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Doomsday Clock Remains at 2-Minutes to Midnight

Thursday, January 24, 2019

Posted by Marylia Kelley

The resurgent risk of nuclear war and unresolved climate danger have caused the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to keep the Doomsday Clock set at 2-minutes to the apocalyptic midnight hour in what the magazine’s scientists and scholars, including 15 Nobel Laureates, decried as “the new abnormal.”

The minute hand did not move from last year, but that position is the closest to annihilation as it has ever been. “The fact the Doomsday Clock’s hands did not change is bad news,” said Robert Rosner, Chair of the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board.

Before 2018, the last time the Clock was set at 2-minutes to doom was in 1953, marking the first time both the Soviet Union and the United States possessed the ability to use powerful Hydrogen bombs.

We have returned to the greatest danger the world had ever known. The Bulletin’s statement noted that the “modernization” of arsenals currently underway in the U.S. and other nuclear-armed states is “all but indistinguishable from a worldwide arms race.”

Jerry Brown, our former California Governor and now Executive Chairman of the Bulletin, put it this way at the news conference, “The blindness and stupidity of politicians and their consultants is truly shocking in the face of nuclear catastrophe and danger.” Brown continued, “We are almost like travelers on the Titanic, seeing the iceberg up ahead but enjoying the elegant dining and the music.”

Moreover, the Bulletin said “the world failed dismally last year” to address climate change. “To halt the worst effects of climate change, the countries of the world must cut net worldwide carbon dioxide emissions to zero by well before the end of the century.”

The Trump administration’s nuclear and climate policies contributed to the decision to keep the hands so close to midnight noted the scientists. The Bulletin also noted the “corruption of the information ecosystem” is embrittling democracy and adding to the global risks.

The iconic Doomsday Clock was founded in 1947.