This is the closest thing to the end of days— that is, midnight for humans — according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, a non-profit organisation. In November, the Scientific and Safety Board of the Bulletin met to determine when to begin the clock. The time was long before US-Iranian military action intensified and North Korea decided to put an end to its freeze. Recent incidents have just reinforced the opinion of the Bulletin that society is more at risk than ever before, “said Council Member Sharon Squassoni. Yet, they seem to also be implying that the meagre clockwork could have minimized the risks.
In 1947, at the start of the nuclear arms race the organisation introduced the clock and since then has been focussing on the dangers of nuclear weapons and climate change. The Bulletin Board of Scientists and Experts was pushed forward this year by questions about the nuclear programs of Iran and North Korea and the collapse of US-Russian disarmament co-operation. The same applies to the insufficient climate change action.
According to the Bulletin, information warfare also helps spread the capacity of mankind to respond to the dangers that we face. The administration has criticized Trump for dissolving scientific committees and for sewing media mistrust by calling them “false news.” The bulletin warned of Deepfakes ‘ difficulties in discerning the truth from lies to people and politicians. Facebook is already trying to restrict deepfakes ‘ propaganda and it has decided to ban it before America’s presidential election in 2020.
The final time in 2018 was when the clock increased from 30 seconds to two minutes before midnight. It was then that North Korea, India, Pakistan, Russia and the United States were concerned about the spread of tensions between nuclear powers and the building of nuclear arsenals. The clock was only once two minutes prior to midnight, when the world powers took part in a nuclear war in 1953.
It was not yet good news, but the clock remained in place in 2019. The Bulletin has been stopped from turning the clock backwards by failing to address threats posed by the effects of climate change. By contrast with the preindustrial era, the planet has since been on a dangerous road of warming by 3 degrees Celsius. Siván Kartha, a senior scientist at the Stockholm Environmental Institute, declared, “We have no reason to believe that such a planet will remain hospitable to human civilisation.
In 1991, the clock hands were as far apart as they have ever been from midnight. The Bulletin has shortened clock time to 17 minutes from midnight due to the end of the Cold War and the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty, which was signed by the US and the Soviet Union.
The Doomsday Clock is a fake, although it is backed by legitimate scientific and geopolitical research. You don’t necessarily have to construct your Doomsday Bunker. According to the Bulletin, the clock should be a “reminder of the dangers we face to live on the earth.”