If we look at 2012 in numerology we come up with the number 5. (2 + 0 + 1 + 2 = 5) The number five when dealing with years suggests a major change. It states that people will be going in a new direction. There will be no easy way to follow the same routine of the past.
Astrologically we look at 2012 there are interesting occurrences. For instance, on June 6, 2012 Venus will perfectly align with the Earth and we will have a complete solar eclipse on November 13. Plus, we see that on June 24, 2012 is the first of seven of Uranus/Pluto squares which do not end until 2015. The last time this happened was in the 1930's when Hitler and Stalin were able to virtually bewitch large masses of people, the Great Depression took hold of the United States, and the Hindenburg exploded. I imagine that many people living during this era thought it was indeed the end of the world.
If we look at what Nostradamus had to say, for those that have credence in his prophesies, predicted that in the 13th sign in the zodiac on December 21, 2012 will come the end of the world as mankind knows it. The sign, Ophiuchus, is supposed to be an unlucky sign. During this time a "Dark Rift" will happen as Sagittarius points his arrow directly at the center of the universe. A pole shift is said to happen, which is predicted to happen every 13,000 years or so, is predicted to occur during this time. Of course even though many people had not heard of a 13th sign until it made news last year, the sign has been in existence from it's discovery in 130 AD.
What everything here seems to have in common is the word "change." No matter how you look at it 2012 is a time of change, like any new year. If disaster were to come would there be any way to stop it? Is anyone able to talk to an earthquake and get it to stop? Can you effectively ask a flood to just recede? Can you look a tornado in the eye and scare it into submission? Not likely.
So, what can we do? We can move with the change. If a large "Galactic Wave" is to come and is meant to come it will come. In the meantime we can only do what we can do. We take care of things we can take care of. We accomplish things that we are able to accomplish. We live. We love. We adapt.
So, from what I can tell 2012 does not have to be a year of catastrophe but it could be a year of needed change in our world. Change does not have to be a bad thing.