Former California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks after unveiling the Doomsday Clock during The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists news conference in Washington, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

Doomsday Clock moves closest to midnight in 73-year history

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moves clock to 100 seconds to midnight

The keepers of the Doomsday Clock on Thursday moved the symbolic countdown to global disaster to the closest point to midnight in its 73-year history, citing “existential danger” from nuclear war and climate change.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which was founded after the creation of the atomic bomb in World War II and focuses on the greatest threats to human survival, said it moved the clock from two minutes to midnight to 100 seconds to midnight — a 20-second advance.

The decision was made by the group’s science and security board, in consultations with its board of sponsors, which includes 13 Nobel laureates.

In a statement accompanying the clock’s advance, the organization said the nuclear and climate dangers “are compounded by a threat multiplier, cyber-enabled information warfare that undercuts society’s ability to respond.”

“The international security situation is dire, not just because these threats exist, but because world leaders have allowed the international political infrastructure for managing them to erode,” it said.

Rachel Bronson, president and CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, said: “We are now expressing how close the world is to catastrophe in seconds — not hours, or even minutes.”

“We now face a true emergency — an absolutely unacceptable state of world affairs that has eliminated any margin for error or further delay,” she said.

Former California Gov. Jerry Brown, the Bulletin’s executive chairman, warned that “dangerous rivalry and hostility among the superpowers increases the likelihood of nuclear blunder.”

“Climate change just compounds the crisis,” he said. “If there’s ever a time to wake up, it’s now.”

READ MORE: Trump lauds U.S. economy in Davos, while Thunberg slams elites

The Doomsday Clock didn’t move in 2019 but in 2018 it advanced by 30 seconds from 2 1/2 minutes before midnight to two minutes to midnight.

As the symbolic clock was moved on Thursday, the Bulletin’s experts were joined by former Irish President Mary Robinson who now leads The Elders, a group of prominent former world leaders founded by Nelson Mandela, and ex-U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, now deputy chairman of The Elders.

Ban said that from the U.S. withdrawal from the 2015 Paris climate agreement and the Iran nuclear deal to deadlock at nuclear disarmament talks and divisions in the U.N. Security Council, “our mechanisms for collaboration are being undermined when we need them most.”

Robinson called on world leaders to join in working “to pull humanity back from the brink.”

The Associated Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Climate changeNuclear weapons

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 birthday drive-by celebrations snuffed out in Crofton

Bylaw officer visit with threats of a fine mean parade trucks taken off the road

Long-awaited opening for Chemainus Public Market

All components not up and running just yet, but will be soon

Void of summer events going to be felt in Chemainus

CBIA cancels Classics Car Show and Canada Day celebrations

List of businesses and services now open in Ladysmith

The Chronicle is compiling on ongoing list of businesses in Ladysmith that are now open

Man claims Ladysmith Bylaw Officer accused him of ‘squatting’ at Transfer Beach

Remley believes the officer was profiling him because of his long hair and long beard

VIDEO: A Vancouver Island black bear takes weekend nap in eagle tree

Videos captured by Terry Eissfeldt shows the bear arriving Saturday night and sleeping in on Sunday

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

We’re asking you to lock arms with us, as we look to better days ahead

Vancouver Island Regional Libraries to offer ‘takeout’ style services

VIRL will offer the service on a branch-by-branch basis

George Floyd asphyxiated by sustained pressure: family autopsy

Death sparked a wave of protests across the U.S. and abroad

COVID-19: B.C. commercial landlords can’t evict if they decline rent assistance

Emergency order ‘incentive’ for federal program, Carole James says

B.C. Hockey League prepping for 2020-21

League reviewing different scenarios and start times in compliance with provincial regulations

Duncan’s Queen Margaret’s School pioneers thermal imaging in school reopening

Private school is first in B.C. to use new tech post-COVID-19

Investigators probe death of CN employee at Surrey rail yard

Transportation Safety Board is investigating an ‘occurrence that took place during switching operations’

Most Read