Doomsday Clock Ticks Two Minutes Closer to 'Midnight' Apocalypse Because World Leaders Have Failed

We are now two minutes away from the end of humanity, according to the Doomsday Clock. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists just moved us 30 seconds closer to the apocalypse to signify that the world is in trouble.

Related: Watch Live: 'Doomsday Clock' Scientists to Announce How Close We Are to Destroying Our World 

The clock was created more than 70 years ago by a team of atomic scientists who wanted to gauge how soon we would destroy the planet. It was started during the dawn of nuclear weapons, and every year scientists set the clock to determine how close we are to ruining it all—based on the previous year's events. If and when the clock ever strikes midnight, doomsday is upon us. 

GettyImages-96518380 The first American H bomb exploding in the Marshall Islands in 1952. The Doomsday Clock is now as high as it was during the Cold War. OFF/AFP/Getty Images

Today, the clock advanced 30 seconds due to the lack of leadership among world leaders, according to the team. A statement on their website reads, “The failure of world leaders to address the largest threats to humanity’s future is lamentable—but that failure can be reversed." A livestream of the announcement was available on their website and Facebook pages

The statement specifically points to climate change and the threat of nuclear weapons as the basis of their decision.

 

In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Physicist Lawrence Krauss, chair of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Board of Sponsors, explained the group’s decision to advance the clock. The most alarming revelation?

“The Doomsday Clock is as close to midnight today as it was in 1953, when Cold War fears perhaps reached their highest levels,” Krauss wrote.

He explained that using “dire” to describe the current nuclear situation is an understatement. He cites North Korea’s advancements towards making nuclear weapons as one big threat. The relationship between North Korea and the United States are tense, and the global nuclear risk is worsened by the souring of our country's relationship with Russia, he said.

“The United States and Russia remained at odds, continuing military exercises along the borders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, undermining the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, upgrading their nuclear arsenals and eschewing arms control negotiations,” Krauss wrote.

Another thing to worry about? Pakistan and India’s growing arsenals of nuclear weapons.

If we somehow survive without blowing the world up, then Krauss cautions we should worry about climate change. While he believes the danger is less immediate, there is a strong need to act now.

“The nations of the world will have to significantly decrease their greenhouse-gas emissions to manage even the climate risk accepted in the Paris accord,” he wrote. “So far, the global response has fallen far short of meeting this challenge.”

But as the group points out in their statement, it is possible to effect change for the good of the planet and humanity. 

“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 wrote.

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