Doomsday clock ticks closer to midnight

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Witchfinder General

punched Wheelchair Mike
#1


The Doomsday clock has ticked another minute closer to midnight on the back of global uncertainty on how to deal with the threats of nuclear weapons and climate change.

"It is now five minutes to midnight," said Allison Macfarlane, chair of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (BAS), which created the clock in 1947 as a barometer of how close the world is to an apocalyptic end.


The last decision by the group, which includes a host of Nobel Prize-winning scientists, moved the clock a minute further away from midnight in 2010 on hopes of global nuclear cooperation and the election of US president Barack Obama.

However, the latest decision pushes the clock back to the time it was at in 2007.

Increasing nuclear tensions, refusal to engage in global action on climate change, and a growing tendency to reject science when it comes to major world concerns were cited as key reasons for the latest tick on the clock.

"It is clear the change that appeared to be happening at the time is not happening, not materialising," co-chair Lawrence Krauss said.

"Faced today with the clear and present dangers of nuclear proliferation, climate change, and the continued challenge to find new and sustainable and safe sources of energy, business as usual reigns the norm among world leaders."

The clock reached its most perilous point in 1953, at two minutes to midnight, after the United States and the Soviet Union tested thermonuclear devices within nine months of one another.

It was a far-flung 17 minutes to midnight in 1991 after the two signed the long-stalled Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) and announced further unilateral cuts in tactical and strategic nuclear weapons.

Robert Socolow, a member of the BAS science and security board and professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at Princeton University, said a common theme emerged in the scientists' talks this year.

He cited a "worrisome trend, notably in the US but in many other countries, to reject or diminish the significance of what science says is the characteristic of a problem".

But the group said it was heartened by a series of world protest movements - including the Arab spring, the global Occupy demonstrations and protests in Russia - which show people are seeking a greater say in their future.

With plenty of uncertainty in the nuclear realm, even a renewed START deal between Russia and the US has not achieved the progress scientists would like, BAS board member Jayantha Dhanapala said.

"At a time when there are going to be elections in the US, in Russia, in France, and a change of leadership in China, there is some uncertainty therefore about the nuclear weapons programs of these countries and the policies the new leadership will follow," said Dr Dhanapala, a former UN under-secretary general for disarmament affairs.

"The world still has approximately over 20,000 deployed nuclear weapons with enough power to destroy the world's inhabitants several times over."
Source: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-01-11/doomsday-clock-ticks-closer/3767426

 
#3
He said war was too important to be left to the generals. When he said that, 50 years ago, he might have been right. But today, war is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.
 
#6
I always wondered, if something significant happens that would push towards peace, would they just stop the clock or do they have some time of daylight savings ability to push it back an hour?
 
#7
This thing always freaks me out. I'd prefer to believe it doesn't exist.

I always wondered, if something significant happens that would push towards peace, would they just stop the clock or do they have some time of daylight savings ability to push it back an hour?
The clock has ticked further away from midnight many times
 

BobsRevenge

I do not avoid women, GAF, but I do deny them my essence.
#9
He said war was too important to be left to the generals. When he said that, 50 years ago, he might have been right. But today, war is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.
*looks at tag*

:(
 
#10
Where is this clock located. Is it on display somewhere? How does one person determine the nuclear time to death? I have so many random questions and so much confusion on this thing.
 
#11
He said war was too important to be left to the generals. When he said that, 50 years ago, he might have been right. But today, war is too important to be left to politicians. They have neither the time, the training, nor the inclination for strategic thought. I can no longer sit back and allow Communist infiltration, Communist indoctrination, Communist subversion and the international Communist conspiracy to sap and impurify all of our precious bodily fluids.
 

The Technomancer

card-carrying scientician
#25
He cited a "worrisome trend, notably in the US but in many other countries, to reject or diminish the significance of what science says is the characteristic of a problem".
I want more Engineers in government and more Scientists in advisory positions
 
#34
THis shit is stupid. Makes the Mayan 2012ers look ingenious.
Why? It is merely meant as a metaphor as to mankind's chances of significantly harming itself.

I think it is extremely interesting. There is no one that can save us from ourselves except ourselves. And it is nice that people try to look at the problems facing mankind so they can be openly discussed.
 
#35
Why? It is merely meant as a metaphor as to mankind's chances of significantly harming itself.

I think it is extremely interesting. There is no one that can save us from ourselves except ourselves. And it is nice that people try to look at the problems facing mankind so they can be openly discussed.
And brilliant to have the forethought to make it something that anyone can understand.
 
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