I saw [Roland Emmerich’s new movie] 2012, the movie and must say it failed to live up to my hopes. It depended little on Mayan predictions and the coming of Planet X or Niburu but instead on some very iffy particle physics, the rapid heating of Earth’s interior due to an intense neutrino flux from an immense solar flare, the “largest ever recorded.”
Never mind that a flare that size would have fried all grids, chips, and transistors and reset civilization back to the early iron age due to Carrington Effect. Nobody would have known what the hell was going on because communications would be kaput. But in the movie cell phones, Internet and television were fully functional until the earth gave way beneath them or volcanic blasts engulfed them.
I wasn’t looking for good science fiction though, just stunning special effects, and I thought the inclusion of Niburu would have presented some great possibilities: approaching extra-systemic planet causing miles-high tides, polar ice fields deposited on Europe, supersonic winds stripping Earth’s surface down to bedrock, and so on. It could have been downright Velikovskian. And the material was right there for the taking; Niburu is the Web favorite of the more ardent 2012 speculation.
Instead we were treated to one car chase after another, except the chasing car was the fragmenting, tilting, erupting landscape/seascape and the fleeing vehicle was alternately a limousine, a motor home, a small prop executive plane, a Russian cargo jet, and finally a Chinese-built “ark” that narrowly escapes going accordion on the north face of Everest.
The massive inundations for which the arks (4-6 of them maybe) were presciently and speedily built were not caused by the slippage of the Earth’s crust mentioned in the movie, but instead were giant tsunamis produced by powerful earthquakes. Fill a cookie sheet with water then jerk the cookie sheet across the counter. Inertia will keep most of the water where it is, flooding the counter. That’s crustal shift; oceans stay where they are while land mass moves, causing wholesale landmass inundation. The 10.5 magnitude undersea quakes blamed in the movie would be woefully insufficient in my opinion. A very large region of ocean floor would have to experience sudden, huge, tilting uplift to move the amount of water required to flood the Himalayas if crustal shift were not the cause.
Well, I suppose on the bright side there yet remains the opportunity to produce a film based on Velikovsky’s “Worlds in Collision” with all the effects I was hoping for. They had better hurry it along though. 2012 is not far off . Regards, – Jim McC
JWR Replies: Upon seeing the promotional trailer for 2012, My #2 Son’s droll comment was “I don’t think the script writer likes America’s landmarks.” Prepare to munch some popcorn at this blockbuster thrill ride, but don’t expect to learn many practical survival tips from this film. For that, get a copy of the Jeremiah Johnson DVD.