The Hour until the Apocalypse has just moved up to 2 minutes to Midnight.
The Doomsday Clock
Created in 1947 by members of The Manhattan Project, the team behind Fat Man and Little Boy (the only nuclear bombs ever to be detonated in conflict), The Doomsday Clock is a symbolic measure of the current state of our geopolitical and environmental landscape. Essentially, it's a measure of how close we are to self-destructing.
As threats of nuclear war mount and as climate change barrels towards a point of no return, the Science and Security Board has set their annual evaluation to the closest to midnight it has ever been.
Why the change?
"The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board takes a broad and international view of existential threats to humanity, focusing on long-term trends." 3
In the past year alone, we've moved one full minute closer to midnight. The board takes a number of factors into account when assessing the threat to humanity and our civilization. A year ago, the clock was moved 30 seconds closer to midnight, the closest it has been since 1953 when the United States and the Soviet Union were testing the largest and most destructive thermonuclear devices known to exist.
When the clock was moved in January, 2017, the board cited: "Over the course of 2106, 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." 3
Now, at the start of 2018, the board warns: "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... To call the world nuclear situation dire is to understate the danger—and its immediacy." 4
Continued denial of the scientific community's findings, the rolling back of environmental sanctions and carbon reducing progress, and the amping up of provocative nuclear rhetoric, has pushed our global safety to the brink of extinction.
What can be done?
As with most anything in life, the first step towards action is education. Visit thebulletin.org and learn as much as you can!
Take action: Contact your lawmakers and demand they restore our safety and the safety of the planet by eliminating rhetoric that instigates another Cold War. Enact legislation that curbs the nuclear arsenal of all nations and impose harsh sanctions against any nation that refuses to comply. Last but not least, take meaningful action to reverse the damage done to our environment by protecting public lands and cutting the dependence on fossil fuels.
Our elected officials will only work for us if we make them work for us by becoming so loud and persistent that they are simply incapable of ignoring us.
Here's how to make your voice heard:
- Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121
- Find your Senators at nationalpriorities.org
- Lookup your Representative at house.gov
Save their contact info. Add them to your address book. Call, email, and snail mail as often as you like. Your tax dollars pay their salaries! You have every right to go to their office and stand outside yelling your head off about the issues that matter most to you. Make your voice heard!
THE CLOCK IS NOW TWO MINUTES TO MIDNIGHT
View the press briefing in its entirety via Washington Post here:
Images: 1, 2, 3
1- Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Wiki
2- The Science and Security Board: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Website
3- 2017 Doomsday Clock Statement (PDF)
4- 2018 Doomsday Clock Statement
Richard Kelly, Southland Tales