The World Not Ending in 2012
Saving Lake Atitlan will prove it
By Greg Szymanski, JD
February 25, 2010
Some say the Mayan Calender tells us the world is ending as we know it in 2012, bringing a new age of enlightenment out of total destruction.
Others claim the Christian Bible tells us the world is ending as we know it around the same time, bringing back the true messiah and 1,000 years of peace, of course, after total destruction.
But in the meantime where do these two ancient teachings and worlds intersect? Or better yet do they even intersect at all?
I believe they do. I believe they intersect quite nicely, having a common ground on this earth and, if I may boldly say, I can prove it.
In fact, I will even go one step farther and show you the exact location, proving the world and our civilization as we know it still has many years to go before the 1,000 years of peace and the age of Mayan enlightenment.
However, before telling you the exact location and how I’ll always be there in spirit, let me say this.
I believe what I am about to say is true so deeply in my heart that no one can tell me otherwise.
I believe this because I have hope, lots of hope — hope beyond all means of rational thinking and logic, something lacking in most rational souls today, I might add.
I believe this because you have to believe things are true even though they may not be true. You have to believe these things despite all odds simply because it is the right thing to do.
And that’s how I know the world is not ending in 2012 and going to live on a bit farther then both the Christians and Mayan ancient teachings tell us.
So, your asking how are you going to prove it and where is this place you’re talking about?
First I am going to prove it by believing there are a lot of people reading this who have lots hope just like me but just need a little push. These types of people have fallen in that deep hole and can’t get out, living their lives with one foot already in the grave.
How do I know this? I know it because I have been there many times and know what it is like to live with one foot in the grave.
Now, of course, I have nothing against those Mayans and those Christians who look forward to the age of enlightenment and 1,000 years of peace. That’s a good thing, I guess.
But what I am opposed to is the destruction part that comes first. I just don’t think it is going to happen just yet, not just yet.
In fact, I know it’s not going to happen because today I looked deep into the innocent eyes of too many little children who I know are going to live to be a ripe old age. I know it because it is the right thing to know and the right thing to believe even if the world tells me otherwise.
Oh, yes, if you really look into the eyes of a beautiful little child and think destruction is coming in 2012 –only two years away — and this child is going to be wiped from the earth, then there is something wrong with you, something very wrong deep down in your soul.
So, I am going to give you the chance, right now without further delay, to come along with me at least in my writings to prove that you too are a person with lots of hope and simultaneously proving the world is not ending in 2012.
Don’t get me wrong, I will be the first to admit the American culture is suffering a good hit and, as some like to say, dying. I will agree to that.
I will also agree that the most beautiful Mayan lake in the world is now dying and, if we don’t do something to help it and help the beautiful Mayan children who live around it, they will suffer deeply too. I agree to that.
But I think if we put the dying lake and the dying American culture together in the same pot and in the forefront of our minds and souls for the next two years both the lake and the American people will survive while the children in both places grow up to a ripe old age.
Of course, being of humble mind but without lack of great spirit, I realize I cannot save the entire American culture, but I tell you what, I think I can help raise awareness and help raise those American dollars to save a lake and the children around it.
So, when someone asks, “Greg are you going to the lake”, I say it doesn’t matter because I am already there in spirit, already gone, went and come back, as they say, and going back again as fast as I can.
And when someone says, “Greg, why save a lake?” I say because if I help save it, it gives me excessive hope that the world is not going to end. In other words, I have to believe it’s true even if it may not be simply because it is the perfectly right thing to do and believe.
Get my drift?
So if you want to do the right thing, please simply help me save the lake.
And let me tell you there is not one second to waste to get the word out because Lake Atitlan is dying as we speak and can no longer cleanse itself.
Atitlan is a lake in the Guatemalan Highlands, dotted with villages and volcanic mountains.
Here is why the lake needs help right now and why I plan to raise money from Americans, especially wealthy Americans like Hollywood stars who have done nothing but make a lot of bad movies.
I plan to raise awareness, help raise the money for the people and the villages and at the same time give people hope that if we help cleanse Atitlan we can help cleanse America while, at the same time, proving in our own funny way the world isn’t ending as soon as some folks say.
And maybe — just maybe — after the Atitlan is cleansed those Hollywood stars, who don’t know yet that they are even going to help, can actually make a good movie about how the world didn’t end so soon like it did in the movie just put out called 2012.
Here’s why Atitlan needs immediate help. Also, links are provided so you can look at some pictures and videos while reading this very important message:
Please, though, watch this short clip first or while reading:
Blue-Green Algae on Lake Atitlán (go to http://geology.com/nasa/harmful-algal-bloom/
Normally a picturesque blue lake surrounded by steep volcanoes and Mayan settlements, Guatemala’s Lake Atitlán acquired a film of green scum in October and November 2009. A large bloom of cyanobacteria, more commonly known as blue-green algae, spread across the lake in green filaments and strands that are clearly visible in this simulated-natural-color image from November 22, 2009. The Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) on NASA’s Terra satellite acquired the image.
Photosynthesis and Nutrients
Cyanobacteria are single-celled organisms that rely on photosynthesis to turn sunlight into food. The bacteria grow swiftly when nutrients like phosphorus and nitrogen concentrate in still water. According to local news reports, the nutrients feeding the bloom in Lake Atitlán come from sewage, agricultural run off, and increased run off as a result of deforestation around the lake basin.
The image reveals clearly why run-off would end up in the lake. Mountains and volcanoes encircle Lake Atitlán, ensuring that all rain that falls in the basin flows into the bowl-like lake. Silver-gray settlements, another source of pollution, ring the lake. Deforestation is a little bit more difficult to see. The forest is a darker shade of green than agricultural fields. The contrast between forested land and agriculture is most evident on the slopes of the San Pedro Volcano on the southwest shore of the lake. Large pale green squares cut into the dark green crown over the peak of the volcano.
Cyanobacteria can be Toxic
Cyanobacteria are a serious problem both because they are toxic to humans and other animals and because they create dead zones. As the bacteria multiply, they form a thick mat that blocks sunlight. Dense blooms can also consume all of the oxygen in the water, leaving a dead zone where other plants and animals cannot survive. The density of the bloom also affects the cyanobacteria. Since only the top layer of the bloom receives life-sustaining light, the bacteria in the rest of the bloom die and decay, releasing toxins into the water. These highly toxic harmful algal blooms cause illness in people and other animals.
The government of Guatemala estimates that it will cost at least 32 million dollars to clean up the lake, install water treatment plants, and implement other measures to limit the flow of pollution into the lake to prevent future outbreaks, reported the Guatemala Times.
What can we do?
Lake Atitlan is in Crisis
The current bloom of Cyanobacteria Lyngbya Hironymusii on Lake Atitlan has receded significantly from the November levels, perhaps until next fall. There are still potentially serious negative health impacts from contact with this form of Blue-Green algae.
An opinion column published in Prensa Libre on the 12th of February echoes concerns shared by many people around the lake and the editors of this website. It points out the disappointing use of biofilters which will be of questionable help when the bloom returns and other concerns over appropriate technology and allocation of monies.
There were many cases of severe dermatitis reported around the lake from people who came in direct contact with the cyanobacteria during attempts to “clean” the lake. This was during the peak bloom, conditions have improved due to the season.
A preliminary report by Green Water Laboratories in Florida on samples collected November 8 indicates that the levels of: lyngbyatoxin (LT), debromoaplysiatoxin (DAT), aplysiatoxin (AT), cylindrospermopsin (CYN), and saxitoxins (STX) can be classified as “trace amounts”, i.e., the bloom does not produce enough toxins to represent a serious health risk; fish and crab meat should be tested. As the bloom start dying off, the water samples should be retested. The report can be seen on our Facts/Links page.
This DOES NOT MEAN that the lake is free of toxins or that health recommendations to not use water with the cyanobacteria in it domestically should be ignored. There are more tests being done and studies have shown that cyanobacteria can vary greatly in its levels of toxicity over time.
THE GOOD NEWS is that with cooler weather the bloom is diminishing and tourists can see a beautiful Lake Atitlan once again! Kayaking on parts of the lake where no Blue Green algae can be seen should be relatively safe.
Presentation By Dr. Rejmankova on Nov. 9 in San Pedro La LagunaCyanobacteria presentation in San Pedro La Laguna
Dr. Rejmankova gave a presentation about Lake Atitlan and the Cyanobacterial bloom on Monday afternoon.
1. The only way to reverse the bloom is to stop the entrance of phosphor and nitrogen rich nutrients to the lake.
2. The presence of high levels of dissolved oxygen in the upper layers of the Lake indicate the bloom is currently in a growth phase.
3. Lake Atitlan already has a sufficient load of nutrients to feed the Cyanobacteria for years.
4. Planting of Tule reeds and other wetland plants will help mitigate the problem.
5. Cyanobacteria Lyngbya Hironymusii is not well understood or well researched.
6. The Lyngbya can vary greatly in toxicity, from none at all to toxic, from week to week.
7. Lake water should not be used domestically and protective gear should be worn when in direct contact with the lake water.
8. Well water should not be greatly affected by the Cyanobacteria.
9. There are only a handful of laboratories worldwide with adequate facilities to fully test the toxicity of Lake Atitlans bloom. Results from testing can take weeks.
10. Leaving the Cyanobacteria in the lake will help break down toxins faster than removing it from the water.
11. Even if the flow of nutrients is greatly reduced we should expect the Cyanobacterial bloom to return and grow larger every year for the next several years, until the existing nutrient load is reduced.
Dr. Eliska Rejmankova, PhD Botany, is currently an Associated Professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Policy (ESP) at the University of California, Davis. She has over 20 years of experience in aquatic and wetland plant ecology.
Official Government Action Plan
The Guatemalan government has released an official action plan. The Spanish language PDF is here. We have a translation on the Facts/Links page.
This is an organization comprised of scientists, ecologists, business people, community and government leaders. They have realeased a very current set of recommendations based on a series of meetings over the last weeks. Click Here to see all of their recommendations in english.