The good news is that most scientists aren't predicting any immediate trouble. Regarding the Mayan prediction of a planetary alignment that would catastrophically reverse the Earth's magnetic field, Tom Bogdan, the director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Space Weather Prediction Center, notes, "The planets have lined up plenty of times in the past, and we haven't detected any associated catastrophe." And in any case, no planetary alignment is expected in 2012. The only asteroid projected to come near Earth is a 1,000-foot-long rock called Apophis, and that won't be until 2029. Steve Chesley, a scientist with NASA's Near-Earth Object Program, says that even then, the odds of it hitting Earth run 250,000 to 1, adding, "There's nothing that looks particularly threatening out there." Climate change, meanwhile, will probably take several decades to create truly apocalyptic conditions, and in January the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists actually set its doomsday clock back by a full minute.