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We are now two and a half minutes from ‘Doomsday’ midnight. For the first time in nearly 70 years, the Atomic Scientist Bulletin has placed the Doomsday Clock 30 seconds closer to midnight, meaning that its hands now sit at two minutes and 30 seconds to midnight, from three minutes.
Atomic scientists have made a historic announcement by resetting their symbolic ‘Doomsday Clock’ to its closest time to midnight in 64 years, indicating that out planet is closer to catastrophe due to numerous threats such as nuclear weapons, climate change and… President Trump’s election as the 45th President of the United States.
The so-called Doomsday Clock conceived by the Chicago-based Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and displayed on its website is considered as an indicator of the world’s vulnerability to DISASTER.
“The Doomsday Clock is closer to midnight than it’s ever been in the lifetime of almost everyone in this room,” Lawrence Krauss, the bulletin’s chair, told a news conference in Washington.
Curiously, the Doomsday Clock was set this close to ‘Doomsday Midnight’ in 1953, marking the beginning of the Nuclear Arms race between the US and the Soviet Union.
Lawrence Krauss (L), chairman of the “Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists” Board of Sponsors, and board member Thomas Pickering (R), a former U.S. Under Secretary of State as well as US Ambassador to the United Nations, Russia and other countries, unveil that the board has moved the minute hand of their “Doomsday Clock” by 30 seconds to a more ominous 2-1/2 minutes from midnight during a news conference at the National Press Club in Washington, U.S. January 26, 2017. REUTERS/Jim Bourg
As mentioned above, there are several reasons why scientists decided to move to clock closer to midnight, and one of them is certainly the election of President Trump suggest experts. However, Trump alone is not to blame.
Krauss, a theoretical physicist, said Trump and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin carried a large share of the blame for the heightened threat.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists cited several factors such as nuclear volatility, especially as the United States and Russia seek to modernize their atomic arsenals as one of the greatest risks humanity faces.
Furthermore, Chinese aid to Pakistan in the nuclear weapons field, as well as the expansion of India and Pakistan’s nuclear arsenals, were also worrisome, the bulletin said in a statement.
In the statement about the Doomsday Clock, the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board notes: “Over the course of 2016, the global security landscape darkened as the international community failed to come effectively to grips with humanity’s most pressing existential threats, nuclear weapons, and climate change … This already-threatening world situation was the backdrop for a rise in strident nationalism worldwide in 2016, including in a US presidential campaign during which the eventual victor, Donald Trump, made disturbing comments about the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons and expressed disbelief in the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change …The board’s decision to move the clock less than a full minute — something it has never before done — reflects a simple reality: As this statement is issued, Donald Trump has been the US president only a matter of days …”
The statement continues: “Just the same, words matter and President Trump has had plenty to say over the last year. Both his statements and his actions as President-elect have broken with historical precedent in unsettling ways. He has made ill-considered comments about expanding the US nuclear arsenal. He has shown a troubling propensity to discount or outright reject expert advice related to international security, including the conclusions of intelligence experts. And his nominees to head the Energy Department, and the Environmental Protection Agency dispute the basics of climate science. In short, even though he has just now taken office, the president’s intemperate statements, lack of openness to expert advice, and questionable cabinet nominations have already made a bad international security situation worse.”