The doomsday clock is closet to midnight its ever been and people are freaking out! The clock was at 2 minutes to midnight until the last year. However, due to the increasing risks of nuclear wars, the clock for 2020 has been placed at 100 seconds to midnight. The faster we understand the meaning of doomsday clock being close than ever, the better it is.
We tend to forget the weight of these issues and causes because we think probability with the survivor’s bias. The fact that you are able to read this shows that you have been lucky. But these instances of being on the edge is daunting. We have given the leaders so much power that we are almost on the verge of nuclear war now.
What is the doomsday clock?
The doomsday clock is a design created in 1947 which warns us about how close humanity is to destroying ourselves with our own technological development. Designed by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the clock was the response to nuclear threats. The closer we are to face the danger of our own creation, the closer the clock moves to midnight.
This metaphorical representation gives people an idea of how serious the issues related to climate change, nuclear war or cyber threats are to the survival of humanity.
The doomsday clock had only been moving as per the nuclear war threats before 2007. But 2007 was the first time, the scientists also considered climate change as a potentially catastrophic event.
Why is the clock important?
This metaphorical representation captures the attention of the public towards the issues in the world. We all live our lives not thinking about the consequences of our actions. The seriousness towards these threats disappears when we take this on an individual level.
But doomsday clock reminds us how close we are to the doom of humankind. The doomsday clock in 2020 has been closest to midnight than ever before. And this signifies how much we have ignored the possibilities of the end of human life on earth.
Although the doomsday clock has faced enough criticisms on its end, the seriousness it poses should be reconsidered.
What was the cause of this year’s doomsday clock?
Over the year, the causes of the clock’s hands moving has been associated with several global occurrences. The scientists have added new causes and possibilities to the clock since 1947 when it was only a nuclear threat. The list of threats are:
- Nuclear threats
- Climate change
- Cyberwarfare and AI taking over.
The reason for this year’s timing isn’t any different. However, the intensity of these threats caused the hands to move closer this year. The claims by the scientists were two major reasons, nuclear warfare, and climate change made the doomsday clock more fearful than ever.
“Humanity continues to face two simultaneous existential dangers—nuclear war and climate change that are compounded by a threat multiplier, cyber-enabled information warfare, that undercuts society’s ability to respond.”- Science and Security Board Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists
The rising tensions between Russia and the USA and the lack of international treaties have increased the possibilities. The leaders have also not considered improving these diplomatic relationships. The tension has been ever-rising and its not a good sign for the world. The doomsday clock for the first time is represented in seconds to midnight and we better reconsider our assumptions.
The significant movements of the doomsday clock in history:
The year 1947: 7 minutes to midnight. Due to the urgency of nuclear dangers.
The year 1949: 3 minutes to midnight. As a result of the Soviet Union tested its nuclear weapon.
The year 1953: 2 minutes to midnight. The US creating a hydrogen bomb.
The year 1963: 12 minutes to midnight. Nations agreed against atmospheric nuclear testing.
The year 1984: 3 minutes to midnight. The US-Soviet relationship.
The year 1991: 17 minutes to midnight. End of the cold war.
The year 2015: 3 minutes to midnight. Climate change, Nuclear weapons.
The year 2020: Doomsday clock has been set to 100 seconds to midnight. Continuous ignorance of nations to the threats of climate change and nuclear warfare.
As you can see this is the first time ever in history that the clock time has been represented in seconds. The threat has peaked with the increasing tensions between powerful nations. The year 2019 was full of violence and war. Thus, has resulted in the worst conditions in history for human beings to survive.