While many people use plenty of different news sources to keep tabs on what’s happening in the wider world, there has always been one fixture that’s always been a good indicator as to where humanity may be headed. That fixture is known as the Doomsday Clock, which has been in place since 1947, having been set up by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. Since the 1940s, the Clock has been adjusted to show just how far humanity may be from complete destruction – and it’s marked by how close a clock is to midnight.
According to BBC News, the latest report from the Doomsday Clock suggests that we are just as close to self-destruction as we were last year – with worrying news that the Clock has been frozen at two minutes to midnight, the closest it has ever been to the apocalypse. It has only ever been so close to midnight twice before – in 2017 and in 1953. It has also gotten as close as three minutes before, when the then-Soviet Union began nuclear testing.
Doomsday clock stays at two minutes to midnight [video]
“Though unchanged from 2018, this setting should be taken not as a sign of stability, but as a stark warning to leaders and citizens around the world,” Rachel Bronson – BAS’ President – advised. “This new abnormal is simply too volatile and too dangerous to accept.”
The unveiling of the frozen Clock, which updates each year, is thought to show how dangerously close we are to destruction through climate change woes and nuclear weapon advancement. The fixture has long been a barometer of sorts to indicate how close humanity is to impending disaster – however, it does still possess a number of detractors.
The reveal of the Clock’s current position arrived alongside concerns voiced that while US-North Korean relations may have improved, carbon emission targets being missed have continued to ramp up worries over where the fate of our natural world will lead. The BAS also advised that the ‘increased use of information warfare to undermine democracy around the world’ was continuing to ‘exacerbate’ such issues.
The Doomsday Clock has reset to calmer predictions previously – though it has never been as far away from midnight as things stood in 1991, where we were reportedly 17 minutes away from the apocalypse. Will we ever head back to such levels? It will remain to be seen, of course – but in any case, strides will need to be made on a number of levels.