Nagasaki nuclear explosion photo by Charles Levy from one of the B29 Superfortresses
GR: A group of concerned scientists created the Doomsday Clock at the end of World War II. The goal was to use best estimates of global conditions to create a visual display of the nuclear danger. Now, however scientists consider climate change as well as nuclear war as the most pressing threats to our survival. In 2010, after the hopeful conclusion to the Copenhagen Climate-Change Conference, the Clock was at six minutes to midnight. However, nuclear developments in North Korea and continuing tension in southern Asia moved the Clock to five minutes until midnight in 2012. The nuclear situation has not improved and the climate situation is worse. Today the Clock is at two and one-half minutes until midnight.
Climate Change Catastrophe Image by Geralt
I included a link to an informative slide show at the end of this post. The Clock has moved closer to doomsday because of Donald Trump’s statements. Will Trump be pleased with his great accomplishment? I recommend this short press conference on the new clock setting: http://clock.thebulletin.org.
DOOMSDAY CLOCK MOVES AHEAD:
“Words Matter”: The Board Marks 70th Anniversary of Iconic Clock By Expressing Concern About “Unsettling” and “Ill-Considered” Statements of President Trump on Nuclear Weapons and Climate Change; Developments in North Korea, Russia, India and Pakistan Also Highlighted.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 26, 2017 – “It is now two and a half minutes to midnight. For the first time in the 70-year history of the Doomsday Clock, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Science and Security Board has moved the hands of the iconic clock 30 seconds closer to midnight. In another first, the Board has decided to act, in part, based on the words of a single person: Donald Trump, the new President of the United States.
“The decision to move the hands of the Doomsday Clock is made by the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in consultation with the Bulletin’s Board of Sponsors, which includes 15 Nobel Laureates. The Science and Security Board’s full statement about the Clock is available online.
“In January 2016, the Doomsday Clock’s minute hand did not change, remaining at three minutes before midnight. The Clock was changed in 2015 from five to three minutes to midnight, the closest it had been since the arms race of the 1980s.
“In the statement about the Doomsday Clock, the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board notes: “Over the course of 2016, 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 … This already-threatening world situation was the backdrop for a rise in strident nationalism worldwide in 2016, including in a US presidential campaign during which the eventual victor, Donald Trump, made disturbing comments about the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons and expressed disbelief in the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change …The board’s decision to move the clock less than a full minute — something it has never before done — reflects a simple reality: As this statement is issued, Donald Trump has been the US president only a matter of days …”
“The statement continues: “Just the same, words matter, and President Trump has had plenty to say over the last year. Both his statements and his actions as President-elect have broken with historical precedent in unsettling ways. He has made ill-considered comments about expanding the US nuclear arsenal. He has shown a troubling propensity to discount or outright reject expert advice related to international security, including the conclusions of intelligence experts. And his nominees to head the Energy Department, and the Environmental Protection Agency dispute the basics of climate science. In short, even though he has just now taken office, the president’s intemperate statements, lack of openness to expert advice, and questionable cabinet nominations have already made a bad international security situation worse.”
“In addition to addressing the statements made by President Trump, the Board also expressed concern about the greater global context of nuclear and climate issues:” –Janice Sinclaire (Continue reading: It is now two and a half minutes to midnight | Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists).