It’s 90 seconds to midnight and that means humanity has never been closer to a planetary cataclysm. This was announced on Tuesday, citing in particular the war in Ukraine, the group of scientists managing the doomsday clock, which monitors not time but the end of time.
The “Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists”, in charge of this symbolic project since 1947, unveiled at a press conference in Washington its new timetable, supposed to measure the imminence of a world catastrophe. It has been advanced by 10 seconds and now marks 90 seconds minus midnight, approaching midnight, the fateful hour that scientists hope will never be reached. This is a record since its creation.
Since 2020, the clock has been 100 seconds round from midnight. “We’re moving the clock forward, and it’s the closest it’s ever been to midnight,” the band said as they unveiled the new schedule, citing in particular, but “not exclusively,” “the growing dangers of war in Ukraine” and “the heightened risk of a nuclear escalation”.
Advance the doomsday clock: a decision “not taken lightly”
“We live in a time of unprecedented danger, and the doomsday clock represents that reality,” said Rachel Bronson, president of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Bringing the schedule forward “is a decision that our experts do not take lightly. The US government, its NATO allies and Ukraine have a multitude of channels for dialogue at their disposal; we urge leaders to do their utmost to review them all in order to turn back the clock,” she added. This is why the statement of the group of experts will be available in English, Russian and Ukrainian, a first, she said.
In addition to the war in Ukraine and the nuclear danger, the scientists took into account “the continuing threats posed by the climate crisis” as well as the fact that “devastating events, such as the covid-19 pandemic, can no longer be considered rare occurrences that only happen once every hundred years”.
The panel also discussed misinformation and surveillance technologies.
Originally, after the Second World War, the clock showed midnight minus 7 minutes. Just like in the middle of the Cold War, just before the Cuban Missile Crisis. In 1991, at the end of the Cold War, it had dropped to 17 minutes before midnight.
letelegramme Fr Trans