What can be said clearly about December 21, 2012 is that there will be a rising crescendo of hysteria, an absolute deluge of nonsense as we approach that date. The date is clear and precise, and the predictions for that date are also clear and precise—the end of the world as we know it, and the Mayan Calendar has a track record of precision in predicting World Class Events.
On TV, the History Channel dedicated the second week of January 2009 to fanning this hysteria or as they would like to phrase it giving the public accurate background data so they can make proper and accurate analysis of the facts. These same programs will probably be run and rerun with ever increasing frequency, and more and more programs will be created until everyone is supersaturated. By 2012 all of those people susceptible to that nonsense will be cringing with dread. Unfortunately, most people, probably everyone, are susceptible to some degree of hysteria and when you get a lot of people believing something, no matter how ridiculous, there will be some real world prophets rise up to take advantage of this hysteria and create real effects based on very faulty premises and silly reasoning.
The next US presidential election will be on November 6, 2012 which will be decided just 44 days before December 21, 2012. That particular time will be seen as one of dedicating ourselves to more of the same policies with more investment, which will be perceived as not working, they are always being challenged as not working, or perhaps moving on to some newly elected persons and some unknowable turmoil coming into existence with the transition of power before the swearing in on January 20, 2013.
It seems likely that there will be continuing stress caused by the economic crisis which we are now well into. Also it seems probable that the US government’s response is going to be to print lots of counterfeit money which will simply cause a massive bout of inflation. Almost everyone will still get their government checks but the numbers on those checks won’t buy much and people will by 2012 be aware of that counterfeit claim the they are all better off and will be in a very bad mood.
The price of food and energy will go up and people driving single occupancy gas guzzling cars may be seriously condemned. Public transportation will be more heavily used here in the US. The population of the world will still be rising because of the inertia of lots of people coming into child bearing age.
The chance for a world war, using a four year time frame, is probably somewhere between eight and forty percent. That is pure speculation but the chance isn’t zero and it isn’t one hundred percent. In a four year time frame there are very real stresses over energy, water and food but people will focus their thoughts on religious, national or ideological reasons because those concepts carry inflammatory rhetoric better.
The date, the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, the Mayan calenendar date and all of the other stuff will come and go and the best advice seems to be to:
Live your life, help other people and enjoy the spectacle.