January 27, 2023

Athens News

News in English from Greece

The Doomsday Clock has been advanced 90 seconds before midnight

Humanity is on the brink of the end of the world. The hands of the doomsday clock have been moved, and now they show 90 seconds before midnight. This is the closest arrow position in our history to a nuclear Armageddon.

It is reported by the American Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. He has reset the Doomsday Clock’s minute hand 25 times since its introduction in 1947. This time the arrows, which symbolize the threat of a global catastrophe, have been moved another 10 seconds closer to midnight. Now they show 23:58:30.

“100 seconds to midnight, the doomsday clock has been set since 2020. This year, the clock was moved forward due to the war in Ukraine and the increased risk of nuclear escalation,” – said in the Bulletin. The clock hands were farthest from midnight (11:43 p.m.) after the end of the Cold War. Over the past 10 years, the clock has been moved six times – all six times it has moved forward.

The Bulletin also states that the effects of climate change, “relentless” misinformation on the internet and the constant threat of outbreaks of infectious diseases are playing a role in the promotion of the Doomsday Clock.

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists President and CEO Rachel Bronson said the decision to move the clock closer to midnight was not an easy one: “We live in a time of unprecedented peril, and the Doomsday Clock reflects that reality. The US government, its NATO allies and Ukraine have many channels for dialogue, we urge leaders to explore them all to the fullest in order to turn back the clock.” – she said.

The Doomsday Clock statement explains that “Russia’s war with Ukraine has raised deep questions about how states interact, undermining the norms of international behavior that underlie successful responses to various global risks. And worst of all, Russia’s thinly veiled threats to use nuclear weapons remind the world that escalating conflict—whether by accident, design, or miscalculation—is a dire risk. The likelihood that the conflict could get out of anyone’s control remains high… …Russia also fought in the areas of the Chernobyl and Zaporozhye nuclear power plants, violating international protocols and risking a large-scale release of radioactive materials. Efforts by the International Atomic Energy Agency to ensure the safety of these nuclear power plants have so far been rebuffed“. This statement has been translated into Ukrainian and Russian.

Mary Robinson, Chair of the Council of Elders and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said: “The Doomsday Clock is sounding the alarm for all mankind. We are on the edge of an abyss. But our leaders are not moving fast enough and on a large enough scale to ensure peace and the planet is habitable. From reducing carbon emissions to strengthening arms control treaties and investing in pandemic preparedness, we know what needs to be done. From a scientific point of view, everything is clear, but there is not enough political will. This must change in 2023 if we are to avert disaster. We face numerous existential crises. Leaders need anti-crisis thinking.”

Ban Ki-moon, Vice Chairman of the Council of Elders and former UN Secretary General, said:“Three years ago I helped introduce the Doomsday Clock when its hands last moved. Today they are even closer to midnight, showing how much more dangerous our world has become after the COVID-19 pandemic, extreme weather events and Russia’s outrageous war with Ukraine. Leaders have not heeded the Doomsday Clock warnings in 2020. We all continue to pay for this. In 2023, it is vital for all of us that leaders take action.”

The Doomsday Clock project has been run by the American journal Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists since 1947. The clock shows the symbolic time separating humanity from the day of the global man-made catastrophe (time until midnight). The Science and Safety Board meets twice a year to discuss current events and determine if clocks need to be adjusted. The council includes several scientists and specialists in the field of nuclear technology and climatology. Watches look at data such as the number of nuclear weapons in the world, the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, the acidity of the oceans, and the rate of sea level rise to determine the time of the clock. The watch itself is kept in Chicago.

Scientists emphasize that clocks are not a predictive tool, and they do not predict the future. But at the same time, it is a symbol of a threat to humanity.

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