Doomsday Clock Moves Ever Closer to Midnight
January 28, 2021 "Information Clearing House" - Amidst a deadly global pandemic and rising, a threat of climate change, and nuclear war, The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (The Bulletin) has set its 2021 clock at 100 seconds to midnight, the closest it has ever been to armaggedon.
In a press conference on Wednesday, January 27th, Rachel Bronson, the director of The Bulletin, stated that “we are now at the two-minute warning due to the man-made threats of climate change and nuclear war.”
According to Bronson, what is especially disturbing about our current moment is the “undermining of science and law-based approaches to solving major world problems and discarding of international agreements by influential leaders.”
“The early denial of the Coronavirus pandemic threat and vilifying of prominent scientists,” Bronson said, “epitomizes a dangerous erosion of science” that is leading us closer to disaster. “The falling dominoes have been made possible by years of denigrating scientists and promotion of conspiracy theories.”
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists consist of a collection of leading scientists concerned about the misapplication of technology in society.
The Doomsday Clock was first set up in 1947 as a metaphor for threats to humanity from unchecked scientific and technical advances.
Midnight is the hypothetical global catastrophe that will result from the deployment of nuclear weapons or destruction of the environment if climate change progresses.
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The Clock’s original setting in 1947 was seven minutes to midnight. It has been set backward and forward 24 times since then, with the largest-ever number of minutes to midnight being 17, set in 1991.
The reason for the backslide is in part due to the growing Cold War rivalry between the U.S., China, and Russia, which has led to the dismantling of nuclear arms control agreements like the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Range Treaty (INF) in 2019 and heightened threat of nuclear winter.
Dr. Steve Fetter, a Science and Security Board member of The Bulletin and Dean of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, stated at the press conference that the
See the official statement of The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists announcing the Doomsday Clock change—it is worth a good read.