Dutch clutch such… uh, nonsense

Contributed by
Jun 25, 2008
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The Dutch are being infected by American nonsense. It seems that thousands of them are buying into the Mayan 2012 end-of-the-world garbage.

On behalf of all reality-based Americans, I apologize.

According to the Telegraph, thousands of Dutch are stocking up on survival gear due to this antiscientific fantasy. And among the purchases are... boats. Because the Netherlands are sinking.

Um.

Mrs Faile said she was concerned that immigration was pushing the Netherlands, a low lying country protected by dikes and sea walls, beneath the waves.

"They keep letting people in. And then we have to build more houses, which makes the Netherlands even heavier. The country will sink even lower, which will make the flooding worse," she said.

Um again. If the wood and building materials come from the Netherlands, then I don't think the total weight of the country will change. And even if it does, I don't think it'll make much difference. Doing a little math, the average weight of a house is probably something like 30 or 40 tons. The amount of rain falling on someone's yard will equal that in a few months, for example. The weight of someone's yard (going down one meter in depth) will be more than that. In other words, the weight of all those houses and people will be a small fluctuation on what's already there.

But then, someone panicking over a nonsensical prophecy is unlikely to be able to cbe onvinced of the idea that immigration won't capsize their country.

Sigh.

There are times when I wonder if what I'm doing -- debunking bad astronomy -- is a waste, when I could be doing something else with a bigger impact. Then I read stuff like this, which reminds me vividly of the Planet X garbage from 2003, and I realize that there is a direct and immediate impact of nonsense on people, as well as a (sometimes very large) financial one.

Onward. Eternal vigilance. Never tire, never falter. It may seem silly, but remember:

No matter how silly, dumb, or ridiculous some piece of antiscience, there will be someone, somewhere, who will believe it. And there might be a few million who believe it.

So keep fighting, BABloggees. This battle will never end. Not even in 2012.

Tip o' the life jacket to BABloggee Jeff Wittmer.