The Doomsday Clock Moves at Two Minutes to Midnight

For the last couple of years, the world has allegedly been two minutes away from an ‘apocalypse,’ according to the Doomsday Clock.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which updates the clock, will release their 2020 Doomsday Clock announcement on January 23rd at 10 a.m. ET. The figurative clock went 30 seconds ahead two years ago and reached two minutes to midnight because of the ‘reckless language’ the world leaders used. The reasons include North Korea’s advancing nuclear weapons mission, conflicts between Russia and the United States, ravaging natural disasters, and more others.

The clock was maintained at two minutes to midnight for 2019’s announcement, which is the closest the clock has been to an apocalypse in 65 years, the Bulletin said.

What is the Doomsday Clock?

The Doomsday Clock is a symbol that was designed at the beginning of the Cold War back in 1947 to show the hazard of nuclear weapons, which, the association says, have the capacity to destroy today’s civilization completely.

Climate change, dangerous chemical or biological agents, and appearing technologies also have an important role in establishing how much the clock has moved.

“We really track existential threats that are man-made,” Rachel Bronson, the president and CEO of the Bulletin, said. “But the factors that have really moved the clock have always been nuclear from the beginning.”

Those determining the amount of the clock movement every year is the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board (SASB), a group composed of international specialists in niches that concentrate on the climate, nuclear weapons, and technology. They meet two times per year to talk about world events and reset the clock.

Do Politics Have a Say in This?

The Bulletin analyzes politics and public measures during the year.

“We’ve moved it backward and forward pretty equally in Republican and Democratic administrations,” Bronson said in 2018.

The reason behind the change of the clock back in 2018 to 30 seconds closer to midnight has been the events of the year that worried the officials.

“We were worried about the world’s nuclear rhetoric language, comments based on fake news and recklessness around issues that are so important,” Bronson said. “Moving the clock 30 seconds conveyed the message they were trying to send: this doesn’t bode well.”

The commission at the Bulletin also said that 2017’s environmental calamities have added to the moving of the clock, in particular, the damaging wildfires in the United States, violent hurricanes, intense hear waves, and reduction of Arctic ice caps that broke the records.

The Doomsday Clock was designed to give the world an idea of where it actually places.

“It gets people more engaged and pressures the public to ask world leaders important questions,” Bronson said. “There’s more awareness now; that’s for sure.”

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