The world inches closer to Doomsday
Humanity is getting closer to destruction—according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. The organization, started in 1945, has been monitoring the ways by which the world could obliterate itself, and with each new nuclear weapon or climate-changing technology, the Doomsday Clock ticks closer to—or away from—the figurative midnight. Just this week, the society announced that climate change and nuclear possibilities had pushed the little hand two minutes closer to doom (we’re now holding at 11:55 p.m.). What other global advances have affected our fate?
1947: The clock first appeared as a warning to the world about nuclear dangers. The time:11:53.
1953: The U.S. had tested its first thermonuclear device and the Soviets tested an H-bomb. The clock ticks the closest to midnight it’s ever come. The time:11:58.
1963: With U.S.-Soviet relations calming down, and the signing of the Partial Test Ban Treaty, which outlawed atmospheric nuclear tests, the clock slips back. The time:11:48.
1980: The Bulletin says:"[The Soviet Union and United States have] been behaving like what may best be described as ‘nucleoholics'….” The time:11:53.
1984: Again the U.S. and Soviet Union aren’t getting along, and there is a threat of a new arms race. The time:11:57.
1991: The end of the Cold War brings much relief, giving the world a much more promising outlook. The time:11:43.
1998: India and Pakistan jump on the nuclear-weapons bandwagon, and the U.S. and Russia continue to serve as poor examples. The time:11:51.
2002: The enormous amount of unsecured—and sometimes unaccounted for—weapon-grade nuclear materials intensifies fears of terrorism. The time:11:53.