The Doomsday Clock is here, and scientists think we are one step closer to the apocalypse than we once were. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists- which is a nonprofit group of scientists and security detail who were on the lookout for a possible Armageddon resulting through the actions of humans- have decided to move the clock around 100 seconds closer to midnight, the closest to midnight the clock has ever been since its inception 75 years ago.
The Doomsday Clock- How Long Do We Have?
In a statement passed by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, it was mentioned that humanity was constantly facing two very simultaneous dangers- climate change as well as nuclear war which were compounded by a threat which was simply cyber-enabled information warfare, that would undercut the ability of the society to respond. The situation regarding international security, as always, was dire, and not just because the threats persisted in society, but because leaders of the world had allowed the international political infrastructure set in place for managing them to simply erode- thereby leading to the Doomsday Clock being moved even closer to a major cataclysm.
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According to this Bulletin, the Doomsday Clock was simply a visual representation of just how close humanity was towards its ending. Every year since the inception of the clock in 1947, a major group of scientists and experts had gathered to discuss the major possibilities of the ending of the world- which would also lead them to adjust the clock accordingly. The Clock, as seen in movies like Dr. Strangelove- Or How I Learnt to Love The Bomb, was symbolic- a warning of what could be if deterrents weren’t in place.
With the Doomsday Clock being just 100 seconds from midnight, the Bulletin has stated that it thinks this planet is much closer to a single global disaster than at any other point in history. Both the USA and Russia managed to pull out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty in 2019, which was a deterrent set in place during the Cold War that prohibited the use of cruise missiles, and ballistic missiles that were land-based with ranges between 311 and 3,420 miles.
Why Has The Situation With the Doomsday Clock Deteriorated So much?
The Doomsday Clock might see itself getting moved even further along with New START, a treaty propagated by Obama- which limited the number of missiles that both the superpowers could deploy- will be expiring in February of 2022 unless it gets renewed.
Russia has stated that it wants to renew the Treaty, but America seems to be dragging its feet through the mud- indicating that it may let the treaty lapse completely. With the failure of these treaties, both sides would be looking towards the development of newer types of nuclear weapons that would be aimed at circumventing existing defense systems.
One of the members of the Bulletin, Sharon Squassoni, stated that they had initially set the Doomsday Clock in November. But that was before the military actions that took place in the US and Iran. The threat of Iran to leave the nuclear non-proliferation treaty, along with talks of North Korea abandoning its peace talks with the United States- scientists have naturally been losing their bearings in the landscape of nuclear weapons.
Image Credits: Bulleting of the Atomic Scientists