Doomsday Clock moves to 90 seconds to midnight, signaling more peril than ever : NPR

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The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced that it moved the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock 90 seconds to midnight. From left, Siegfried Hecker, Daniel Holz, Sharon Squassoni, Mary Robinson and Elbegdorj Tsakhia with the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists remove a cloth covering the Doomsday Clock at a news conference at the National Press Club in ‘Washington on Tuesday.

Patrick Semansky/AP


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Patrick Semansky/AP

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced that it moved the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock 90 seconds to midnight. From left, Siegfried Hecker, Daniel Holz, Sharon Squassoni, Mary Robinson and Elbegdorj Tsakhia with the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists remove a cloth covering the Doomsday Clock at a news conference at the National Press Club in ‘Washington on Tuesday.

Patrick Semansky/AP

The world is closer to catastrophe than ever before: the Doomsday Clock, the metaphorical gauge of challenges for humanity, has been reset to 90 seconds before midnight on Tuesday.

The science and safety board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists he said the move — the closest to a widespread calamity humanity has ever adjudged — was “generally, though not exclusively” due to the war in Ukraine.

The scientific body evaluates the clock every January. This is the first full update since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began last February, leading to war in Europe and a new flood of refugees.

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The clock created a stir when it was set to 100 seconds to midnight in 2020, the first time the famous clock had gone down to seconds rather than minutes. At the time, the Bulletin scientists said we were “on the brink of doom.” 100 seconds left until midnight in 2021 and 2022.

The scientists behind the Doomsday Clock use it to alert humanity to threats from within – the dangers we face from our own technologies, particularly through nuclear war, global climate change and biotechnology .

On the new update, Mary Robinson, the former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said: “The Jud il Jud il Protection Day Clock is sounding an alarm for humanity all. We are on the edge of a precipice. But our leaders are not acting with sufficient speed. or scaling up to ensure a peaceful and habitable planet.”

Much of Tuesday’s announcement focused on Russia, and President Vladimir Putin’s threat to use nuclear weapons and his refusal to accept anything other than victory in Ukraine.

“Even if nuclear use is avoided in Ukraine,” said Steve Fetter, dean of the graduate school and professor of public policy at the University of Maryland, “the war has challenged the nuclear order — the system of ‘agreements and understandings that have been built over six decades to limit the dangers of nuclear weapons’.

Fetter also noted that the United States, Russia and China are working to modernize their arsenals.

The Chicago-based Bulletin was founded in 1945 by Albert Einstein and scientists who helped develop the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project. Over the years, its members have included dozens of Nobel laureates.

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