In part two of this ongoing Doomsday 2012 series, I described to you the "Magnetic Pole-Shift Theory," and explained why I do not believe it is a theory one should concern themselves overly with. I also attempted to make the argument for why I believe it doesn't even really belong as a member of the family of theories revolving around what is going to happen to mankind in the year 2012.
Today I present a third belief held by many 2012 Doomers: Coronal Mass Ejection.
A Coronal Mass Ejection or CME is defined as an ejection of material from the solar corona (source: http://www.en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coronal_mass_ejection). This material is, in fact, a huge cloud of hot plasma that may accelerate ions and electrons and is often preceded by a shock front. It is when that shock reaches Earth that a magnetic storm can result (source: arc.iki.rssi.ru/mirrors/stern/Education/wgloss.html).
People who believe that this is what we have in store for us in 2012 point to evidence of huge conflagrations caused by some atmospheric event in Earth's distant past (source: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn11909). Current scientific theory suggests that the event described in the source article was caused by an exploding comet, but these people assert that the same affect could occur from a very large CME.
Author and researcher Dr. Paul LaViolette points to odd areas on the surface of the moon that have been turned into glass, which is obviously a result of the application of an extreme source of heat. This phenomenon was documented first by other scientists and it is accepted as fact that they do not correspond to meteor strikes. LaViolette believes that when the sun is super-energized and at the peak of its cycle it is capable of producing CMEs that are more intense than any ever witnessed by the modern world. If such a blast was aimed directly at Earth, he theorizes, it could take as little as a few hours to get here and could become trapped magnetically against the atmosphere of the planet.
Were this to occur, proponents of this theory claim, it would manifest itself as a massive reddish-orange form with streaks of dark material and swirling eddies of flame or energy and it would lay against the upper atmosphere, while tongues of flame spread downward so far that they actually touch the ground in some areas and scorch the Earth's surface. They point to ancient Hindu scriptures that describe the god Shiva as having multiple appendages and applying to him the titles of "The Destroyer" and "The Transformer" of the world in order to strengthen their case. They also point out the puzzling archeological evidence that has unearthed some mammoths that died so suddenly they still had the unswallowed food in their mouths that they were chewing when they died and theorize that this is due to the fact they suffocated when one of the huge flaming tendrils got too close and sucked all the oxygen out of the surrounding area. And, going even further, they use the Bible to make their case as well: Mal. chapter 4 "the day cometh that shall burn as an oven;" Rev. chapter 8 "there followed hail and fire mingled with blood and they were cast upon the Earth and the third part of trees was burnt up and all green grass was burnt up" and chapter 16 "angel poured out his vial upon the sun and power was given unto him to scorch men with fire and men were scorched with great heat."
The fact is that there are strange things going on in our little corner of the universe these days. It is a fact, though not widely spoken of outside scientific circles, that other planets are experiencing warming, not just Earth (source: http://www.livescience.com/environment/070312_solarsys_warming.html). Now, I'm sure our behavior as a species hasn't done much to help the situation, but you're going to have to work pretty hard to convince me that driving an SUV on Earth is causing Global Warming on other planets. And, as if that weren't enough, apparently the Heliosphere, a sort of egg-shaped bubble that surrounds our solar system and protects us from cosmic radiation is mysteriously disappearing and NASA has launched a probe to try and learn more (source: http://science.nasa.gov/headlines/y2008/23sep_solarwind.htm). There is interesting research that I believe might explain some of this. It suggests that everything we are seeing is cyclical and that Earth experiences various different affects based on the relative location of the Milky Way Galaxy as it travels through the universe (source: http://www.ias.ac.in/currsci/sep252008/714.pdf). In my opinion, this may be an explanation for everything from past ice ages to mass extinctions in the fossil record to the current warming we are experiencing.
Another intriguing thing about the CME theory or, more accurately, Dr. LaViolette's theory that it has happened before is that I was able to find very little evidence online of major criticism from other scientists. Now, that could mean that he isn't considered important enough to warrant such criticism or it could be a sign that no one has been able to refute his work.
Either way though, it seems to me that the only thing really tying any of this specifically to the year 2012 is a desire to do so on the part of believers. Yes, the sun will be at the peak of its cycle in 2012, but it was at that same peak in 2001 and 1990 and further, because it happens every 11 years. Yes, there are odd things going on, and we do not yet have any explanation for some of it, but none of it points to 2012 with any specificity whatsoever. This is a doomsday scenario that could possibly happen, but it could possibly happen in 2020, the year 3000, or quite possibly never.
Gold, T. "Apollo II Observations of a Remarkable Glazing Phenomenon on the Lunar Surface." Science 165 (1969):1345.
Excerpt from Paul LaViolette's 1983 Ph.D. dissertation, "Galactic Explosions, Cosmic Dust Invasions, and Climate Change."