National Geographic rechannels Harold Camping


Was Family Radio apocalypse-predictor Harold Camping on to something? Certainly not, if something is defined as a specific date in the year 2011 for the end of days. However, a survey from National Geographic Channel indicates that there is a strong strain of doom and gloom sentiment among average American citizens.

National Geographic Channel and Kelton Research found that most expect some sort of catastrophe will hit the US during the next 25 years, according to the survey taken early in January 2012. NGC revealed these results: “Earthquakes (64%), hurricanes (63%) and terrorism (55%) are the most feared, followed by financial collapse (51%), significant blackout (37%), a pandemic (29%) and nuclear fallout (14%).”

(RBR-TVBR note: We just engaged in a warm, wet and blustery embrace with Hurricane Irene not so long ago, and we firmly believe that the chances of a hurricane making landfall somewhere in the US is close to 100% every year, and we further suspect it will happen more than once during the average year – so the 63% result looks extremely low to us – as does the earthquake result, by the way.)

Looking ahead 20 years, 62% believe a major catastrophe will hit the world on a global basis, and most – 71% — think it will be in the act of God, rather than man-made category.

Interestingly, 27% believe that the Mayan calendar December 2012 end of the world scenario is a least “somewhat true.”

The survey was released in conjunction with a new 10-parter on NGC called “Doomsday Preppers,” about Americans who are getting ready to survive a catastrophic event. That is definitely not the majority — 85% believe they are not prepared, and 39% believe they don’t have enough survival supplies in place to last two weeks. The series kicked off 2/7/12.

RBR-TVBR observation: One thing to remember from all this – the 25-year range of this survey means it cannot be used as an excuse to discard plans for the immediate future of your business, or max out all your credit cards, or start holding all of your Friday staff meetings in Aruba. Sorry, but it will have to be business as usual for now.