Well, I think the Mayans and others are out by just a couple of days. I believe the world as we know it will start to end on 18 December 2009, the last day of the Copenhagen climate change "talks."
My prediction goes like this: Between now and 7 December 2009, very drably dressed people, chosen for reasons most of us will never fathom, will feel they are doing important work together as "The Ad Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP) and the Ad Hoc Working Group on Long-term Cooperative Action under the Convention" and other such committees and working groups.
But these drably dressed people will not, in their endless talks and thoroughly boring negotiations, ever put the survival of life on Earth at the top of their agenda and at the centre of their discussions.
They will talk about what their country wants, needs and "deserves" and they will not budge.
They will (bless them and damn them, for they will be complicit in the greatest evil ever) let life on this precious, miraculous planet go to hell in a handbasket.
All because they will not bring themselves to see past their invisible borders and their small-minded economies. They will not bring themselves to talk of their children and grandchildren, and the gardens they love, and the animals that bring them joy. They will not share stories and photographs of the beautiful sacred places in their lives. They will not wear their hearts on their sleeves nor put what they love on the negotiating table. They will not represent humanity and they will not speak out on behalf of life and the children of all species.
On 19 December 2009, the end of the world will have begun, because our climate negotiators, in their drab grey suits, will have negotiated their way to nothing.
And then it will be too late to try again — with colour, with verve, with life! With heart and soul and love and compassion. With tears and heartache and some small offering of regret to our children and all future generations.
P.S. In the hope that my prediction will not come true, I send out this request to the dozen or so women who wore bright colours at recent climate talks in Bonn, Germany: Please speak out! Stand up! Take a stand! Dance on the tables! Wake your co-negotiators up! Save the world! Please!