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Fear Mongering Begins Anew in 2012 with False Laacher See Predictions
Well, that didn't take long... It's not two days into the New Year and already the fear mongers at the Daily Mail (a British Tabloid) have published an article claiming that "new activity" in the Laacher See in Germany indicates magma degassing or on the rise... except this is OLD news, and magma continually degases, even in 'extinct' volcanic areas. They claim (like most Yellowstone carnival barkers) that since it 'erupts regularly' in intervals of 10,000-12,000 years, that its 12,900 year dormancy is certain to be coming to an end. The article says that scientists told the Daily Mail all these facts... yet they cite none of them. No scientists, no experts, no nothing, just a bunch of hot air.
Wired News has already picked up on this travesty of reporting and correctly pointed out all the falsehoods of this article. The area is nowhere NEAR as thermally active as Yellowstone, which is still of minimal concern to most scientists, and despite continuously seeping carbon dioxide gas coming up from the ground (much like Lake Nyos in the Congo), this volcano has been doing the same exact thing, degassing, since the dark ages.
There is NO imminent risk of eruption, and only very minor seismicity. The Daily Mail is known for its sensationalist garbage journalism, very rarely citing sources or credible quotes, and seems to have no problem publishing damaging and irresponsible articles such as it did. Indeed, halfway credible news outlets (emphasis on HALFWAY) have picked up the Daily Mail article and re-written all the 'factoids' to further promote this false story.
In any case, get ready for a lot of bad volcano articles in 2012 from Yellowstone to Toba. Any Supervolcano is at risk of falling victim to bad press it seems.
On a side note, the reason Doomsday prophecies are a bunch of BS is because (surprise surprise) not one has come true in the entirety of human history. It would take an incredible, and improbable combination of events to actually wipe out our planet, and even if it were to occur (odds are that it will some day), there is NO WAY to predict the end of our planet in terms of volcanic eruption, earthquakes, or gamma ray bursts. In fact, the only thing we'd be able to see coming is an asteroid, meteor, or a planet (I shudder to even mention the stupid Planet X/Nibiru conspiracy, but the madness must stop). We have survived the ages regardless of what people try and prophecise, and I don't suspect that will change any time soon.