• Question: Do you think our world will end in 2012? :D

    Asked by smiffiieee to Cesar, Emily, Jamie, Kate, Philippa on 19 Jun 2011. This question was also asked by em210198, miamimi, libbiehooton.
    • Photo: Jamie Gallagher

      Jamie Gallagher answered on 14 Jun 2011:

      No I do not. This was based on the fact that the aztec callender ended in the year 2012 or something like that. Basically there is no scientific basis for this and I wouldn’t worry about it.
      Stuff like that paniced me when I was younger- not now though. People have been predicting the end of the world since the world started, none of them have been right yet and I’ve never seen any evidence that has me worried.

      You’ve got plenty of time to be a scientist!

    • Photo: Kate Clancy

      Kate Clancy answered on 14 Jun 2011:

      Nope, not worried about this at all! I am worried about the kind of impact we are having on our planet, though, and how that is going to make it harder and harder to live here.

      I study how our environment affects our health. Most of my research focuses on physical and psychological stress. It used to be that anthropologists would go to the farthest reaches of the earth to study the most remote populations in order to understand this. These days, the weirdest people I can study are… other Americans! People in developed countries like the US or UK are heavier than ever, and some of the reasons are related to the fact that we don’t move around much and we eat a lot. (There are also important reasons for weight change that have nothing to do with food or exercise, but that’s a whole other topic!)

      But in addition to the impact on our bodies, not moving around and eating a lot are both bad for the environment. Using lots of energy to stay in one place (lights on, computer and TV on, etc), or using cars all the time rather than walking or biking, wastes energy. And eating more than the body needs means continuing to create crop yields that overfeed some parts of the world, even while other parts are going hungry.

      So for our health, and so that we can actually stay on this planet through 2012 and beyond, I do hope we start taking better care of it!

    • Photo: Cesar Lopez-Monsalvo

      Cesar Lopez-Monsalvo answered on 14 Jun 2011:

      I don’t believe in that either.

    • Photo: Emily Robinson

      Emily Robinson answered on 15 Jun 2011:

      I don’t believe it will either. Life on earth is a delicate balance which one day will unfortunately be tipped not in our favour… but I think we probably have a few million years yet so I tend not to worry about it. 😀

    • Photo: Philippa Demonte

      Philippa Demonte answered on 19 Jun 2011:

      @smiffiieee @em210198 @miamimi @libbiehooton No I don’t. It’s only Hollywood making up storylines again 😉

      2013 on the other hand…Sun scientists are forecasting that we might be getting some Sun storms then which could cause power surges on our electricity grid. It’s not the first time this has happened. I seem to remember that we suffered from it a few years back. It just fried a few computer systems.