(Newswire.net — January 26, 2018) –The Doomsday Clock is a metaphor for the destruction of civilization. Midnight represents a global catastrophe from which there can be no return.
The clock was set up by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Science and Security Board in 1947. It was intended as a warning to deter nations from global nuclear war.
The initial setting on the clock was seven minutes to midnight, with the dial tilting further away and closer to humanity’s midnight throughout the years.
It currently stands at a grim two minutes to midnight.
Only once before has the clock been this close to what scientists believe to be our literal end. This was in 1953 at the height of the Cold War and the looming threat of hydrogen bomb tests.
Since 2007 scientists have broadened the scope of what the Doomsday Clock refers to. That was the first year they used the clock to reflect climate change and since then have stated that they look to “Politics, Energy, Weapons, Diplomacy, and Climate science” when setting the clock.
The Bulletin states “In 2017, we saw reckless language in the nuclear realm heat up already dangerous situations,” and that the arms race “will increase the likelihood of accidents and misperceptions.”
The Bulletin advises on how to turn back the clock by urging world leaders to look to more channels of communication. They are asking President Trump to refrain from provocative rhetoric regarding North Korea, and they set a global short term goal for the cessation of North Korea’s nuclear weapon and ballistic missile tests.
The scientists also claim that other issues prompted them to move the clock forward. They cited climate change “is almost certain to continue the trend of exceptional global warmth”, and also warned about technological innovations, loss of public trust in political institutions and cyber threats as leading issues for concern.
The scientists end the Bulletin statement with a hopeful “They can #rewindtheDoomsdayClock”