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    Mayans, Global Warming, NASA & 2012
    By Alex "Sandy" Antunes | October 16th 2009 01:01 AM | 9 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Alex "Sandy"

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    This is not about a Mayan 2012 apocalypse.  This is about the 9th century Mayan apocalypse, as documented by NASA.  It's also about modern global warming.  So there's plenty of doom to go around.

    Let's first cover the '2012 apocalypse', a fabrication based on pseudoscience.  Modern Mayans are annoyed at the 2012 rumors.  The misinterpretation of their ancient culture-- that somehow an apocalypse is predicted for 2012-- has finally reached its nadir.  Hollywood is going to make a movie about it.  Imagine your own history being reduced to a single 90-minute special effects extravaganza.

    More crucially, the hype is obscuring genuine lessons we can learn from ancient Mayan history.  A student-led research team joined up with archaelogists to use infrared satellites images and computer models in order to reconstruct the sudden collapse of Mayan cities, as described in this NASA release.  This is real history using real science, not selective misinterpretation of found relics. 

    Mayan civilization during the 8th and 9th centuries was tremendously advanced.  Cities had population densities rivaling modern Los Angelos.  They built reservoirs to store a year and a half of water in case of drought.  They had advanced farming, architecture, and arts.  And yet "a deadly cycle of drought, warming and deforestation may have doomed the Maya."


    Mayan ruins from above

    "The Maya are often depicted as people who lived in complete harmony with their environment," says PhD student Robert Griffin.  "But like many other cultures before and after them, they ended up deforesting and destroying their landscape in efforts to eke out a living in hard times."

    The parallel to studying the effects of climate change, pollution, and overindustrialization in today's world are uncanny.  National Geographic recently covered that there will be no more glaciers in Glacier National Park by 2020.  One earthy-crunchy site showcases several upcoming ecological disasters in 5 Places to Go before They're Gone.  Travel site concierge.com gives us 20 Places to See Before They Die. These include a mix of ecologically doomed areas, over-touristed spots, and places soon to be ruins due to political strife.  Like ancient Mayan cities, chunks of our modern world will disappear or be ruins in our lifetime.

    Archaeologist Tom Sever gives us two points to walk away with.  The first is the value of space science.  "Space technology is revolutionizing archeology.  We're using it to learn about the plight of ancients in order to avoid a similar fate today."

    And the other is the fate of leaders who lead their populace to collapse.  "In some of the Maya city-states, mass graves have been found containing groups of skeletons with jade inlays in their teeth-- something they reserved for Maya elites-- perhaps in this case murdered aristocracy."

    So forget vague prophecies about 2012 and pay attention to this world.  Science isn't magic, and we have indications that we can indeed outstrip our ability to live.  If we do have an apocalypse in 2012, or later, it isn't going to be due to cosmic alignment, it'll be doom from our own foolish decisions.


    Alex, The Daytime Astronomer, Tues&Fri here, via RSS feed, and twitter @skydayRead about my own private space venture in The Satellite Diaries

    Comments

    Gerhard Adam
    Cities had population densities rivaling modern Los Angelos.
    It's ironic that one of the criteria we use to measure success of civilization (i.e. size of population) may well be one of the primary causes of its demise.  After all, it is the volume of people that are affected that ultimately results in outstripping the environment and when things get bad there are always at least two factors that exert the most influence.

    1.  Too many people, dependent on too few resources
    2.  Too many people, so simply moving isn't an option.

    You can see it in modern society where the presumption is that science will always find a way to provide the resources due to efficiencies in technology.  However there is also the implicit assumption (and requirement) that the technology can never fail or be compromised.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Part of the deforestation was also due to the huge public works - the buildings and using large stone blocks - using the wood as rollers and levers - we see this was also the case for Easter Island.

    With 6 billion plus people in the world, we do need to be worried.

    well im doing an isearch on the world ending for more updates follow me on facebook or email kasha_313@yahoo.com

    Someone should attempt to inform the embarrassingly stupid government pseudoscientists of the USA that the Mayans are still around and among the fastest growing people on the planet. This is what happens when you neglect science and reality for a heinous religious monopoly race-based pseudoscience substitute while your children drop out of your schools to become poor, starving and broken homeless illegal immigrants, such as is the common case in the USA. Not very conqueror-like, obamanians. School, good. Profound anger at your own stupidity and ineffectiveness in life, bad. Eat your stranded negro jesusburgers well, USA, they are among your last. And this time, don't eat more than you can chew and comprehend.

    Hank
    Really?  What is the name of their country?   You need to recognize that that being a cultural subset of a nation is different than being a country.  The Clovis people are also 'still around' using your unscientific definition, yet we know they are not.

    It looks like this was just an excuse to paste some rant you keep around for occasions when you happen to dislike anything that disagrees with your world view.
    Gerhard Adam
    Well, I see that your idiocy made it through the filter this time.  Last time I just deleted it because it appeared that you violated the server's limit on stupid comments within a single post.
    Mundus vult decipi
    What Clear and Present wrote is entirely correct. The expensive myth and hoax of the Clovis People is certain groups regarding the United States way of attempting to justify their ruling anglo-saxon/jewish class actions and quasieurasian practices toward the Americas. It is not any official regard of the United States. With these people living in and regarding to the United States, everyone is wrong and only they are right and everyone slips through their screening process that includes the population of the entire Earth. There are no more a Bering Strait descendants as there are Zoroasters and biblical gods. The Americans have populated America since the beginnings of their evolution. Adam and Campbell might be Christian Science Monitors, but as per usual and expected their monitor on America is broken and rather flat.

    Gerhard Adam
    ...Adam and Campbell might be Christian Science Monitors...
    LOL. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    <Poof> Be Gone -  Pierre Beauchemin
    Mundus vult decipi