The Time is now to 2 Minutes to Midnight
Well, here we are. I watched the Doomsday Clock announcement from the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists live this morning. The Doomsday Clock is a symbolic clock the Bulletin uses to illustrate if we’re moving closer or further from global annihilation (aka Midnight). Not surprisingly, it moved forward this year from 2.5 to 2 minutes to Midnight.
Among reasons cited were nuclear escalations in North Korea, Russia, and Iran as well as Trump’s loose rhetoric in talking about nukes (such as bragging about the size of his nuclear button), and a step backward in addressing climate change. You can read the Bulletin’s 2018 Doomsday Clock Statement here: https://thebulletin.org/2018-doomsday-clock-statement
Here’s some key milestones in the Doomsday Clock’s history:
1945: Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists formed.
1947: Bulletin debutes the Doomsday Clock
1953: 2 minutes to Midnight: The invention of the H-bomb brought the clock the closest it’s ever been to Midnight…until we returned to that time today.
1984: 3 minutes to Midnight. The clock hovered close to Midnight throughout the “mutually assured destruction” days of the Cold War.
1991: With the Cold War over, the clock reached it’s furthest position away from 12 in 1991 at 17 minutes to Midnight.
2016: the Bulletin revealed that things didn’t look so great. The minutehand had crept forward to 3 to Midnight, the first time since the 1984 Cold War days. It was, as the Bulletin noted, “not good news.”
2017: With President Trump in office a mere few days, the Bulleting moved the clock forward to 2.5 minutes to Midnight, the first time in history the Bulletin utilized a half second. Among other reasons, the decision was based on fiery rhetoric from Trump and other politicians and world leaders.
2018: 2 minutes to Midnight. “You need to demand action,” the Bulletin stated today. “It is not yet midnight, and we have moved back from the brink in the past.”
My new book has a working title of The End and is out early next year from Chicago Review Press.