The world is only two and a half minutes away from doomsday. The editors of The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists on Thursday moved the hands of their famed Doomsday Clock 30 seconds closer to Armageddon.
“It is two and a half minutes to midnight, the Clock is ticking, global danger looms,” a Bulletin press release reads.
The Doomsday Clock is intended to reflect how far the members of the Bulletin’s Science & Security Board think the world is from total catastrophe.
“In 2017, world leaders failed to respond effectively to the looming threats of nuclear war and climate change, making the world security situation more dangerous than it was a year ago—and as dangerous as it has been since World War II,” a statement from the Board reads.
“To call the world nuclear situation dire is to understate the danger—and its immediacy,” the Board members wrote.
The board cited North Korea’s nuclear weapons program; tensions between Pakistan and India, disputes between the United States and China, and tensions between the U.S. and Russia as reasons for the increased danger. It also singled out statements made by President Trump, although he wasn’t mentioned by name.
Danger of Technological Change
The Atomic Scientists assert that technological change is as great a threat as nuclear weapons or climate change.
“Technological change is disrupting democracies around the world as states seek and exploit opportunities to use information technologies as weapons, among them internet-based deception campaigns aimed at undermining elections and popular confidence in institutions essential to free thought and global security,” the Board warned.
It was moved 30 seconds closer to midnight, to two and a half minutes, last year.
The Doomsday Clock was created in 1947 to express the dangers from nuclear war.
The Clock has been maintained and updated every year by The Bulletin’s Science and Security Board. The Board’s membership includes 15 winners of the Nobel Prize. You can see the Doomsday Clock in the upper left-hand corner of The Bulletin’s webpage.
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