The Doomsday Clock – a symbolic countdown to the end of the world – is now just two minutes away from midnight, which signifies the apocalypse. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists on Thursday pushed the minute hand ahead by 30 seconds because of the growing threat of a possible nuclear war and other global concerns.
“Although the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists focuses on nuclear risk, climate change, and emerging technologies, the nuclear landscape takes center stage in this year’s Clock statement,” said Rachel Bronson, president and CEO of the group. Other factors that brought about the change in the Doomsday Clock include tensions about the South China Sea, the dispute between India and Pakistan as well as climate change.
The Doomsday Clock is now the closest it has been to the apocalypse since 1953, the year the United States and the former Soviet Union tested hydrogen bombs.
In a statement, the bulletin highlighted North Korea’s expanding nuclear arsenal, as well as tensions with the United States and in the Korean Peninsula. “Hyperbolic rhetoric and provocative actions by both sides [the US and North Korea] have increased the possibility of nuclear war by accident or miscalculation,” it said.
“It is urgent that, collectively, we put in the work necessary to produce a 2019 Clock statement that rewinds the Doomsday Clock,” said Bronson. “Get engaged, get involved, and help create that future. The time is now.”