Every January since 1947, the Board of the Doomsday Clock has announced the position of the hands on the Doomsday Clock. It was set at 100 seconds to midnight in 2020, stayed there through 2021 and 2022, and then was reset to 90 seconds last month. This is the closest to Doomsday we have ever been.
From Google: The Doomsday Clock is set anew every January by the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board in consultation with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 10 Nobel laureates. The Clock has become a universally recognized indicator of the world’s vulnerability to global catastrophe caused by manmade technologies.
According to a recent interview with Dr. Helen Caldicott, founder of the Nobel Prize winning group International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, “policymakers who understate the danger of nuclear weapons don’t have the public’s best interest at heart.”
Dr, Caldicott believes that the Ukraine War has changed things so drastically that 20 seconds- twenty seconds- to midnight would be more accurate.
And the hands move closer every day, as Putin abrogates the key START treaty, by refusing to let the US inspect his nuclear stockpiles.
Poland, a NATO member, is considering sending warplanes to Ukraine. This runs the grave risk of a direct confrontation between Russia and NATO, of which the US is a key member. The US and Russia have 900 nuclear tipped missiles on hair trigger alert, pointed at each other. Antonio Guterrez, Secretary General of the UN, warns that “the world is walking toward a wider war over Ukraine, with its eyes wide open”.
An all-out nuclear exchange would essentially wipe out life on planet earth. Scientists say that the debris resulting from nuclear war would block out much of our sunlight for up to a decade. The consequences for survivors would be devastating: a decline in global temperature, followed by widespread crop failure, and then mass starvation.
Radioactive material impacts DNA, which is the essential component of all living organisms. And some of the elements from a nuclear exchange, such as plutonium239, have half-lives of tens of thousands of years.
Russia’s threats of initiating a nuclear war grow louder as its losses in Ukraine pile up. European nations, especially those bordering Russia and England, are allowing nuclear weapons on their soil for the first time in many years.
A new nuclear arms race is underway, as the US, China, and Russia “modernize” their stockpiles.
Then there is global warming. In November 2022, “The Ukraine war has led directly to emissions of 33 million tons of greenhouse gases that warm the Earth’s atmosphere”, claimed Ruslan Strilets, Ukraine’s environmental protection minister. Blownup ammunition dumps, forest fires, agricultural fires, battles, all contribute. That number increases every day.
A video from Code Pink lays out 10 Ways the War in Ukraine Threatens Our Environment. War is NOT Green!
Surely the Doomsday Clock is more than 10 seconds closer to midnight than it was a year ago. It has been suggested that the Board which sets the Clock is responsive to corporate interests, perhaps even to the military-industrial complex. They don’t want to raise the alarm and disrupt business as usual.
To quote Martin Luther King Jr: “This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.”
What time do YOU think it is?