Former California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks after unveiling the Doomsday Clock during The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists news conference in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Doomsday Clock moves closest to midnight in 73-year history

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moves clock to 100 seconds to midnight

The keepers of the Doomsday Clock on Thursday moved the symbolic countdown to global disaster to the closest point to midnight in its 73-year history, citing “existential danger” from nuclear war and climate change.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which was founded after the creation of the atomic bomb in World War II and focuses on the greatest threats to human survival, said it moved the clock from two minutes to midnight to 100 seconds to midnight — a 20-second advance.

The decision was made by the group’s science and security board, in consultations with its board of sponsors, which includes 13 Nobel laureates.

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

“The international security situation is dire, not just because these threats exist, but because world leaders have allowed the international political infrastructure for managing them to erode,” it said.

Rachel Bronson, president and CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, said: “We are now expressing how close the world is to catastrophe in seconds — not hours, or even minutes.”

“We now face a true emergency — an absolutely unacceptable state of world affairs that has eliminated any margin for error or further delay,” she said.

Former California Gov. Jerry Brown, the Bulletin’s executive chairman, warned that “dangerous rivalry and hostility among the superpowers increases the likelihood of nuclear blunder.”

“Climate change just compounds the crisis,” he said. “If there’s ever a time to wake up, it’s now.”

READ MORE: Trump lauds U.S. economy in Davos, while Thunberg slams elites

The Doomsday Clock didn’t move in 2019 but in 2018 it advanced by 30 seconds from 2 1/2 minutes before midnight to two minutes to midnight.

As the symbolic clock was moved on Thursday, the Bulletin’s experts were joined by former Irish President Mary Robinson who now leads The Elders, a group of prominent former world leaders founded by Nelson Mandela, and ex-U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, now deputy chairman of The Elders.

Ban said that from the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 Paris climate agreement and the Iran nuclear deal to deadlock at nuclear disarmament talks and divisions in the U.N. Security Council, “our mechanisms for collaboration are being undermined when we need them most.”

Robinson called on world leaders to join in working “to pull humanity back from the brink.”

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Climate changeNuclear weapons

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Casinos butt heads over table games at Kelowna council meeting

Chances will soon offer table games, despite opposition from Playtime Casino

Maxine DeHart: The people’s people person

She was first elected as a councillor in 2011 and sits on numerous boards and committees in Kelowna

District of Lake Country receives financial reporting award

This is the fifth consecutive year that the district has received the award

Interior Health leading the way with innovative therapy for stroke patients

Percentage of ischemic stroke patients who received treatment has risen dramatically

City of Kelowna to make improvements to Paul’s Tomb on Knox Mountain

Paul’s Tomb will be closed for the month of March

VIDEO: Minister says consider coronavirus outbreak when planning for spring break

Foreign Affairs minister points to rash of new cases appearing in places like Italy and Iran

B.C. city rebrands with new logo, cheeky slogan

‘Langford, where it all happens’ is the City’s new slogan

RCMP asking for more officers to better enforce speed limit on Trans Canada Highway

City council will bring the motion to the Southern Interior Local Government Association

B.C. Liberals call for ban on foreign funds to pipeline protesters

Sierra Club, Wilderness Committee back Coastal GasLink blockades

Donations pour in for family who lost father, son in fatal crash on B.C. highway

Mike Cochlin and sons Liam and Quinn were travelling on Highway 5A

Beer and burgers to raise cash for Vernon man fighting cancer

Fundraiser hosted in honour of Garnet the Great to send him to special treatment centre

HERGOTT: Idiocy of distracted driving

Paul Hergott is a personal injury lawyer based in West Kelowna

Hollywood actor Chris Pratt shows Kamloops love on social media

The filming of Jurassic World 3 is underway in Merritt and area

B.C. man who pulled a gun on off-duty cop gets two years in prison

Encounter also led police to a home where 100 guns and explosives were found

Most Read