TECH
25/01/2018 16:30 GMT | Updated 26/01/2018 11:53 GMT

Doomsday Clock: Scientists Say Humanity Is Closer To The Apocalypse Now Than At Any Point Since 1953

Oh good, how reassuring.

The Doomsday Clock has moved another 30 seconds closer to midnight today, as experts claim the state of the world is more “threatening” to the future of humanity than any point since World War II.

The Clock, a symbolic metaphor for how close the world is to the apocalypse (with midnight marking the end of the world) is highly regarded as an accurate portrayal of geopolitical affairs.

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Created and managed by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the organisation say their decision to move the hands of the Doomsday Clock was made after a thoroughly “grim assessment” of the times we are living in.

“As of today, it is two minutes to midnight,” said Bulletin president Rachel Bronson told reporters on Thursday.

The full statement read: “The warning the Science and Security Board now sends is clear, the danger obvious and imminent.

“The opportunity to reduce the danger is equally clear. The world has seen the threat posed by the misuse of information technology and witnessed the vulnerability of democracies to disinformation.

“Leaders react when citizens insist they do so, and citizens around the world can use the power of the internet to improve the long-term prospects of their children and grandchildren. They can insist on facts, and discount nonsense.

“They can demand action to reduce the existential threat of nuclear war and unchecked climate change. They can seize the opportunity to make a safer and saner world.”

The group, whose board includes 15 Nobel Laureates, cite the failure of Donald Trump and other world leaders to deal with the looming threats of nuclear war and climate change.

And North Korea’s progress in developing a nuclear weapons program in 2017.

In fact, the Doomsday Clock is now as close to the midnight hour as it was in 1953, when Cold War fears perhaps reached their highest levels.

The History Of The Doomsday Clock 

The Bulletin was founded by US scientists involved in the Manhattan Project, which developed the world’s first nuclear weapons during World War Two.

In 1947, they established the Doomsday Clock to provide a simple way of demonstrating the danger to the Earth and humanity posed by nuclear war.

Today the Bulletin is an independent non-profit organisation run by some of the world’s most eminent scientists.

The Doomsday Clock not only takes into account the likelihood of nuclear Armageddon but also other emerging threats such as climate change and advances in biotechnology and artificial intelligence.

This isn’t the first time that Donald Trump has been cited as the cause of the clock moving, back in 2017, the group also decided to move the hands. 

It was reported in January last year in an open letter to governments around the world, that they were taking the unprecedented step in the clock’s 75 year history because of the political appointment to the White House.

“The United States now has a president who has promised to impede progress on both [nuclear weapons and climate change],” Krauss and Titley wrote.

“Never before has the Bulletin decided to advance the clock largely because of the statements of a single person. But when that person is the new president of the United States, his words matter.” 

In a further statement, the Bulletin urged wise citizens to “step forward and lead the way” if public officials fail to “guide humanity away from the brink”.