F Kenton Beshore.
So – unless anyone knows of any other looming global catastrophes – it looks as if we should have at least seven years of safety and calm. Which means that if like me you’re still working on the next great novel you can sleep happily knowing there’s no need to rush. Relieved?