Looking back on the last few years or so, there has been an awful lot of natural disasters. Even only in the last year there's been volcanic eruptions, unseasonal weather across the globe and more recently earthquakes in New Zealand and Japan, the latter being followed by the massive tsunami. Throw in the mix the recent unrest and rioting in Egypt, Libya and Iran and you have the modern day soothsayers rubbing their hands together in glee while ringing their bells and carrying wearing their "The End Is Nigh" -sandwich boards.
When you look at all the badness and horrific news stories as a whole I suppose you can't help but look around you and check for fire and brimstone in the sky and the approaching four horsemen of the apocalypse fast galloping towards you. The signs seem to be there, if you're inclined to read them as the signs of the apocalypse. Just to make sure; I'm not that way inclined. But it's fun to pretend, isn't it?
I've heard enough to last me a lifetime about how the world is going to end next year. I've heard of galactic alignments, Mayan calendars, solar activity, black holes and timewave zero. All of which, if to be believed, are enough to bring an end to the world as we know it. To me, it seems like pick-and-mix sort of view to something that is actually happening out there in the universe, just one example can be found here. To all those predicting the end of the world in the next year, I have one question: If you truly believe the world is ending, have you neglected all of your financial commitments, safe in the knowledge you won't be held to account because there will be nobody left to collect your massive debt? Have you? Go on, max out your credit card, the world is ending, you might as well have a blast waiting for it.
But I was thinking (dangerous activity, I know) that maybe the crisis in North Africa and the Middle East is only a human reflection on the devastation handed down to us by Mother Nature? What I mean by that, is a bit along the lines of how animals can "predict" earthquakes, thunder storms and other natural disasters. Maybe we as human beings aren't as far removed from the natural world as we'd sometimes like to think. Perhaps on some subconscious level we are acting on a deep-seated primal reaction to tectonic activity beneath our feet?
Maybe it's nature reminding us how fragile life is even at the best of times and to do something to preserve it. As far as I can understand, the protests happening all over the world are all people demanding an improvement on their current lives, and not just for themselves but for others as well. In the UK, ukuncut is organising protests all over the country to express discontent(putting it very mildly there) over recent government action over budget cuts and current policies enabling tax evasion and protecting banks while the taxpayer continues to pay the price for someone else's mistakes. Similar protests are happening in the USA as well.
Are we collectively feeling the trembling beneath our feet and deciding it's time for a change before it's too late? Duly frightened by the awesome destructive power of the world we live in, are we crying out to our leaders to do something to make the world a better, safer place to live in?