So, the solar cycle will reach its maximum in 2013.
I'm betting that when 2012 comes and goes without the end of the world, there'll be solar maximum hysteria right on its coattails. It may even start before then, but it's coming. You saw it here first :)
That's not to say there aren't potential problems. Heightened solar activity such as increased flares and CMEs can wreak havoc on satellites and unprotected electrical grids on Earth. Steps can and should be taken to mitigate these risks. Spacecraft such as SOHO, SDO, GOES, STEREO as well as the the venerable ACE are studing the sun and the space weather environment and can give us advanced warning of increased activity. Check out the links below for more information on solar science and space weather.
New Solar Cycle Prediction (NASA) (gotta love the "Go ahead and mark your calendar for May 2013, but use a pencil" quote!)