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Angry Planet

According to various sources, the world will end in 2012. For those worried about signs of the apocalypse, the current weather trend certainly isn’t allaying any fears.
This has been dubbed ‘the worst winter in years’ by meteorological institutes, with the heaviest snowfall in decades to hit the northern hemisphere. Just ask any of the thousands stranded in airports and train stations due to snow and ice, and they’d agree. Even Nordic countries, though fairing better than central Europe and the US, have had problems.
Finland, a perennial wasteland of snow and ice, has had overwhelming amounts of snow. Helsinki in particular has taken a beating. Just a few years ago Finns complained that a white Christmas was no longer guaranteed and now they’re grumbling about the hours of lumityö!

Amusing as the snow may be, for those like Finland who can cope, it has been devastating for the 30 US states now crippled by winter storms. The blizzard, bringing almost a metre of snow overnight and temperatures of -27 C doesn’t seem so bad – consider temperatures across Finland on Christmas day – but for the US, this is the worst storm in over 50 years.
Not only the north is suffering. Australia was hit by two nasty cyclones in January. Anthony destroyed thousands of homes in 75 towns in a natural disaster considered the worst in 130 years of recorded history! A week later, cyclone Yasi rolled in to batter the already drowning coast of Queensland, turning the state into the world’s largest lake.

If it’s not blizzards and cyclones, it’s volcanoes. Shinmoedake on Japan’s southernmost main island of Kyushu, is sending ash over 1500m into the air.
Europeans can sympathise; their recent brush with the ash clouds of Eyjafjallajoekull has certainly made people aware of the inconvenience of volcanoes. Let’s not forget the supervolcano bubbling beneath Yellowstone Park in the US either. It’s 40 000 years past eruption date and when it blows it’ll cause more than just flight delays.
But fear not the wrath of mother nature; we’re all going to die on December 21st 2012 anyway.
Whether the fault of the Mayan’s calendar, the orbit of invisible Planet X, cosmic alignments with galactic centres or Nostradamus predictions, all the signs are pointing towards total destruction. Personally, I’m making plans for 2013, but perhaps you should enjoy the winter in all its snowy glory while you still can.

Suzanne van Rooyen

The writer is a master’s student of Music, Mind and Technology.

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