In Washington D.C. Thursday, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists announced that the Doomsday Clock was moved 30 seconds forward to 2 minutes to midnight. That is the closest it has ever been to midnight except in the year 1953, when it was 2 minutes to midnight at the height of the Cold War. This is alarming. But for people who follow world news, it’s probably not surprising.
The Doomsday Clock was created in 1947, thus two years after WWII. It was because a group of scientists were concerned about the future security of life on earth. The U.S. had dropped two atomic bombs on Japan to end the war. Those were the first atomic weapons ever detonated against a foe.
Thursday, the Bulletin’s science and security board explained their forward movement of the clock, “In 2017, world leaders failed to respond effectively to the looming threats of nuclear war and climate change making the world security situation more dangerous than it was a year ago–and as dangerous as it has been since World War II.”One of the members of the Bulletin’s board is Lawrence M. Krause, a cosmology professor at Arizona State University, a few miles away from where I live. He explained concerning the Doomsday Clock, “People can say it’s a scam, but the point is to encourage discussion. What you’re trying to do is get people to act.”
Act how? One way is to join the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. Beatrice Fihn is its executive director. Last year, she was awarded the Noble Peace Prize for her work on nuclear disarmament. I am for nuclear disarmament. Of course, there needs to be nuclear disarmament bi-lateral or multi-lateral agreements between nations. The nuclear disarmament movement has existed for over fifty years. But lately, it has stalled and is losing ground. That’s part of why the Doomsday Clock is now the closer to midnight than it has ever been.