Doomsday Clock nears apocalypse
January 24, 2020 - The Doomsday Clock -- which indicates how close our planet is to catastrophe -- is now only 100 seconds away from midnight. The clock now stands at its closest to the apocalypse since it began ticking in 1947.
The idea began in 1945, when scientists working on the Manhattan Project -- developing the world’s first nuclear weapons -- created the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists of Chicago (BAS) to warn humanity of the dangers of nuclear war. Two years later, BAS launched its Doomsday Clock.
Last year, the clock was set at two minutes to midnight - midnight symbolises the end of the world - the same place it rested in 2018.
Now, 75 years after the United States detonated two nuclear weapons over the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the clock is only 100 seconds away from midnight.
BAS President Rachel Bronson told reporters in Washington DC on Thursday that the time was now being kept in seconds rather than minutes because the “moment demands attention” and that the threats level is worsening”. She said the world was now menaced by influential leaders who “denigrate and discard the most effective methods for addressing complex threats.”
At just 100 seconds to midnight, the clock is at its closest to catastrophe ever. Humanity continues to face two simultaneous existential dangers -- nuclear war and climate change -- that are compounded by a threat multiplier, cyber-enabled information warfare, that undercuts society’s ability to respond, the Chicago-based group said in a statement.