It seems to me that there are three main camps when it comes to opinions on what might or might not happen during the year 2012. One camp is expecting the end of the world as we know it. Another camp is expecting a great awakening. A third camp is not expecting anything significant to happen.
The reasons why people think something significant will happen vary. The reasons why others think nothing significant will happen are usually relegated to reasons including the claim that the Mayans didn't really predict the end of the world at the end of the long count calendar, the often cited prophecies that never played out as predicted, and/or the idea that something like that can't be predicted.
But when you think about it, predicting such an event could lead to it occurring. Even if the alignment of the stars and the sun's solar maximum resulted in a relatively mundane non-event, someone - or a group of people - could potentially take the prophecy into their own hands. There are plenty of nuclear weapons in the world, if one psycho leader with his finger on the button decides to start launching some nukes, we could witness an end of the world scenario as a result of that.
Consider 9/11/01. Think about how the events that occurred on that day changed things. Sometimes you hear people mention how something was different before 9/11. Some of the most notable changes were restrictions on flights, the Patriot Act, and wire tapping. I can recall a change I was faced with at the time. When 9/11 occurred, I was a merchandiser for Pepsi-cola, and two of the stores I was responsible for on my route were the commissaries at Fort Bragg. On 9/10, I was able to just drive right on base and go to the stores. Much of Fort Bragg had been open like that for a long time. After 9/11, I found myself waiting in LONG lines at gates trying to get on the base. Suddenly, my work day got a lot longer because of it. To make matters worse, civilians could only get on the base at certain gates. So I had to take a different route than what I was used to get on the base. I imagine many other people have stories as to how the events of 9/11 affected their lives at the time and may still affect them today.
In addition to 9/11, there were also the 7/7/05 attacks in London and the Madrid bombings in 2004. The Madrid bombings occurred three days before the general elections there, and the attacks may have altered how people voted in those elections. As you can see, events such as these can bring about change. It should also be noted that all of these events were brought about by men with agendas.
So what if an event like these occurred in 2012? What if multiple events such as these occurred at the same time in 2012? If something like this did occur during 2012, the timing might not be a coincidence. The conspirators may have planned it specifically to occur during that time because of the hype about all the predictions.
I hope there are no more attacks like the 9/11 attacks (actually, I hope we can all just learn to get along and there be no more attacks or fighting at all, but that might be wishful thinking), but I wondered, if a 9/11 type of event did occur in 2012, which camp of people would get to say "I told you so?" If a 9/11 type of event is all that occurred, I imagine many people in the end of the world crowd and the great awakening crowd would point to it as the event predicted to occur. Depending on the event's aftermath, they may start saying "I told you so." However, if that is all that occurs, the skeptical crowd will just point out the fact it was an event that could have occurred anytime. I doubt they would attach any significance to it occurring during the year 2012. It might not be clear who was right.
So I guess the question I've been leading up to here is, what would have to happen (or not happen) for one of the camp's to be able to say, "I told you so" and clearly have been right? What scale would the event have to occur on? What type of event would have to occur? Would it matter if it was man-made, or would it have to be a natural disaster? Would it have be some sort of unprecedented spiritual awakening? Or would it have to be a message from extraterrestrials? Will any of the camps be able to clearly say "I told you so" and be right?
I'm not really a part of any of the three main camps. I just sort of have a "wait and see" attitude. Regardless of what does or doesn't happen, I guess I have no choice but to wait and see before I will know the answers to the questions I asked above.