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2012, Agree to Agree

By       Message David Glenn Cox       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink

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Much has been made of the Mayan calendar ending in 2012, the next Y2K. Anyone remember what happened on Y1K? Christians and just plain Joes gathered on hilltops with their arms raised and swaying in a religious rapture waiting for Jesus to come and save them. For those of you who missed it, he didn't show.

No one bothered to tell these people that the dates on calendars are somewhat arbitrary affairs. The year one thousand had no relevance to the Jewish calendar, much less the Mayan calendar, and what were the chances that Jesus would use an earthly calendar to time his return in the first place?

The Mayans were excellent mathematicians and astronomers; in the days before radio, cable TV and NetFlix, men stared up at the night sky and contemplated their place in the cosmos. The monuments left behind by ancient civilizations are almost always connected to watching the night sky. A sky resplendent with blankets of stars, unlike the whited-out sky urban populations now live under.

What is also more amazing than societies laying out calendars based on celestial movements is the creation of the concept of time itself. A time to plant, a time to sow, a time when the animal herds migrate. So, is the measurement of time a functional necessity of society? Is time man-made or is time a function of nature? It's the old if the tree falls in the woods does it make noise question.

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Latter day night sky watchers now ponder multiple dimensions as astronomers seek ever-larger telescopes trying to see all the way back to the big bang. But what was the big bang? What or who started the big bang, the big bang that brought us all here across the eons of time? To sit where we sit right now, in a world with a mountain of technology and amazing theories, where in actuality the more we know the more we don't know anything at all.

One popular theory is that each dimension is stacked upon the other like the pages of a book, and through cataclysm or compression two dimensions collided. The collision released an unprecedented amount of energy that we lovingly refer to as the big bang. Mr. Time, meet Mr. Space. It could be that one of the dimensions involved in this galactic hit and run was time itself. It would make for the ultimate irony, a species that is so intent on measuring time when it is time measuring us instead.

Mankind is an ironic animal. The good Christians burned the library at Alexandria in a religious fervor, and the smoke and ashes carried away the largest repository of mankind's accumulated knowledge of the world. It is as if the two enlightenments cancelled each other out. The man who once wrote "All men are created equal" was a slave holder. There is a time lapse between what we say we believe and what we are willing to do about it, and every person that walks the Earth is guilty of it.

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The Mayans, with their calendar ending in 2012, felt safe enough. Time was on their side, and they might have been planning to build a new, bigger temple commencing around 1975 or so. But time ran out for the Mayans before the calendar did. How did they miss that? They were a civilization that could control huge swaths of territory with their mastery of irrigation technology, but they could not see their own demise in the mirror.

Pollen taken from mud samples in the lakes around there lands shows that tree pollen was overtaken by weed pollen. Those noble astronomers could measure the movement of the stars but could not see the forest for the trees. The Mayans had cleared the land and built elaborate networks of canals and reservoirs to catch the rainwater for agriculture, but without the trees it stopped raining and all was for naught. In China they have built the Three Gorges Dam, seven thousand feet across, costing thirty billion dollars. A huge undertaking to provide flood control and navigation, but the Yangtze River draws much of its water from the Himalayan snowmelt and glaciers. Reports make claims that the glaciers are receding at an alarming rate, estimating that the glaciers could cease to exist by 2035.

Like the Mayan's fewer trees less rain, fewer glaciers less snow and rain that could limit Three Gorges to 40% capacity. So through the eons of time we come to a point where we can build wondrous marvels both in science and in engineering. We can contemplate and understand astronomy and dimensional theory while ignoring our own mortality as it stares us in the face. We are tenants on this mud ball, and if we do not behave we shall be evicted and evicted with irony. The Mayan civilization, which had deforested the land, lies buried beneath a rainforest. A lesson for us all, the Earth will recover. We just won't be here to see it.

The leaders of the world's largest polluting nations are meeting in China and have decided, "APEC Leaders Agree Climate Treaty Out of Reach for Copenhagen

"Nov. 16 (Bloomberg) -- Asia-Pacific leaders conceded a binding global-warming accord at next month's climate summit in Copenhagen is out of reach and aimed to strike a political deal that will push a more comprehensive deal down the road."

So, they've decided that they agree that they agree that no agreement can be reached. And they made this agreement before the climate summit ever began, so let us strike political deals and make promises to the heavens from the temples in the sky.

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Danish Prime Minister Lars Loekke Rasmussen is tasked with negotiating a replacement for the Kyoto Protocol. He said, "Even if we may not hammer out the last dots of a legally binding instrument, I do believe a political binding agreement with specific commitment to mitigation and finance provides a strong basis for immediate action in the years to come."

It is obvious that Rasmussen studied at the Richard Nixon school of let me say this about that. Rasmussen is saying that even if we don't get a legally binding deal we could get a nonbinding political deal with a promise to do more immediately, sometime in the future which has not as yet been determined. It is indeed ironic that the Kyoto treaty expires in 2012.

Perhaps we should build our calendars out of stone to remind us that it is later than we think. Or to remind us that the folly of man is boundless and unsurpassed. That as NASA has discovered water on the surface of the moon the leaders of the world have decided that preserving water for millions on Earth is of so little consequence that they can all agree to agree that they can't do anything at all.


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I who am I? Born at the pinnacle of American prosperity to parents raised during the last great depression. I was the youngest child of the youngest children born almost between the generations and that in fact clouds and obscures who it is that I (more...)

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