WHAT’S BEING CLAIMED:
- The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) announced on Thursday that the Doomsday Clock was adjusted from two minutes to midnight to 100 seconds to midnight due to the worsening global situation.
- It is also a worrying fact that instead of minutes, the likelihood of man-made catastrophe is now measured in seconds, says Robert Rosner, one BAS’ board members.
- The Doomsday Clock was farthest from midnight in 1991 when it was moved back to 17 minutes after the signing of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
On Thursday, members of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) announced the decision to move the Doomsday Clock from two minutes to midnight to 100 seconds to midnight, the closest so far in the history of the Doomsday Clock.
The National Press Club in Washington, D.C. reported that during the press conference of the decision to maintain last year’s Clock, BAS President and CEO Rachel Bronson said they argued that “the current global situation was abnormal” due to the worsening climate and nuclear situations.
Astrophysicist Robert Rosner who’s also on BAS’ Science and Security Board, said the fact that we are now expressing how close the world is to catastrophe in seconds is really bad news.
“What we said last year is now a disturbing reality in that things are not getting better,” Rosner said.
Referencing the recent collapse of the Iran nuclear deal, the reactivation of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and the continued weapons buildout from the U.S., Russia and China, board member Sharon Squassoni added that overall, “the situation is extremely dangerous and demands an emergency response.”
Stockholm Environment Institute senior scientist Sivan Kartha also agreed that time is running out for the planet to achieve the emissions goals that were set at the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. “Emissions need to head towards zero,” said Kartha.
The Doomsday Clock is a symbolic clock used by the BAS to represent the likelihood of a potential global catastrophe. Created in 1947, the Clock takes into account nuclear weapons, growing geopolitical tensions as well as environmental changes. Climate change has been a major consideration in the board’s decisions since 2007.
Following the first signing of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty by the U.S. and Soviet Union, the clock was moved back to 17 minutes in 1991, the farthest from midnight.
Citing President Trump’s bold rhetoric towards other global powers, continuing weapon and missile tests of North Korea and rising tensions between the U.S. and Russia, BAS moved the clock in 2018 to 2 minutes to midnight and remained there in 2019.
However, there is still hope despite the dire situation.
Former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said: “Not a single country or person can do it alone. We must act and work together. We need all hands on deck and we can all work together,” adding that multilateralism is the answer to preventing a nuclear and climate catastrophe.
Source: Fox News