Calm down, the world isn’t ending

By Anthony Szudarski

The world will end one day, but it’s not going to be anytime soon.

With the devastation that followed Hurricane Sandy and the looming end of the Mayan calendar—and, according to some, the outcome of the presidential election—there are people who believe the end of the world is coming.

I’m here to tell you that’s crap.

While it seems like natural disasters are occurring more often, Reed Scherer, professor of micropaleontology and biostratigraphy, believes that because of global climate changes “events such as [Hurricane Sandy] are likely to become not necessarily more abundant but of greater intensity.”

With the devastation that followed hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, I think that’s gradually becoming clearer to the public. But why do we need to think it’s the end of days?

We’ve been given proof of the polar ice caps melting and of the atmosphere being filled with greenhouse gases, yet these are things that people still doubt and claim as lies. But some people are more than willing to accept that the world will come to an end after so many false dates have been given to them.

“When it comes to climate change there’s an incredible push to deny that it’s changing despite the fact that our uncertainty is far lower than the chance that your house is going to burn down,” Scherer said.

He has a point. I’d be more likely to believe you if you told me my house would burn down at the end of December this year than if you said the world was going to end because a group of people said so.

Society was supposed to fall apart at the turn of the millennium due to computer failure. On May 21, 2011, the rapture was supposed to have occurred.

There are a ton of other dates throughout history when the world was supposed to end, but we’re still here. What does that tell you?

It tells me that for some twisted reason people are too happy to guess when it’s all going to be over.

“If you look through history you’d see that it is very common for people to predict that the end of times are now,” said psychology professor Brad Sagarin.

That’s a little depressing to me. I don’t want to be around when the world ends.

Sagarin went on to explain that people will look for signs to support their beliefs or ideas in the world around them. So when Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the east coast, people used it as an omen for the end of the world because they were looking for one.

I asked both Scherer and Sagarin if they believed the world was going to come to an end during our lifetime they both laughed and gave a confident “no.”

So the world won’t end in December. Look on the bright side: You’ll be able to enjoy all your Christmas gifts after all.