The Doomsday Clock has reached its most alarming level since 1953.
The clock is set by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a non-profit group that measures how the last year has affected humanity. In this case, nuclear war threats, disregard for climate change and dangerous political rhetoric around the world appears to have moved humanity closer from destruction.
The Doomsday Clock is now two minutes to midnight, advancing 30 seconds over the last year and reaching its most concerning point since the 1950s. Back then, there was a real threat of nuclear warfare as we were in the midst of a Cold War and the hydrogen bomb was being tested.
“We’ve made the clear statement that we feel the world is getting more dangerous,” said Lawrence Krauss, chair of the Bulletin’s Board of Sponsors and director of Arizona State University’s Origins Project. “The danger of nuclear conflagration is not the only reason the clock has been moved forward.”
Krauss added that world leaders failed in various items in 2017, including failing to deal with the looming threats of nuclear war and climate change, while hyperbolic rhetoric and provocative statements have raised the possibility of nuclear war either by accident or miscalculation.
“The nations of the world will have to significantly decrease their greenhouse gas emissions to keep climate risks manageable, and so far, the global response has fallen far short of meeting this challenge,” the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists said.