On Thursday the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists announced from the National Press Club in Washington that they were moving the Doomsday Clock to 100 seconds to midnight, which is the closest point from an “apocalypse” since 1953.
“We argued that the global situation was abnormal,” Rachel Bronson, president, and CEO of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists said on Thursday during a press conference. Last year’s clock was left the same, but this year the decision to move it because “nuclear and climate situations are worsening.”
Robert Roser, an Astrophysicist, who sits on the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, also spoke during the press conference.
“The fact that the clock is now a mere 100 seconds from midnight signals really bad news. What we said last year is now a disturbing reality in that things are not getting better,” Rosner said.
“Past experience has taught us that even in the most dismal periods of the Cold War, we can come together. It is high time we do so again,” Rosner added.
“Emissions need to head towards zero. There’s no question this is an emergency,” added Sivan Kartha a scientist who sits on the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
The Doomsday Clock is used to warn of impending disasters. It takes into account several things including geopolitical tensions, nuclear weapons as well as environmental changes. The clock was created back in 1947 at the kickoff of the arms race between the Soviet Union and the United States.
Climate change has factored into scientist’s decisions since 2007.
The Doomsday Clock was moved back two minutes in 2018. Scientists credited the move to Donald Trump’s dangerous rhetoric toward world leaders as well as heightened tensions between the U.S. and Russia.
In 1991 the clock was furthest from midnight because it was moved back 17 minutes after the U.S. and Soviet Union signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.
Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stated that the key to preventing both nuclear and climate crisis is “multilateralism.”
“We must act and work together,” Ki-Moon stated during the press conference. “Not a single country or person can do it alone. We need all hands on deck and we can all work together.”