Here we go again

At the turn of the century, the buzz word was the Y2k bug. Now ten years on, it’s the 2012 doomsday theory that has some people agog
By Megara Tegal

It would seem that with the turn of every decade we humans think up something potentially cataclysmic to sweat over. The world held its breath as the clocks rolled over into year 2000, in fear that the Y2k bug would crash critical systems and life would plummet to the pre-tech age. We’d have to start again from scratch- hunting game, living off shrubs and sending messenger pigeons as SMS.

However, thankfully the epoch arrived without the predicted catastrophic glitch and the world wheezed a sigh of relief. Over $300 billion was spent on measures taken to bolster computer systems, and it is believed that the countries that actually took the most precautionary measure had more computer related problems due to the changes they had made than the countries that brushed off the ‘Millennium Bug’ scare.

It is said that internationally Russia was deemed poorly prepared for Y2k and the Australian government had all their embassy staff, except for three, evacuate from Russia. Across the world, people took their own initiative and spent on building bomb shelters, stocking canned food and withdrawing their savings from banks-- a complete waste of time, money and effort.

Now a decade later, we are back at it as we prepare for the impending doom that 2012 is predicted to bring. The Mesoamerican long count calendar abruptly ends in year 2012 and people have come up with various explanations from spiritually transformative to apocalyptic.

Surfing the World Wide Web, there are several sites dedicated to helping people prepare for the debacle of 2012. One site provides readers with a list of things to consider and prepare in order to survive and preserve the human race from being wiped out.

  • The size of the community you live in
  • The height of the surrounding buildings
  • The ease of a swift evacuation. Will there be thousands all fleeing at the same time?
  • Are there a lot of bridges in your area as they will collapse as fast as buildings.
  • You and your survival supplies will be in grave danger when a catastrophe hits. Be prepared.
  • The terrified populace will do anything to survive.
  • Mob rule is prevalent in a catastrophe situation.
  • People who have not prepared as well as you will instantly become your enemy.
  • Martial law is highly possible during this time, which is never good.

According to the list, you’d do well to head for the hills, build an underground shelter and alienate yourself from all of humanity.

A larger initiative taken by a country would be the ‘Doomsday Seed Bank’ built by the Norwegians.

The construction of the gigantic vault was begun in 2008 and is said to store samples of a variety of seeds from across the world in order to safeguard agricultural biodiversity in the event of nuclear war, climate change, a meteor hit or any other major occurrence that can have a disastrous effect on vegetation that can threaten the human race.

We Sri Lankans being the more laid back race of people aren’t fretting about 2012. Either that or we’ve got more immediate problems to sort out.

Speaking to some Lankans, there are those who are worried but aren’t taking precautionary measures, others expect there to be a more spiritual change but nothing life-threatening and the rest, like me, are cynics who are looking forward to 2012 and the unwarranted chaos the days approaching December of 2012 will bring.

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