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'Doomsday' Has Never Been Closer

It is now 100 seconds to 'midnight,' says Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 23, 2020 1:52 PM CST

(Newser) – 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, per the AP. 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. The Doomsday Clock didn’t move in 2019, but in 2018 it advanced by 30 seconds to two minutes to midnight.

“We are now expressing how close the world is to catastrophe in seconds—not hours, or even minutes," said Rachel Bronson, president and CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. “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. 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 world situation is dire, "not just because these threats exist, but because world leaders have allowed the international political infrastructure for managing them to erode," says the group.

(Read more Doomsday Clock stories.)

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