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Earth Politics

Doomsday Clock Remains at Five Minutes to Midnight 222

Lasrick writes "The Doomsday Clock remains at 5 minutes to midnight. In a letter to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and members of the UN Security Council, the Bulletin announced its decision and how it was made. The decision to move (or to leave in place) the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock is made every year by the Bulletin's Science and Security Board in consultation with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 18 Nobel laureates. The Clock has become a universally recognized indicator of the world's vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change, and new technologies emerging in other domains." Reasons for the clock remaining at five minutes include the U.S. and Russian not doing much for disarmament increasing nuclear weapon stockpiles in India and China, stalled efforts to reduce carbon emissions globally, and "killer robots."
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Doomsday Clock Remains at Five Minutes to Midnight

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  • Re:Iran, NK (Score:3, Informative)

    by dkleinsc ( 563838 ) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @01:51PM (#45967155) Homepage

    Iran doesn't have nuclear weapons. This has been verified repeatedly by the IAEA. The only people who say otherwise are the Israeli government, because they would really really like the United States to attack Iran. That's why their lobbyists have been working really hard to undo the deal that the Obama administration cut with the Iranians and the rest of the UN Security Council to make sure that the Iranians never get a nuke.

    North Korea has had nukes for about a decade now. The serious threat has never been North Korea nuking the US, it's been North Korea nuking South Korea or Japan. They could already do that if they wanted to, and haven't, because they and their Chinese backers aren't really that crazy or stupid. Kim Jong Un has to make a lot of noise like he's going to launch a serious attack in order to gain credibility with the hardliners at home who would probably have him killed if he didn't look like he was one of them. The NK nukes are pretty much there as a doomsday device to make sure the US and its allies doesn't attack them again, and they're doing exactly that.

  • by BringsApples ( 3418089 ) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @01:58PM (#45967261)
    From wikipedia:
    Reflecting international events dangerous to humankind, the Clock's hands have been adjusted twenty times since its inception in 1947, when the Clock was initially set to seven minutes to midnight.

    They give a good graph here [].
  • Re:Who cares? (Score:5, Informative)

    by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @02:34PM (#45967809)

    Forgive my rudeness, but that appears to be a bit of a non-sequitur.

    Not to me. The 'Doomsday Clock' was invented as a means to push for nuclear disarmament; arguably a good idea, but unarguably a political agenda.

    Now we've eliminated the majority of nuclear weapons, it's become irrelevant, but, like all such things, they're unable to say 'job done, let's go home', and have to find a new mission. Hence it's now become about pushing 'carbon emission reduction' and eliminating drones.

    Which is why most of us just laugh at it.

  • Re:North Korea (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @02:41PM (#45967911)
    "Hence the inclusion of global warming as a criterion?" or "Hence the inclusion of global warming as one of the criteria?" would be acceptable. "a" is the singular indefinite article. "Criteria" is a plural word.
  • Re:Yes. (Score:5, Informative)

    by 0123456 ( 636235 ) on Wednesday January 15, 2014 @02:50PM (#45968001)

    You don't 'have enough nuclear weapons on hand to destroy the world'. That would take a fsckload more than we had even at the peak of the Cold War. That's why the anti-nukes had to invent 'nuclear winter' to make nukes seem scarier.

    A nuclear war with the current stockpiles would be a really bad day, but nothing even approaching 'destroying the world'.

Man is an animal that makes bargains: no other animal does this-- no dog exchanges bones with another. -- Adam Smith