Jue. Feb 9th, 2023

The hands of the Doomsday Clock are closer to midnight than ever before, with humanity facing a moment of «unprecedented danger» that has increased the likelihood of a human-caused apocalypse, a group of scientists announced Tuesday.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, a nonprofit organization made up of scientists, former political leaders, and security and technology experts, moved the hands of the symbolic clock forward 10 seconds to 90 seconds to midnight.

The adjustment, made in response to threats from nuclear weapons, climate change and infectious diseases like Covid-19, is the closest the clock has come to symbolic doom since it was created more than 75 years ago.

“We live in a time of unprecedented danger, and the Doomsday Clock reflects that reality,” Rachel Bronson, president and CEO of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, said in a statement, adding that “it is a decision that our experts do not they take». take lightly.»

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists set the Doomsday Clock at 90 seconds to midnight on Tuesday.Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The Doomsday Clock was created to convey the proximity of catastrophic threats to humanity, serving as a metaphor for the public and world leaders, rather than a predictive tool. When unveiled in 1947, the clock was set at 7 minutes to midnight, with «midnight» meaning human-caused apocalypse. At the height of the Cold War, it was set at 2 minutes to midnight.

In 2020, the Bulletin set the Doomsday Clock at 100 seconds to midnight, the first time it had moved within the two-minute mark. For the next two years, the hands remained unchanged.

Now, the Bulletin’s scientists say humanity is perilously closer to disaster.

In particular, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has increased the risk of a nuclear escalation, they said. As the United States, Russia and China modernize their nuclear arsenals, so are nuclear threats from North Korea, India and Pakistan, said Steve Fetter, a professor of public policy at the University of Maryland and a member of the science and technology group at the University of Maryland. Bulletin. security meeting

«From almost every perspective, the risk of a nuclear catastrophe is higher today than it was last year,» Fetter told a news conference Tuesday.

The climate crisis also remains a major threat, and the Bulletin scientists noted that while carbon dioxide emissions fell in 2020 due to coronavirus lockdowns around the world, they recovered to record levels in 2021 and rose again. in 2022.

“With emissions still rising, weather extremes continue and are even more clearly attributable to climate change,” said Sivan Kartha, a senior scientist at the Stockholm Environment Institute and a member of the Bulletin’s science and safety council.

Kartha added, however, that innovation around renewable energy has been a bright spot, along with a strong commitment from younger generations who have been passionately pushing for more climate action.

“There is a generation that is growing up now, a generation that will be our leaders in the future, that is excited about climate change,” Kartha said. “They are worried about it as a personal issue.”

In addition to addressing the consequences of global warming, countries must mitigate the risks of infectious disease outbreaks and other biological threats, according to the Bulletin scientists.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists was founded in 1945 to examine global security issues related to science and technology. Each year, the group consults with a board of patrons to analyze the world’s most pressing threats to determine where the hands of the Doomsday Clock should be placed.

This year, the organization hopes the watch will be a wake-up call for world leaders and members of the public.

“The doomsday clock is sounding an alarm for all of humanity,” said Mary Robinson, president of the non-governmental organization The Elders and a former United Nations high commissioner for human rights. «We are on the edge of a precipice.»

Por admin