Humankind is now just 2 and a half minutes from doomsday.
That’s the somber conclusion of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a group of scientists who maintain the “Doomsday Clock,” a symbolic representation of humanity’s proximity to apocalyptic destruction. On Thursday, they moved the clock’s minute hand 30 seconds closer to midnight ― the hour symbolizing global catastrophe.
The minute hand is now closer to the hour representing humanity’s doom than it has been since 1953, when it hit 2 minutes, the closest it has ever been to midnight, following the testing of hydrogen bombs by both the U.S. and Soviet Union.
Scientists said that their decision to move the minute hand this year was informed by several factors, including a rise in nationalism worldwide, President Donald Trump’s comments on nuclear arms and climate issues, a “darkening” global security landscape and a growing disregard for scientific expertise.
The board noted that words and actions of Russian President Vladimir Putin were also a significant factor, as well as nuclear developments in North Korea, India and Pakistan.
Since 2015, the clock has been set to three minutes to midnight, due to the combined danger of world governments’ failures to effectively combat climate change and the U.S.’s and Russia’s modernization of their nuclear weapons programs.
The Bulletin was founded in 1945 by scientists who had been involved in the Manhattan Project ― the name given to the research and development during World War II that produced the first atomic bomb ― who became horrified by the destructive power they had helped to unleash on the planet…. see more