The Doomsday Clock In 2015 Is Two Minutes Closer To Impending Doom Than Last Year
As mild as this winter has been so far, sometimes all I feel like doing is curl up in bed with a pile of one thousand and one comforters and figuratively await the end of the world, safe in the knowledge that I wouldn't ever have to get out of bed and face Mother Nature in all her cold, cruel glory. Alas, that is but a dream — one that I wouldn't actually want come true, anyway — but the more morbid of us can perhaps look to Tuesday's press conference in Washington D.C., when scientists moved the Doomsday Clock two minutes closer to midnight, citing rampant climate change and the enduring threat of nuclear weapons. Yikes.
Kennette Benedict, the executive director and publisher of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, a magazine that focuses on issues related to the dangers of weapons of mass destruction, told those at the conference:
Geez, talk about bleak. The Doomsday Clock, since its debut in 1947, has come to symbolize the dangers that Earth faces. The trans-Atlantic group of scientists — which includes 17 Nobel laureates — analyzes every year the threats present in the world to decide if the minute hand should move, and if so, how much. The closer it is to midnight, the more dire Earth's existence is.
In a statement the organization put out, it declared:
According to the statement, the last time they moved the minute hand moved was in 2012, pushed one minute ahead because of concerns over nuclear weapons, the Fukushima meltdown and the bird flu that sent everyone into a frenzy, to signal five minutes before midnight. The last time the Doomsday Clock read three minutes to midnight, though, was in 1984 during the Cold War. The closest it has come to midnight is two minutes away, when the hydrogen bomb was tested in 1953.
Speaking to CNBC, the Bulletin's editor-in-chief, John Mecklin, said that the moving of hands was a serious warning to the international community that there were critical issues that needed to be addressed. He told the news agency:
Looks like it's time to stock up on supplies, guys, for the next few years of preparation to hunker down in your fallout shelter.
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