Iconic 'Doomsday Clock' creeps to 2 minutes to midnight

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists announced yesterday that they have moved the hands of their "Doomsday Clock" to two minutes to midnight, indicating they believe the threat of nuclear war (and climate change) is more pronounced than at any time since the end of World War II.

The last time they moved the hands of the clock - from three minutes to 2.5 -- was in 2017 after several threatening statements toward North Korea by Trump ratcheted up tensions on the Korean peninsula.

The scientists claim that because Trump has left the Paris Climate agreement and has issued bellicose statements against North Korea, the world stands closer to Armegeddon than at any time since the 1940's.

NBC News:

“Neither allies nor adversaries have been able to reliably predict U.S. actions of discern between sincere U.S. pronouncements and mere rhetoric,” wrote Krauss and Rosner, who sit on the board of Chicago-based Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which is the science journal that oversees the clock.

The failure of “Trump and other world leaders to deal with the looming threats of nuclear war and climate change” has endangered our very existence, they added.

NBC News has reached out to the White House for a rebuttal.

Trump has vowed to expand America’s nuclear capabilities and has claimed that global warming is a hoax, never mind that most scientists and departments like NASA and the Pentagon agree it poses a very real threat to America and the world.

Last year, the bulletin pushed the clock from three minutes to midnight to two and a half because “of destabilizing comments and threats from America’s new commander in chief” and Trump's blatant disregard of facts and science.

The group’s latest warning comes as Trump has been waging a war of words with the leader of North Korea over that country’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons program.

Trump’s threats against Pyongyang have not resulted in “a temporary freeze on North Korea’s development” and the communist country’s neighbors are growing increasing nervous, the scientists warned.

The nuclear threat is also growing in Europe as U.S. and Russian relations fray and as NATO conducts military exercises along the Russian border while upgrading their nuclear arsenals and “eschewing arms control negotiations” with Moscow.

"And in the Middle East, uncertainty about continued U.S. support for the landmark Iranian nuclear deal adds to a bleak overall picture," the scientists wrote in the Post.

The world is always going to hell in a handbasket, so the "Doomsday Clock" itself is kind of ridiculous. I think we've been at one minute to midnight for more than 60 years and it's not so much because of tensions in the world, as it is the real possibility that someday, someone is going to "push the wrong button" or misinterpret data and unleash an accidental nuclear war.

The threat from accidental war is far more realistic than any planned nuclear exchange between nations. Even the paranoid, closed minded  North Koreans realize what a launch of a nuclear weapon against the US would mean. Unless a certified madman gets his finger on the nuclear trigger, the risk of a deliberate nuclear war is minuscule.

The notion that you can "rid the world" of nuclear weapons is dangerous and naive. Too many nations have the ability to build one and even terrorist groups would be able to buy them. The nuclear genie has been out of the bottle for 50 years and it's impossible to put it back.

But as a PR stunt, the clock shows that the scientists surely have it figured out perfectly.

 

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists announced yesterday that they have moved the hands of their "Doomsday Clock" to two minutes to midnight, indicating they believe the threat of nuclear war (and climate change) is more pronounced than at any time since the end of World War II.

The last time they moved the hands of the clock - from three minutes to 2.5 -- was in 2017 after several threatening statements toward North Korea by Trump ratcheted up tensions on the Korean peninsula.

The scientists claim that because Trump has left the Paris Climate agreement and has issued bellicose statements against North Korea, the world stands closer to Armegeddon than at any time since the 1940's.

NBC News:

“Neither allies nor adversaries have been able to reliably predict U.S. actions of discern between sincere U.S. pronouncements and mere rhetoric,” wrote Krauss and Rosner, who sit on the board of Chicago-based Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which is the science journal that oversees the clock.

The failure of “Trump and other world leaders to deal with the looming threats of nuclear war and climate change” has endangered our very existence, they added.

NBC News has reached out to the White House for a rebuttal.

Trump has vowed to expand America’s nuclear capabilities and has claimed that global warming is a hoax, never mind that most scientists and departments like NASA and the Pentagon agree it poses a very real threat to America and the world.

Last year, the bulletin pushed the clock from three minutes to midnight to two and a half because “of destabilizing comments and threats from America’s new commander in chief” and Trump's blatant disregard of facts and science.

The group’s latest warning comes as Trump has been waging a war of words with the leader of North Korea over that country’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons program.

Trump’s threats against Pyongyang have not resulted in “a temporary freeze on North Korea’s development” and the communist country’s neighbors are growing increasing nervous, the scientists warned.

The nuclear threat is also growing in Europe as U.S. and Russian relations fray and as NATO conducts military exercises along the Russian border while upgrading their nuclear arsenals and “eschewing arms control negotiations” with Moscow.

"And in the Middle East, uncertainty about continued U.S. support for the landmark Iranian nuclear deal adds to a bleak overall picture," the scientists wrote in the Post.

The world is always going to hell in a handbasket, so the "Doomsday Clock" itself is kind of ridiculous. I think we've been at one minute to midnight for more than 60 years and it's not so much because of tensions in the world, as it is the real possibility that someday, someone is going to "push the wrong button" or misinterpret data and unleash an accidental nuclear war.

The threat from accidental war is far more realistic than any planned nuclear exchange between nations. Even the paranoid, closed minded  North Koreans realize what a launch of a nuclear weapon against the US would mean. Unless a certified madman gets his finger on the nuclear trigger, the risk of a deliberate nuclear war is minuscule.

The notion that you can "rid the world" of nuclear weapons is dangerous and naive. Too many nations have the ability to build one and even terrorist groups would be able to buy them. The nuclear genie has been out of the bottle for 50 years and it's impossible to put it back.

But as a PR stunt, the clock shows that the scientists surely have it figured out perfectly.