Dan Wootton claims ‘doomsday scientists’ have taken control
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Scientists are set to reveal the newest time on the Doomsday Clock tomorrow, which represents their precision as to how close humanity is to an Armageddon scenario. The Doomsday Clock was first created by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists back in 1947 to warn humanity of the dangers of nuclear weapons. Still used today, experts from the Science and Security Board of the Chicago-based group of experts in the fields of nuclear risk, climate change, disruptive technologies and bioterrorism, make yearly assessments of humanity’s fate. They do so by moving the hands of the Doomsday Clock either closer to, or further away from midnight.
The clock is currently set at 100 seconds to midnight and has remained there for the last three years. But given the nuclear threats dished out by Russian President Vladimir Putin amid the war in Ukraine and the Covid-19 pandemic, some suspect the clock could edge closer to midnight.
The experts said in a statement last week: “For many years, we and others have warned that the most likely way nuclear weapons might be used is through an unwanted or unintended escalation from a conventional conflict. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought this nightmare scenario to life.”
The scientists originally behind it included some who had participated in the Manhattan Project, which produced the world’s first atomic bomb. Shortly after the clock was first created, Bulletin Editor Eugene Rabinowitch decided whether or not the hand should be moved.
The scientist was one of the prominent figures involved in discussions about nuclear disarmament with other experts from across the globe.
After holding talks with other scientists, he would then determine whether the clock should be moved forward or backward.
He died in 1973, and the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board later took over. The Bulletin has included 13 Nobel Laureates over the years.
The panel meets twice a year to discuss the current threats and whether a clock reset is necessary. In January 23 2020, scientists decided to move the clock to 100 seconds to midnight amid “two simultaneous existential dangers – nuclear war and climate change”.
These included conflicts concerning North Korea and Iran, as well as heightened fears that global warming would lead to a climate catastrophe.
The catastrophic disruption of climate change was first considered as one of the markers of disaster back in 2007 when the clock was changed from seven minutes to midnight to five minutes to midnight. Due to both nuclear risk and climate change, the clock was set at two minutes to midnight in 2018.
The clock was set furthest away from midnight back in 1991, when it was would all the way back to 17 minutes after the Cold War was officially declared over.
But today, it appears that progress on international peace has been reversed. Back in October, President Joe Biden said that the heat of “Armageddon” is at its most intense since the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis. It came after Putin put his nuclear forces on high alert and said that he was not bluffing about being ready to press the red button.
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Rachel Bronson, the Bulletin’s chief executive, said: “What we’ve been looking at is the unraveling of the international order … when two countries that control the largest nuclear arsenals in the world are at odds.
“And what we’re trying to say [is] that we really need to find a way to contain this crisis.”
She added: “We don’t anticipate ever being able to set it at midnight because at that point we won’t be able to do it. We won’t have any tools left to respond.”
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