here is some of my own feelings as to how 2012 end times might, could have, a "soft landing"!
---suppose a virus spreads and it is like a flu only so mild no one pays much attention to it. Until.....
Until it is found that everyone who had it, [99% of us] are now sterile! Only one out of 1000 people can father, or have, children. Zap. Soon 90% of the human race will be 65 or older. Then 10 years later, there are only less than a billion people here on earth!
---Suppose 20 "Ships" appear in space and the Visitors tell us that it is Time we all Join the galactic Union, the union of 500 races and faster than light drive is the way to fly and the furthermost planet system is one hour away from earth! And...I add...that these races are one million years more advanced than us, in technology *and* in philosophy/metaphysics, like everyone has "televisions" that make it possible to communicate
with souls in the afterlife, audio and video!
The human race will then mark 2012 as the Time that the changes began, as now we all have a million years of goodies to catch up on! The next generation, of the young, will nearly be of "another race" as the generational gap will now become Immense! Us "old fogies" might find it hard to adopt to all of this!
---just having 2012 *there* makes this year a very good "rear end of the donkey" for us all to pin the tail onto!
the collective angst, alone, will be studied for years and years after 2012, assuming there will be anyone left here to study it. This mass-mind cramp will occupy nearly every brain cell, of us all, after about April 1st of this year and *especially* if Something Happens like of a bad earthquake or of some "weird" stuff like bird kills or the track of a hurricane across the eastern Atlantic spelling out a word like, "kill", or "Timeup", on the weather map tracking charts!