Armageddon: Doomsday clock brings humanity one minute closer to disaster

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has moved its apocalyptic clock from six minutes to five minutes before midnight, warning that humanity is on the brink of disaster.

The clock is a universally recognized indicator of the world’s vulnerability to nuclear weapons, climate change and emerging technologies. It last moved in 2010 when the hands were lowered to six minutes before midnight. Frighteningly, the clock has once again come on.

Princetown University professor Robert Socolow contemplates the apocalypse alongside the Doomsday clock

Explaining the decision to symbolically place humanity five minutes from annihilation, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists noted “insufficient progress on the reduction and proliferation of nuclear weapons, and continued inaction on climate change.”

The factors that most contributed to this decision were the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant in Japan and the possibility of nuclear weapons in Iran.

The possible links between climate change, resource scarcity, conflict and nuclear weapons were also discussed.

Hiroshima, Japan, devastated after the United States dropped an atomic bomb in 1945 during World War II

Jayantha Dhanapala, former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Disarmament Affairs, said that “the failure to comply with the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty by the leaders of the United States, China, Iran, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Israel and North Korea on a treaty to stop the production of nuclear weapons materials continues to put the world in danger. The world still has over 19,000 nuclear weapons, enough power to destroy the inhabitants of the world many times over. “

The only light on the horizon, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, is the growth of pro-democracy movements around the world.

“The Science and Security Council is encouraged by the Arab Spring, the occupation movements, the political protests in Russia and the actions of ordinary citizens in Japan,” said Executive Director Kennette Benedict.

People take part in an anti-nuclear energy demonstration on the 66th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima on August 6, 2011

The end of the world clock was closest to midnight in 1953, when the hands were set to two minutes before midnight after the United States developed the hydrogen bomb.

The furthest it has been is 17 minutes, in 1991, with the signing of the strategic arms reduction treaty between Russia and the United States.

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