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Science & Technology

Doomsday Clock stays at two mins to midnight

By T.K. Randall
January 25, 2019 · Comment icon 23 comments

The doomsday clock remains perilously close to midnight. Image Credit: US Department of Energy
The possibility of a world-ending disaster does not appear to have abated any over the last twelve months.
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, environmental and technological threats such as nuclear annihilation and climate change.

Last year the clock was moved to show two minutes to midnight - the closest it has ever been - and this year it has been decided that the position of the hands should remain the same.

According to group CEO Rachel Bronson however, this "should not be taken as a sign of stability."
Astrophysicist Robert Rosner of the University of Chicago has described the lack of change as "the disturbing reality in which things are not getting better."

"The fact that the Doomsday Clock's hands did not move is bad news indeed," he said.

Global warming, continued nuclear proliferation and 'information warfare' designed to 'undermine democracy around the world' have all been cited as the biggest contributing factors.

Some scientists have even come to refer to the situation as 'the new abnormal'.

Source: | Comments (23)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #14 Posted by Doug1029 5 years ago
Population growth will solve itself, if you can call it a solution.  The world's population passed the inflection point in about 1970 - the point where population is still increasing, but at a decreasing rate.  Expect it to top out late this century at around ten billion people - one-third more than we have now.  Resource managers have to hang on until that happens. After 2100, population will slowly start to implode.  That will create problems of its own:  world economies will have to shift away from the eternal-growth model.  Countries with fewer workers will have to import them (That ... [More]
Comment icon #15 Posted by Trenix 5 years ago
That's a lot of ridiculous claims. Innovation is the only solution to all of our problems, as it always was, and that's only possible through our current economic system where we create inflation to prevent deflation. This encourages people to invest and innovate, which improves the living conditions for people who take part in this system since it increases production. By attempting to control our economy and population, you will end up killing it off. Have you learn anything in history or economics? Also how does Trump fit into any of this? Believe it or not, Trump is protecting his people a... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by Doug1029 5 years ago
So far, human population growth has followed a logistic growth curve.  All natural systems do that.  No attempt at population control has yet had an effect on that curve.  The inflection point was passed about 1975.  Human populations are increasing at a decreasing rate and "population control" has nothing to do with it.  The only time in recorded history when there was even a minor bump in the curve was for the Black Death in the fourteenth century.  It doesn't look like there is any disease or war, short of a major nuclear war, that is going to stop it.  Politics is completely impoten... [More]
Comment icon #17 Posted by Doug1029 5 years ago
At least as regards global warming, you're probably right.  Govt sure isn't getting it done.  And out in my neighborhood, electric companies are building windmills at somewhere around one a day.  Wind was at 6.3% of US power production in 2017 and has increased since then.  There's nothing stopping us from reaching 50%.  AND we have gas wells and wind mills within yards of each other:  we can generate power either way and use the same transmission lines to carry it to market.  In 3 or 4 years we should see perovskites coming on line that will add to our electricity-generating capacity.... [More]
Comment icon #18 Posted by Trenix 5 years ago
Your communist/socialist ideas have already and will continue to, drop the world's population at the areas which have it. Now imagine this idea being implemented globally. I felt like we had the argument about population before. The answer is still the same, education. Not extermination and regulation through laws. To even hint on that, makes me question your moral character. Again, globalization is where top corporation exploit people from other countries for profit. They have no regard for you or the people they exploit. Europe didn't need these workers and outside of business, politicians n... [More]
Comment icon #19 Posted by Doug1029 5 years ago
Population growth IS being implemented globally.  And what that has to do with communism or socialism is beyond me. I have had this discussion before; although, I'm not sure that it was you or somebody else I had it with. I completely agree that education is key, especially women's education.  The countries where women are best-educated have the slowest population growth. I do not and never have supported extermination.  That's a strawman you wingnuts have made up.  It has nothing to do with reality.  Not even the Nazis succeeded at extermination.  What makes you think it would work? Reg... [More]
Comment icon #20 Posted by Trenix 5 years ago
Because no republic would try to infringe people's rights and enforce some sort of population control of any kind. Abortion is a form of extermination, which the left often praises. I agree with you that regulations don't control population, so therefore you cannot have population control. Aside from education and innovation, there is no other peaceful solution. Monopolies are created because of over regulation, not the lack of regulation. A large business can always keep up, small businesses can't. When small businesses are out of the picture, guess who's left? The right wants less regulation... [More]
Comment icon #21 Posted by Doug1029 5 years ago
No.  Because human populations are no different from any other.  We all obey the logistic growth law.  The only thing any country can do is slow its own population growth.  Population growth is a scientific fact.  It has nothing to do with politics. Abortion is one.  So is neglect of the mother, both during and after pregnancy.  And so is inadequate care fore the child, especially if you're poor.  Needless wars kill people on both sides, especially children.  Poor sanitation, bad drinking water (Flint, MI and Grand Lake, OK, for example).  Sanctions kill people by denying supplies t... [More]
Comment icon #22 Posted by Doug1029 5 years ago
Trenix: I don't understand you.  You attack me for being a liberal, then charge me with doing/believing things I don't do or believe.  Then you say things that are strongly liberal.  Where are you coming from? I suspect that if us liberals and conservatives ever sit down and compare notes, we'll find that we're much alike and that demogogues like tRUMP are dividing us for THEIR benefit, not ours. If you want to fix what's wrong with America - ORGANIZE! Doug
Comment icon #23 Posted by Doug1029 5 years ago
Trenix: Didn't you say that Venezuela was a failed socialist state?  Thought I'd check it out.  Venezuela is not socialist by any Marxist/Leninist or Utopian definition.  It is a constitutional democracy like the US.  In 2005, its socialist party (PSUV) gained a majority of seats in the legislature and held that majority until 2015.  It has also had two socialist presidents - that may be where the myth started. The PSUV implemented protectionist policies and price controls so the poor could afford food.  These are Keynesian policies like those implemented in many western countries includ... [More]

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