The Doomsday Clock has moved again. It now stands at 11:57pm, closer to midnight than it has been in 30 years.
The Doomsday Clock has been a feature of the cover of every issue of The Bulletin of the American Scientists since the magazine began in 1947. It is a graphical representation of the judgment of the editors as to the risk of catastrophe for the human race. In that first issue, it was set at 11:53pm and has been moved 21 times since, getting as close as two minutes to midnight and as far as 17 minutes away from the witching hour.
In explaining the decision to move the symbolic clock two minutes close to midnight, the group said:
In 2015, unchecked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity, and world leaders have failed to act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe. These failures of political leadership endanger every person on Earth.For most of its history, "The Bulletin," as it is known, has concentrated on the risks associated with the continued - and except for some people running around screeching "Iran! Iran! Iran!" largely ignored - existence of nuclear weapons. But eight years ago, it added a second concern: climate change.
Three years ago, when the clock was moved from 11:54 to 11:55, the group said that "it is difficult to see where the capacity lies to address [the] challenges" the world faces to avoid physical, economic, and environmental disaster.
They - and I - are still wondering.
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