Members of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which organises the Doomsday Clock, announced their findings in Washington stating that “the dangers of the world are being normalised, including climate change and nuclear war”. The clock was moved to two minutes to midnight in 2018 – the closest it has been to midnight since 1953 when hydrogen bombs were being tested for the US and Soviet Union as the Cold War began to simmer – after being moved forward by 30 seconds the previous year. Now, for the second year in a row it remains the same.
The announcers were keen to stress however that this is not a sign that things are improving with Dr Bill Perry saying it “harks back to the gloomiest days of the Cold War.
The threat of nuclear war among powerhouses including the US, China and Russia remains a huge threat, say the scientists, with climate change also being a major cause for concern.
In a statement, the organisers write: “Humanity now faces two simultaneous existential threats, either of which would be cause for extreme concern and immediate attention.
“These major threats—nuclear weapons and climate change—were exacerbated this past year by the increased use of information warfare to undermine democracy around the world, amplifying risk from these and other threats and putting the future of civilisation in extraordinary danger.
“There is nothing normal about the complex and frightening reality just described.”
While the team do say that President Donald Trump, who was, as was the case in 2018, a hot topic at the announcement, has managed to deescalate tension with North Korea, they do say he has not done enough as tensions increase with Russia.
The statement continues: “The Trump administration has added to the enormously expensive comprehensive nuclear modernisation program it inherited from the Obama administration.
“Meanwhile, the nuclear capabilities of the other seven nuclear armed states are not governed by any negotiated constraints, and several of them—notably India and Pakistan—continue to expand and modernise their capabilities.”
Artificial intelligence was described as “progressing at a rapid and largely unmanaged pace”.
The board fears AI will have a “large military, economic, and social effects in coming decades”, and not enough is being done to squash the threat.
Additionally, climate change is becoming more of a problem each year, and the scientists at the announcement say it may be too late to change our planet’s future now.
Humans are losing their battle against climate change, and once again President Trump was cited as an issue as he claims he does not believe it exists.
The Bulletin stated: “Even amid the worsening manifestations of an increasingly disrupted climate, denialists continue to stymie action.
“President Trump, dismissing the National Climate Assessment prepared by his own agencies, declared stubbornly, ’I don’t believe it’.
“Global warming has contributed to the occurrence of catastrophes, including the massive wildfires seen this year in California, Greece, and Sweden, and the deadly heat waves suffered by Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America.”
Every year, experts behind the clock assess how near or far humanity is to its end as they ask how much of a threat nature and man-made catastrophes pose any given year.
Co-founder Eugene Rabinowitch said when the Doomsday Clock was unveiled originally: “The Bulletin’s clock is not a gauge to register the ups and downs of the international power struggle; it is intended to reflect basic changes in the level of continuous danger in which mankind lives in the nuclear age.”
Source : EXPRESS