Doomsday Clock's Hand Moves Closer To Midnight

    Doomsday Clock's Hand Moves Closer To Midnight
    Last updated Jan 25, 2023
    Image credit: Getty Images [via CNN]


    • On Tuesday, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists set the Doomsday Clock — a symbolic representation of global challenges — to 90 seconds to midnight, the closest it's ever been and 10 seconds closer than it had been for the past three years.[1]
    • A group of atomic scientists, including Albert Einstein, created the Clock in 1947 to symbolize how close humanity is to the end of the world. The closer it moves to midnight — representing global catastrophe — the direr the warning.[2]
    • The reasons for moving the Doomsday Clock forward were "largely but not exclusively" due to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, including concerns of greater risks of nuclear war.[3]
    • The ongoing threats posed by climate change, biological dangers such as COVID, and the "breakdown of global norms and institutions" further influenced the decision to move the Clock forward.[4]
    • Rachel Bronson, president and CEO of the Bulletin, stated that the US government, NATO, and Ukraine must open "a multitude of channels for dialogue" to turn back the Clock.[5]
    • The Doomsday Clock is set annually by the Chicago-based non-profit organization's scientists and experts, including 11 Nobel laureates. The furthest it's ever stood from midnight was 17 minutes in 1991.[6]


    Narrative A

    Global threats have risen substantially from regional wars, climate change, and COVID. As the Doomsday Clock sounds an alarm for humanity, we need urgent multilateral global action and conversation to deter rising tensions. If there was ever a time for world leaders to turn back the Clock, it’s now.

    Narrative B

    The Doomsday Clock — having now arbitrarily ticked down the seconds to nuclear apocalypse for three-quarters of a century — isn't a predictor of global nuclear conflict but merely a metaphor. There's little to no science, data, indicators, or citations in the dire warning. It's only speculation and punditry, which is too often confused for scientific portent.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that the Doomsday Clock will reach midnight by January 2100, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

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