Tick tock tick tock: Doomsday Clock nears midnight


The Doomsday Clock has never been closer to striking midnight. But we seem to be missing something kind of important for a species - we don't appear to be too concerned about self-destruction.

Humanity is now the closest it has ever been to total annihilation.

The time on their so-called Doomsday Clock has been moved backwards and forwards over the years as a metaphor for how close to catastrophe we are.

In addition it said that climate change that could devastate the planet is undeniably happening while for a variety of reasons - including a corrupted and manipulated media environment - many democratic governments and other institutions that should be working to address these threats have failed to act.

"At a time when world leaders should be focused on the clear and present dangers of nuclear escalation and the climate emergency. we are instead witnessing denial, disregard and risky brinksmanship", former United Nations secretary-general and deputy chair of The Elders Ban Ki-moon said.

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In a statement accompanying the clock's advance, the organisation said the nuclear and climate dangers "are compounded by a threat multiplier, cyber-enabled information warfare that undercuts society's ability to respond".

The Clock, which warns of impending disasters and takes into account nuclear weapons, rising geopolitical tensions, as well as changes to the environment, was created in 1947 at the beginning of the arms race between the US and the then-Soviet Union.

The announcement will be made by Rachel Bronson, president and CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, as well as former California governor and the current executive chair at the Bulletin, Jerry Brown. He added that governments across the globe have normalized a unsafe world in terms of the risks of nuclear warfare and climate change.

Naturally, many were alarmed by the clock's new position - it's the closest it's ever been to midnight, now - but what exactly is the Doomsday Clock, who decides what "time" it is, and why should we care about it?

Along with highlighting growing concerns about how "sophisticated, technology-propelled propaganda" is undermining global efforts to address the two key existential threats, this year's statement slammed world leaders for "not responding appropriately to reduce this threat level and counteract the hollowing-out of worldwide political institutions, negotiations, and agreements that aim to contain it".

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In 2019, national leaders ended or undermined several major arms control treaties and negotiations, especially among the U.S., Iran and Russian Federation.

Political conflicts regarding nuclear programs in Iran and North Korea are worsening according to the scientists and US-Russia cooperation on arms control and disarmament is all but nonexistent. It had been at two minutes to midnight since 2018. Climate change is a major reason why.

Few concrete plans to further limit carbon dioxide emissions are being put forward despite one of the warmest years on record, extensive wildfires, and quicker-than-expected melting of glacial ice.

Based on a cursory glance, the trending comments from Twitter users in response to the dire news shows many people reacting with comedic memes, GIFS, and jokes. Which way are we going to go?

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