Countdown to Doomsday

Due to inadequate progress on the reduction of the world’s nuclear arsenal, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) has moved the minute hand on its “symbolic” Doomsday Clock back to where it was in 2007. It was last changed in 2010 when it was pushed back one minute. The clock now stands at five minutes to midnight and represents how close the BAS thinks humanity is to destroying themselves through nuclear war, or through other such, catastrophic destruction.

With fear of global climate change a key factor in the group’s latest changing of the Doomsday Clock, the BAS believes the world’s governments aren’t enacting the necessary legislation to address global threats before it is too late, including nuclear weapons reduction and proliferation and climate change. The organization also said governments around the world are not doing a good job at easing tensions between various groups worldwide.

The main challenge that humanity, as a whole, faces is the ever-growing energy needs of a world with a constantly increasing population. According to the BAS, this growth has led to the damage of our climate, which doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon. Add on to this the further spread of nuclear arms when the world community should be seeking to reduce this number.

According to BAS spokesmen, two years ago actions were pointing toward leaders of the world’s nations attempting to address the issues and threats that were affecting humanity as a global society. Not only have those attempts stopped, but they seem to have been reversed in some instances.

The only way to move the minute hand away from midnight and assured destruction, the BAS said, is to get back to where we were at before. Failure to do so would put humanity at a point of no return. According to Allison Macfarlane, chair of the BAS Science and Security Board, “The International Energy Agency projects that, unless societies begin building alternatives to carbon-emitting energy technologies over the next five years, the world is doomed to a warmer climate, harsher weather, droughts, famine, water scarcity, rising sea levels, loss of island nations, and increasing ocean acidification.”

For more information about the BAS and its Doomsday Clock, visit: