Sunday, 29 January 2017
Doomsday Clock ticks 30 seconds closer to midnight
Citing a rise in global nationalism and humanity’s failure to confront nuclear weapons and climate change, scientists today pushed the infamous Doomsday Clock 30 seconds closer to midnight—the symbolic moment humankind is supposed to annihilate itself. That pushes the planet from 3 minutes to destruction to a mere 2.5. Since the clock was launched in 1947, this is the closest we’ve come to the brink since 1953, when the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) moved the hand 2 minutes to midnight following the first testing of a hydrogen bomb.
One of the biggest reasons for the move, wrote BAS scientists in an op-ed in The New York Times, was the ascent of U.S. President Donald Trump: “Never before has the Bulletin decided to advance the clock largely because of the statements of a single person,” they wrote. “But Mr. Trump’s statements and actions have been unsettling.”
Those include comments about the use of nuclear weapons during his campaign as well as during his transition to the White House. In a tweet in December 2016, Trump wrote, “The United States must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes.” Politico reported he has since given mixed responses regarding the notion, saying “there is not going to be an arms race” but also noting -read more
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