Beware the Trumpocalypse! But Can We Believe the Doomsday Clock?

Photo by Jamelle Bouie | CC BY 2.0

Photo by Jamelle Bouie | CC BY 2.0

This is the way the world ends
not with a bang, but a whimper.

TS Eliot,  “The Hollow Men”

Riga, Latvia.

The ‘Doomsday Clock’ has just been moved 30 seconds closer to midnight by ‘scientists’, complete with video (see below) and a scary film music accompaniment.

The Doomsday Clock appeared in 1947 at the beginning of the nuclear arms race. Everyone was reeling from the photographs of the vapourisation of Hiroshima.

It was thought that atomic war would wipe out everyone on earth. This almost happened when I was a young man, culminating in the 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis which the top page of Google informs us was a “direct and dangerous confrontation between the United States and the Soviet Union during the Cold War.”

I didn’t need to go to Google to find this out. It was a defining moment in my life, and the lives of my friends. Women then were refusing to have children because they didn’t want them to live in a world of fear and probable atomisation.

We moved to the Welsh mountains in a pathetic attempt to do something, anything, and stocked up with food. In America there was a brisk trade in fallout shelters.

It was my friend, the late Ernest Sternglass, who stopped the atmospheric testing, by getting to JFK with the calculation that several million children had died from exposure to fallout Strontium-90, building up in the milk and their bones, seeds planted for the global cancer epidemic which began 20 years later [1].

The Doomsday clock about nuclear annihilation, is a simple illustration of the fact that life on Earth had been around for billions of years but that Clever Old Man had developed a system that could switch it off with an hour-long firework extravaganza.

Now it has been extended to global warming, virus pandemics, and more or less anything that the media have decided makes a good story. The clock has been advanced to two and a half minutes to midnight. By Scientists. Let’s think about this a bit.

Scientists! What scientists?

The clock is not a scientific concept. It is an emotional cry for help. What are these scientists using as data for their decision? In the last ten years, for all sorts of reasons relating to the destabilization of the world through various obviously organised operations (Twin Towers, Al Quaeda, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Egypt, Syria etc.) a kind of continuous bombing operation or poor countries has contributed to profits of arms manufacturers.

Added to all this is the US abandonment of the arms limitation agreements and the re-investment in missile development. We see NATO creeping closer to Russia, and the absurd attempts by the US to bring Ukraine into the operation. Is this why the clock has been moved?

No. It is Donald Trump.


On the top page of Google (again) we see that the Guardian, Telegraph and ‘Science’ blame the movement of the clock hands on the election of Mr Trump.

ABC seems to think it is global warming. But global warming, even in worst case scenarios (and I have myself followed this and made my own calculations) wont wipe out life on Earth, except indirectly by creating resource wars which might go nuclear. And a virus pandemic would always have some survivors.

Total nuclear exchange would not: so that is what we are dealing with. It is a very real possibility. But not because of Donald Trump. What I see in the election of Trump, and in Brexit also, is a spontaneous creation of civil society, in countries which have seen their lives ruined by globalisation and what has been called ‘the new world order’.

Outrageous, flamboyant, petulant? For sure. But world destroyer?

What I see in Mr Trump is an independent flamboyant showman, along the lines of an earlier US President Andrew Jackson, a man who also despised and tried to destroy the US establishment. I have a lot of time for people like this, being a version myself; I watched the media system doing their uttermost to paint Trump as a madman.

Trump clearly thinks outside the system of smoke and mirrors that passes for western media news, the constructions on the web and TV and newspapers which are increasingly spun and slanted with nonsense and demonstrable lies about the state of the world.

So if I was running the Doomsday clock, the election of Trump would make me put the clock back rather than closer to annihilation. He doesn’t trust the US security services. Does anyone? He disassociates his Presidency from the collection of dodgy characters previously running the US global domination operation, including all the presidents in living memory.

The votes for Trump and not for Hilary were the eventual revolution against the fat-cat control of America and its continuous war against the people on the planet, fought as if the world were a battleground that it had to dominate.

The war machine built up in the post World War II period until the demise of Hilary Clinton is well known to readers of spy novels and if not, can be seen by anyone who looks at the history. It was fuelled by paranoia about Communism (even a child would say that this is a just idea and indeed is at the base of Christianity) and the immense amounts of power and wealth associated with developing and manufacturing weapons.

Russian aggression? Where is the real threat coming from?

When the Soviet Union broke up and could no longer justify the huge US military budget, other enemies had to be found. Bombs had to be dropped on someone, in order to order new ones. Hence the continuous and endless wars about ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’.

Let’s look some scenarios. How big an exchange would represent apocalypse? A baseline is that there were a huge number of nuclear weapons tested in the atmosphere in the period 1952-1963. The peak in radioactive fallout was from 1959 and 1963.

This did not wipe out humanity, although there was a mini nuclear winter in the 60s. The European Committee on Radiation Risk [2] estimated some 60 million extra cancers together with a few million dead babies (about 2% of births) as consequence. But we are all (just about) still around.

Nuclear exchanges between India and Pakistan, or Israel and Iran will not do. The number of warheads involved would result in some mega-Hiroshimas, the global fallout contamination would jump, but not an end of the world. The combined yield of the approximately 100+100 warheads (say 200kT each) just about equal the yield of the 1962 Tsar Bomba 40Mt test on its own.

And Iran has no nuclear weapons: but even if it had, an Israel-Iran exchange would be even more feeble than India Pakistan. North Korea? The same. As for China, it has no real enemies, and the Chinese have always been traders rather than invaders. China is doing alright and doesn’t need to attack anyone.

So what is the real Doomsday threat? It is the US and British obsession with Russia, the tail of the cold war guard dog of the spy novels, which seems to have taken on a life of its own, long after the dog itself became obsolete and unnecessary.

It is the sabre-rattling encroachment of NATO on the borders of Russia. It is the deployment of sophisticated (and enormously expensive) antimissile systems in countries like Rumania and Poland.

It is the crazy NATO and US generals who want to (and have) put troops and battle-tanks and helicopters in the Baltic States (where I live), on the basis that the expansionist Russians are intent on marching over the borders of Latvia and taking back their lost empire. Which they easily could, by the way, since the Russian military far out-guns the pathetic armies of NATO running about on the Baltic and Polish borders.

A worms’ eye view from the Baltic

I live near Riga. Since I moved there in 2010 I have seen the NATO infestation of the country. Big new tanks with the Latvian Flag rumble though the villages, and helicopters thud overhead disturbing the badgers and deer in the forest.

Russia has no need to invade Latvia; it can get what it wants or needs. In fact it is the other way round. Latvia needs Russia. But the media whip up a frenzy of fear, that there will be a Russian invasion, like the one in Ukraine. There is even a book about this insanity, written by a general, retired Deputy NATO commander Sir Richard Shirreff.

Like most things in politics, this is about money. The people who make the money control the Media which demonises Trump because he won’t follow the master plan to globalise the planet, drive down unit costs by moving production to the lowest wages and control it’s diminishing resources (oil) whilst making huge amounts of money for the military and the arms manufacturers, Raytheon, Boeing, McDonnell Douglas et al. involved in the endless global battlefield.

I was invited to the Perdana Foundation’s Criminalize War conference in Kuala Lumpur, and spoke with Tun Mahatir Mohammed, whose brilliant idea it was [3]. Since then Ditta Rietuma and I have made presentations from conferences in Latvia and Sweden about the dangers of nuclear war, what is driving it, and specifically about this most dangerous confrontation between the USA and NATO and Russia.

Now, let’s hope Trump makes good his most important election promise …

The election of Trump, who (sensibly) sees no reason why the USA should continue to pay for NATO, is a good thing. His promise to de-escalate tensions between the US and Russia was popular and surely the best of all reasons to vote for him!

Finally: one thing. The real Doomsday clock passed midnight long ago. The mad race to extinction fuelled by the market-forces laissez faire western system created a monster: a system which is not really controlled by anyone, but drives itself with only one imperative-to become richer and more powerful, so as to become richer and more powerful.

The monster has no soul; it was not constructed to look after life on the planet. Following nuclear fallout, and nuclear energy accidents, Depleted Uranium, and now fracking, background radioactivity continuously increases. The fertility rate is falling. IVF is advancing. Cancer is an epidemic in real terms.

This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.

More articles by:

Dr Chris Busby is the Scientific Secretary of the European Committee on Radiation Riskand the author of Uranium and Health – The Health Effects of Exposure to Uranium and Uranium Weapons Fallout (Documents of the ECRR 2010 No 2, Brussels, 2010). For details and current CV see chrisbusbyexposed.org. For accounts of his work see greenaudit.orgllrc.org and nuclearjustice.org.

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