Scientists move 'Doomsday Clock' to latest time in history

Scientists move 'Doomsday Clock' to latest time in history

"We are now expressing how close the world is to catastrophe in seconds - not hours, or even minutes", says Bulletin President and CEO Rachel Bronson.

"We have seen influential leaders denigrate and discard the most effective methods for addressing complex threats - global agreements with strong verification regimes - in favor of their own narrow interests and domestic political gain", Bronson said.

The clock was introduced in 1967 and is a symbolic representation of how close humanity is to destroying civilization. Two years later, the group introduced the Doomsday Clock, set at seven minutes to midnight.

We are closer now than ever before to the end of the world as we know it.

Based on a cursory glance, the trending comments from Twitter users in response to the dire news shows many people reacting with comedic memes, GIFS, and jokes.

The clock was established in 1947 by a group of experts who were working on the Manhattan Project to design and build the first atomic bomb.

Robert Rosner, the Chair of the Bulletin's Science and Security Board, said during the presentation that "a dismal state of affairs in the realms of nuclear security and climate change [described in 2019] now has become an apparently enduring, disturbing reality in which things are not getting any better".

Since 1947, the clock's hands have moved both closer to and further from midnight, reaching 17 minutes to midnight in 1991.

'But in 2007, we felt we couldn't answer those questions without including climate change, ' Bronson told CNN.

The time on their so-called Doomsday Clock has been moved backwards and forwards over the years as a metaphor for how close to catastrophe we are.

What is the closest the Doomsday Clock has been to midnight?

The only time the hands were this close to midnight was in 1953, when the US and Soviet Union began rigorously testing nuclear weapons.

Members of the Science and Security Board present their rationale for the new time.

"In so doing, board members are explicitly warning leaders and citizens around the world that the global security situation is now more unsafe than it has ever been, even at the height of the Cold War", the Bulletin said in a statement. The Bulletin declared that "the need for emergency action is urgent".

During a press conference in Washington, D.C.to announce the Doomsday Clock update Thursday, former U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon expressed disappointment in global leaders for failing to address these two crises.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann defended Australia's record on climate change.

Former California governor Jerry Brown, the Bulletin's executive chairman, warned that "dangerous rivalry and hostility among the superpowers increases the likelihood of nuclear blunder".

At the same time, scientists' warnings have grown ever louder and more stark.

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