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Science & Technology

The doomsday clock has remained at 90 seconds to midnight

By T.K. Randall
January 23, 2024 · Comment icon 5 comments
The 2024 Doomsday clock.
This year's clock face. Image Credit: The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
The symbolic clock remains perilously close to armageddon with 'billions of lives' currently under threat.
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.

Over the last few years the hands on the clock have been steadily approaching midnight, with the current setting of 90 minutes to midnight reflecting the situation in Ukraine, Gaza and elsewhere.

Other factors impacting the decision include the ongoing climate crisis, the erosion of nuclear arms reduction agreements, the development of increasingly sophisticated genetic engineering technologies and the rise of generative artificial intelligence.

"Make no mistake: resetting the Clock at 90 seconds to midnight is not an indication that the world is stable," said Bulletin president and CEO Rachel Bronson.

"Quite the opposite. It's urgent for governments and communities around the world to act. And the Bulletin remains hopeful - and inspired - in seeing the younger generations leading the charge."
The official statement for this year's decision is as follows:

"Ominous trends continue to point the world toward global catastrophe. The war in Ukraine and the widespread and growing reliance on nuclear weapons increase the risk of nuclear escalation.

China, Russia, and the United States are all spending huge sums to expand or modernize their nuclear arsenals, adding to the ever-present danger of nuclear war through mistake or miscalculation.

In 2023, Earth experienced its hottest year on record, and massive floods, wildfires, and other climate-related disasters affected millions of people around the world.

Meanwhile, rapid and worrisome developments in the life sciences and other disruptive technologies accelerated, while governments made only feeble efforts to control them [...]"

"But the world can be made safer. The Clock can move away from midnight."

Source: The Guardian | Comments (5)

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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Cho Jinn 1 month ago
Quick - give me some money! No, we don't have time for any questions whatsoever!
Comment icon #2 Posted by XenoFish 1 month ago
Unless nukes start flying everywhere I do not care, even if that did happen, I still don't care. 
Comment icon #3 Posted by MysteryMike 1 month ago
Oh no! Anyway!
Comment icon #4 Posted by pallidin 1 month ago
Yeah. I've never before seen our world so intensely hateful and depraved, actively wishing death and destruction on so many other's from so many angles at the same time. For myself, I'm good with whatever. But for my children and others it does disturb me for what they may have to deal with. Edit: I'm old enough to be OK with a lot.      
Comment icon #5 Posted by Occupational Hubris 1 month ago
It's always been this way. You can just see it easier with the increased connectivity of the world 

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