Atomic Scientists advance ‘doomsday clock,’ citing ‘climate change,’ nuclear arms race

Atomic Scientists advance ‘doomsday clock,’ citing ‘climate change,’ nuclear arms race

[Ed. – Science at work for you.]

The final paragraph of the statement from the Board warns: “In 2015, with the Clock hand moved forward to three minutes to midnight, the board feels compelled to add, with a sense of great urgency: ‘The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon.’”

The last time the Doomsday Clock minute hand moved was in January 2012, when the Clock’s minute hand was pushed ahead one minute from six to five minutes before midnight.  Since its creation in 1947, the Doomsday Clock has been adjusted only 18 times, ranging from two minutes before midnight in 1953 to 17 minutes before midnight in 1991.  The last time the Doomsday Clock was at three minutes to midnight was 1983, when “U.S.-Soviet relations were at their iciest,” according to the Bulletin.

In unveiling the change to the Doomsday Clock, Kennette Benedict, executive director of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, said: Today, unchecked climate change and a nuclear arms race resulting from modernization of huge arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity. And world leaders have failed to act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe. These failures of leadership endanger every person on Earth.  Based on their observations, the members of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board find conditions in the world to be so threatening that they are moving the hands of the Doomsday Clock two minutes closer to midnight.  It is now 3 minutes to midnight.”

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