Doomsday Clock Edges Closer To Midnight, A Sign Signaling Humanity’s End
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists set the famed Doomsday Clock at 100 seconds to midnight, the closest it’s ever been to the metaphorical end of humanity, at a news conference Wednesday morning, according to The Hill.
“Speaking of danger and destruction is never easy. If you speak the truth, people will not want to listen because it’s too awful. It makes you sound like a crackpot,” said former California Gov. Jerry Brown (D), executive chairman of the Bulletin.
“Today we live in a world of vast, ddep, and pervasive complacency,” Brown said. “Even if there is a one-in-100 chance that these men and women before you are correct and we are truly in a dangerous moment, you would never know that from the president, from Republican leadership, and from Democratic leadership.”
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists created the clock in 1947 to represent how close the planet was to annihilation by nuclear weapons, but the journal has also weighed the effects of climate change in setting the clock in more recent years.
The clock was moved 20 seconds forward and expressed the time in seconds for the first time rather than minutes because the “moment demands attention,” aid president and CEO of the Bulletin, Rachel Bronson.
The Bulletin cited the erosion of the Iran nuclear deal, the failure to negotiate nuclear terms with North Korea, the downfall of the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty between the U.S. and Russia, and next year’s expiration of the New START treaty, which caps the number of deployed nuclear warheads Washington and Moscow are allowed.
The scientists additionally cited both continued warming of the planet and international governments’ lack of urgency in addressing the issue.
“If the Earth warms by what we tend to think of as just a few degrees...we have no reason to be confident that such a world will remain hospitable to human civilization,” said Sivan Kartha, a member of the group’s Science and Security Board.
The Bulletin also warned about online disinformation campaigns, a particular worry in the U.S. ahead of this year’s elections in November.