|Photo by: Sky NEWS|
A global catastrophe is but two minutes away, according to the Doomsday Clock, which measures, metaphorically, how long the world has left before it succumbs to a man-made disaster.
The Doomsday Clock originally featured in a magazine back in the 1940s, when the development of nuclear arms first became a global fear.
In its first outing the clock read seven minutes to midnight. The furthest away from midnight it has ever been came in 1991 after the end of the Cold War – when it struck 17 minutes to midnight.
Managed by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, a group of scientists and academics, the clock was moved 30 seconds on Thursday. The clock’s hands had been at two-and-a-half minutes to midnight in 2017.
For decades the clock has been used as an ominous reminder of how close humanity is to destroying the world. Midnight represents total disaster or an apocalypse.
Originally decided on by Bulletin Editor Eugene Rabinowitch, the clock is now in its 71st year. It’s settings are now based on an academic board’s view on the advancement of nuclear arms, climate change and artificial intelligence.
Earlier this year, the Bulletin’s Nuclear Notebook warned of North Korea’s nuclear missile potential.
The organization now believes “the world is not only more dangerous now than it was a year ago; it is as threatening as it has been since World War II,” Bulletin officials Lawrence M. Krauss and Robert Rosner wrote in an op-ed published Thursday by The Washington Post.
“In fact, the Doomsday Clock is as close to midnight today as it was in 1953, when Cold War fears perhaps reached their highest levels.”
Krauss, a theoretical physicist, and Rosner, an astrophysicist, added: “To call the world nuclear situation dire is to understate the danger — and its immediacy.
North Korea’s nuclear weapons program appeared to make remarkable progress in 2017, increasing risks for itself, other countries in the region and the United States.”
A board of scientists and nuclear experts meets regularly to determine what time it is on the Doomsday Clock. This group, called the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, was founded by veterans of the Manhattan Project concerned about the consequences of their nuclear research.
One of them, nuclear physicist Alexander Langsdorf, was married to artist Martyl Langsdorf, who created the clock and set it at seven minutes to midnight, or 11:53, for the cover of the group's magazine. Her husband moved the time four minutes ahead in 1949.
1. Washington Post
2. RT NEWS