The Doomsday Clock, a symbol of the dangers facing humanity, was reset to 90 seconds before midnight on Tuesday, bringing the globe closer than ever to calamity.
The move, which was described as the closest thing to a global tragedy ever, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ scientific and security board, was “primarily, though not exclusively” brought on by the conflict in Ukraine.
Every January, the scientific community analyses the clock. Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February of last year, which set off a war in Europe and a fresh wave of migrants, here is the first comprehensive update.
The renowned clock went from minutes to seconds for the first time in 2020, and it caused a sensation when it was set to 100 seconds until midnight. We were at “the doorway of disaster,” according to the Bulletin’s scientists at the time. In 2021 and 2022, it stayed at 100 seconds till midnight.
The Doomsday Clock was created by experts to warn people of internal risks to civilization, specifically the dangers posed by nuclear weapons, climate change, and biotechnology.
Former U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson commented on the new update, saying: “All of mankind is receiving an alert from the Doomsday Clock. We are perilously close to a cliff. However, our leaders are not moving quickly enough or on a large enough scale to ensure a peaceful and habitable planet.”
The declaration on Tuesday was largely centred on Russia, namely President Vladimir Putin’s threats to deploy nuclear weapons and his insistence on success in Ukraine.
The nuclear order — the network of agreements and understandings that have been built over six decades to restrict the dangers of nuclear weapons — has been tested by the conflict, according to Steve Fetter, dean of the graduate school and professor of public policy at the University of Maryland.
The United States, Russia, and China are all modernising their arsenals, according to Fetter.
Albert Einstein and scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project to create the first atomic weapons established the Chicago-based Bulletin in 1945. Numerous Nobel laureates have been among its members over the years.