The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists reportedly will move the Doomsday Clock ahead by one minute — from three minutes to midnight down to two — the closest it has been in over sixty years.
The Doomsday Clock was established during the Manhattan Project in 1947 as a way to keep track of how close we are to global annihilation. Midnight — or 00:00 — marks the world’s end. The Clock has not been two minutes from midnight since 1953, when the United States added the hydrogen bomb to their nuclear arsenal.
Though originally intended to focus on the nuclear threat, as the Telegraph reports, “The Doomsday Clock now not only takes into account the likelihood of nuclear Armageddon but also other emerging threats, such as climate change and advances in biotechnology and artificial intelligence.”
What is the rationale for today’s change? The Telegraph‘s report continues:
In a statement the scientists said: “Tensions between the United States and Russia that remain at levels reminiscent of the Cold War, the danger posed by climate change, and nuclear proliferation concerns – including the recent North Korean nuclear test – are the main factors influencing the decision about any adjustment that may be made to the Doomsday Clock.” (Emphasis mine)
“Tensions between the United States and Russia”? How about that Russian reset, eh, Secretary Clinton?
On Sunday [the Bulletin] posted an article on its website warning that “terrorism involving nuclear or radiological materials remains one of the gravest threats to humanity and to global stability”.
The scientists also warned of “accidental, unauthorised, or inadvertent nuclear exchange between the United States and Russia”, saying that the two countries had 800 warheads on high alert, ready to launch.
Let’s be honest, we all know why the scientists are worried about an “accidental, unauthorised, or inadvertent nuclear exchange” just now, don’t we?
While few could argue with Donald Trump that better relations with Russia are desirable, there are many who doubt he is the man to make that happen, especially since he has also signaled his openness to an arms race.
Apparently the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists agrees.