As a number of you already have noticed, a story on page A3 of Sunday’s paper about doomsday predictions for 2012 ended in mid-sentence.
Some of you thought that this was a clever postmodern editing touch on our part, considering the nature of
the story. (The Steely
Dan song “The Last Mall,” about a shopping spree to stock up for apocalypse, has a similar closing, ending a note or two before you think it should.)
Alas, no such luck with this error: This was just a boneheaded editing mistake on our part.
Here are the missing paragraphs, and a little bit of context to set them up:
Leading into the missing paragraphs, the story is discussing the likelihood of devastating solar storms.
Here are the missing paragraphs:
However, NASA has said that such storms
do occur on the sun approximately every 11 years, with the next cycle occurring around 2012-13. Though most are benign, 2012 doomsayers point to a National Academy of Sciences report issued in 2008 that warned of a severe solar storm blindsiding the Earth someday, causing a calamity through geomagnetic surges that could knock out power and communications across wide areas.
Meanwhile, scientists complain, the Earth faces a much more likely threat: climate change. And there are, of course, other slow-moving disasters looming.
“There are real crises in the world,” said (John) Hall, (a sociologist) at UC Davis. “There’s the environmental crisis. There’s the threat of terrorism. There’s the economic crisis. There are political upheavals. And in a way, this [2012 phenomenon] is a great distraction for people. And how odd it is that real events that we might be able to do something about are having disastrous effects, and people focus their attention on an event that isn’t going to happen.”
Click here for a link to the original Los Angeles Times story.