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Science & Technology

Doomsday Clock is now seconds from midnight

By T.K. Randall
January 24, 2020 · Comment icon 23 comments

Things are not looking great. Image Credit: US Department of Energy
According to the latest movement of the symbolic clock, the state of our world has gone from bad to worse.
Maintained by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1947, the Doomsday Clock 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.

Twelve months ago, officials decided to leave the hands on two minutes to midnight which at the time was the closest the clock had been to the dreaded 12 o'clock position since 1953.

Back then, the Soviet Union had been preparing to test its first atomic bomb and the United States had already conducted such a test just a few months earlier.

Rather worryingly, this year's update has seen the hands move even closer still to a mere 100 seconds to midnight - a sure sign that things haven't exactly improved much over the last 67 years.
"The Doomsday Clock is a globally recognized indicator of the vulnerability of our existence," said former Irish President Mary Robinson. "It's a striking metaphor for the precarious state of the world, but most frighteningly, it's a metaphor backed by rigorous scientific scrutiny."

It is believed that recent events in the Middle-East may have contributed the most to this year's change, in particular due to the increased risk of nuclear war with Iran.

"We're in it, it's dire, but we're not there yet," said executive chairman Jerry Brown. "We can still pull back from the brink, but we have to do what we're not doing."

"Whatever we've done to date, it is totally inadequate."

Source: | Comments (23)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #14 Posted by DieChecker 4 years ago
I too remember doing drills to hide under tables and desks. Do kids still do that? NO??!! OMG!! You mean people arent glued to their phone/TV constantly in fear of some nuclear war?  If anything they should move the clock back to like 9 PM. I do however remember reading that the Doom Clock people are including "Global Warming" in their decisions. Because so many people were calling them out as idiots.
Comment icon #15 Posted by DanL 4 years ago
This is sadly like so much of the so called science that we have today. Real science starts with a question and then through clear unbiased research answers are found. I say unbiased because in real science you just want answers and are willing to accept whatever is found to be fact. So much of today's science is fake science because they start with an answer and then hunt ways to prove that answer or at least make it appear that the answer is correct. Saccharin the sweetener was banned for a while thanks to EXTREMELY flawed and biased research that was paid for by the sugar manufacturers. Whe... [More]
Comment icon #16 Posted by WVK 4 years ago
Did the same.   A lot of good that would have done living iin North Jersey a few miles from NYC'
Comment icon #17 Posted by and then 4 years ago
At least it will be a damned quiet neighborhood.
Comment icon #18 Posted by Doug1029 4 years ago
An A-bomb in the chemical district of my hometown would have engulfed all the local schools in the fireball.  No point of even holding a drill.  I think we did one or maybe two, just to say we did something.  The whole point of those drills was that buildings farther from the blast could collapse and the best defense against that would be to take refuge under something that might produce a pocket of protection.  That was the theory.  But would rescuers ever come? Our hospitals are in the middle of big cities where they are most-likely to be destroyed when needed most.  The doctors and nu... [More]
Comment icon #19 Posted by WVK 4 years ago
Comment icon #20 Posted by NCC1701 4 years ago
Wasn't it one minute before twelve in 1975? They should bring these people to court for scaremongering and instigating mass psychosis on vulnerable members of the public.
Comment icon #21 Posted by DieChecker 4 years ago
Considering the alarmists started the thing at 7 minutes till midnight, then maybe two minutes isnt so bad? If they'd started it at noon, and it was now at 100 seconds... that would be very close by scale. 100 seconds out of 420 (7 minutes) seconds is just under 25% left.
Comment icon #22 Posted by 87wolf 4 years ago
Yay can't wait until the world explodes into a billion pieces
Comment icon #23 Posted by DieChecker 4 years ago
Too bad the people of Krypton didnt have one of these Doomsday Clocks. They actually did destroy their planet. They were pulling energy from their planets core in the last superman film series. Hopefully we dont get that far. IMHO, these people should be spending their money and time on engineering and financing fixing the issues rather then just trying to scare everyone into.... whatever the hell they're trying to scare us into...  The article brags about how many Pulitzer prize winners are on the board, but I've not heard idea one out of any of these people other then political opinions. I'... [More]

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