Doomsday Clock, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, climate change, nuclear weapons | Homeland Security Newswire

DoomIt is 3 minutes to midnight -- still

Published 27 January 2016

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists yesterday announced that the minute hand of the Bulletin’s closely watched Doomsday Clock will remain at three minutes to midnight, since recent progress in the Iran nuclear agreement and the Paris climate accord “constitute only small bright spots in a darker world situation full of potential for catastrophe.” The Bulletin’s panel of security experts said that “Three minutes (to midnight) is too close. Far too close…” – but that this reflects “world leaders continue to fail to focus their efforts and the world’s attention on reducing the extreme danger posed by nuclear weapons and climate change. When we call these dangers existential, that is exactly what we mean: They threaten the very existence of civilization and therefore should be the first order of business for leaders who care about their constituents and their countries.”

Graph showing potential for nuclear war at various points // Source: commons.wikimedia.org

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board yesterday announced that the minute hand of the Bulletin’s closely watched Doomsday Clock will remain at three minutes to midnight, since recent progress in the Iran nuclear agreement and the Paris climate accord “constitute only small bright spots in a darker world situation full of potential for catastrophe.”

The statement accompanying the Doomsday Clock decision opens with the following words: “Three minutes (to midnight) is too close. Far too close. We, the members of the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, want to be clear about our decision not to move the hands of the Doomsday Clock in 2016: That decision is not good news, but an expression of dismay that world leaders continue to fail to focus their efforts and the world’s attention on reducing the extreme danger posed by nuclear weapons and climate change. When we call these dangers existential, that is exactly what we mean: They threaten the very existence of civilization and therefore should be the first order of business for leaders who care about their constituents and their countries.”

The decision about the time reflected on the Doomsday Clock is made by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board in conjunction with the Board of Sponsors, which includes sixteen Nobel Laureates. The hands of the Doomsday Clock were moved to three minutes before midnight on 22 January 2015, marking the direst setting of the Clock since 1983, at the height of the cold war.