It is now 2 minutes to midnight. But what does it mean?
The doomsday clock is a symbol representing the likelihood of a global nuclear disaster. Each year, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists evaluates global affairs and the state of the world and sets the clock. The closer to midnight, the closer to fallout. Last year they cited the “rise of nationalism” as a reason for setting it to 2 and a half minutes to midnight. This year, the news are grim, at least in their opinion. Who and what is to blame? The answer won’t surprise you:
“the failure of President Trump and other world leaders to deal with looming threats of nuclear war and climate change. The world is not only more dangerous now than it was a year ago; it is as threatening as it has been since World War II. In fact, the Doomsday Clock is as close to midnight today as it was in 1953, when Cold War fears perhaps reached their highest levels.”
It is, of course, expected from them to have a certain political bias around the topic, but their evaluation is still not far from the truth. Recently we’ve been seeing lots of commotion in the world. Whether you like it or not, Nationalism IS rising, and the world is stirred. It doesn’t matter which side of the political spectrum you are on, you have to admit things are spiraling downwards, waiting for their climax. Will that climax be total nuclear retaliation? Let’s hope not, but something will surely happen soon.
2018 – The new cold war.
This is what the Bulletin of the Atomic scientists had to say for the current year, more can be found on their website:
2018: The failure of world leaders to address the largest threats to humanity’s future is lamentable—but that failure can be reversed. It is two minutes to midnight, but the Doomsday Clock has ticked away from midnight in the past, and during the next year, the world can again move it further from the apocalypse. The warning the Science and Security Board now sends is clear, the danger obvious and imminent. The opportunity to reduce the danger is equally clear. The world has seen the threat posed by the misuse of information technology and witnessed the vulnerability of democracies to disinformation. But there is a flip side to the abuse of social media. Leaders react when citizens insist they do so, and citizens around the world can use the power of the internet to improve the long-term prospects of their children and grandchildren. They can insist on facts, and discount nonsense. They can demand action to reduce the existential threat of nuclear war and unchecked climate change. They can seize the opportunity to make a safer and saner world. See the full statement from the Science and Security Board on the 2018 time of the Doomsday Clock.