Tag Archives: Doomsday

Doomsday Clock is Now Closer to Midnight

Not even the Cold War, Korean War, Vietnam War, and the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan moved the Doomsday Clock to the point where it is currently at now.

The recent update to the clock, photo from CNN
The recent update to the clock, photo from CNN

On Thursday, January 25, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the “Doomsday Clock” 30 seconds closer to midnight/catastrophe. The clock is now two minutes to midnight. The Bulletin moved the clock ahead due to increasing worries over recent nuclear tensions and the continuing worries in climate change.

The president of the group, Rachel Bronson said “This is the closest the Clock has ever been to doomsday, and as close as it was in 1953, at the height of the Cold War.”

In 1953, the hydrogen bomb was tested for the first time by the U.S. and the Soviet Union.

Scientists are blaming multiple threats that include dangerous political rhetoric to the potential of a nuclear threat as for the reason to move the clock forward.

In a statement released by the Bulletin, “In 2017, world leaders failed to respond effectively to the looming threats of nuclear war and climate change, making the world security situation more dangerous than it was a year ago and  dangerous as it has been since World War II.

As the statement continued, “The greatest risks last year arose in the nuclear realm. North Korea’s nuclear weapons program appeared to make remarkable progress in 2017, increasing risks for itself, other countries in the region and the United States.”

The closer the clock gets to midnight, the closer it is estimated that a global disaster will occur.  The Bulletin will actual skip years that they feel that the clock doesn’t need a update. In 1991, the collapse of the Soviet Union moved the clock back to 17 minutes to midnight and the clock stayed like that until 1995.

The Bulletin founded by the University of Chicago scientists in 1945, that same group helped design the first nuclear weapons in the Manhattan Project. The clock was created in 1947 using the imagery of apocalypse/midnight and the contemporary idiom of nuclear explosion/countdown to zero to convey threats to humans and the Earth.

In recent years, global warming has been added to the concerns of the Bulletin and since 1991, the clock has dropped every few years excluding 2010 which only gained one minute.