The University of Chicago-based journal Bulletin of Atomic Scientists on Thursday morning moved the hands of the Doomsday Clock to 2½ minutes to midnight, nearly the closest to midnight ever, and a message that the probability of worldwide catastrophe is very high.
The clock’s hands were moved because of the international community’s failure to come to grips with climate change and nuclear weapons, Thomas Pickering, former U.S. undersecretary of State for political affairs, and Pennsylvania State University professor David Titley, the former head of the U.S. Navy’s Task Force on Climate Change, wrote in a New York Times column Thursday about the decision.
The clock has only once been closer to midnight, the figurative doomsday, since it’s inception in 1947.
The clock’s hands stood at two minutes to midnight only once in 1953, when the nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union was running unchecked and both countries were testing nuclear devices within months of each other.
The journal provided a full rationale for its decision on its website.
Less than a week in office...