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Science & Technology

Doomsday Clock moves closer to midnight

By T.K. Randall
January 26, 2017 · Comment icon 29 comments

Is the world on the brink of nuclear armageddon ? Image Credit: US Department of Energy
Scientists have moved the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock to two-and-a-half minutes to midnight.
The symbolic clock, which has been maintained by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1947, is a visual representation of how close the world is to disaster based on political and technological threats such as nuclear annihilation and climate change.

Two years ago the time on the clock was altered to show three minutes to midnight - the most precarious position it had been in since the risk of a nuclear conflict during the Cold War.

In 2016 the clock's position remained the same, but now following a further twelve months of uncertainly and political turmoil, the clock has been moved a further 30 seconds forwards.
Rachel Bronson, chief of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BPA), urged world leaders to "calm rather than stoke tensions that could lead to war" over the coming months.

"Disturbing comments about the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons made by Donald Trump, as well as the expressed disbelief in the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change by both Trump and several of his cabinet appointees, affected the Board's decision, as did the emergence of strident nationalism worldwide," the BPA wrote.

Other threats, such as that of cyber attacks and terrorism, were also cited as contributing factors.

Source: BBC News | Comments (29)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #20 Posted by Doug1029 7 years ago
Don't know if this is true, but the US supposedly has about ten cobalt bombs in storage at Los Alamos.  I have that information from two sources:  a former engineer at Los Alamos and a nuclear scientist who still works there. Doug
Comment icon #21 Posted by Doug1029 7 years ago
The operative word being "yet."  That includes the eleven warheads the US admits to having lost, plus an unknown number it doesn't admit to.  Not to mention the Russians who won't admit to anything.  Add to that the military definition that it's not a nuclear accident unless there's a leak or detonation - a fuel explosion on a nuclear missile doesn't count. During a recent false alarm, our leaders had so much confidence in the nuclear safeguards that they parked armored cars on top of the missile siloes - just in case.  If they don't believe in them, is there a reason I should? Doug
Comment icon #22 Posted by StarMountainKid 7 years ago
From the tree above posts it seems an accident or miscalculation is very possible. Watch the movie, "Fail Safe', for example. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mutual_assured_destruction This usually infers the U.S. and Russia. However, some other nuclear equipped nation could use a nuclear device in a crisis of their own that could, as events become complicated, lead to a full nuclear war, as in the novel, "On The Beach", as Ive mentioned.
Comment icon #23 Posted by taniwha 7 years ago
Why so gloomy?  
Comment icon #24 Posted by Socks Junior 7 years ago
If that is true, I'm glad to see they're taking their security clearances seriously.
Comment icon #25 Posted by Manfred von Dreidecker 7 years ago
Yeah,. "So what else d'you have?" "oh, a couple dozen ZZ-45 Mk III, have you seen one of those babies go, boy, blow your hat off it would. And have you seen one of these before"? (Gets out phone)
Comment icon #26 Posted by Socks Junior 7 years ago
"And my buddy Ricky the security guard always leaves the gate open while he goes on a smoke break from 1:30 to 2:00 am.
Comment icon #27 Posted by Doug1029 7 years ago
I once met a plane at the airport in Durango, Colorado.  There was a security screening line, the whole bit, just like the big time.  But then I went outside the building and around to the side:  there was an open gate 100 yards from the plane without a security guard in sight.  There's ALWAYS a way past security. Doug
Comment icon #28 Posted by Socks Junior 7 years ago
That's certainly true. Especially at the wee little places. "Act like you belong and you'll get in" is accurate.
Comment icon #29 Posted by Doug1029 7 years ago
True. I also had a security guard show me how to get a large metal buckle past the screening equipment.  He must have thought I looked honest. Doug


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