Washington, January 24: The Doomsday clock, created by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) in 1947, which warns of impending disasters is frozen at two minutes to midnight – a sign that we are now living in a “new abnormal” of being perilously close to the possibility of nuclear war.
The symbolic Doomsday Clock’s 2019 setting was announced on Thursday as it remains frozen at the closest it has ever been to midnight. The BAS warned that we are "normalising a very dangerous world". The continued position of two minutes to apocalypse was also called "bad news indeed" for the world by representatives of the BAS.
While announcing this year’s setting, the organisation considered increased carbon emissions from some countries, continued scenarios of war and diplomatic crisis across the world. The former US Defence secretary William Perry said that the Singapore summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, succeeded in calming some of the “hysteria” between US and North Korea however there was no progress in North Korean moving to dismantle its nuclear weapons.
Increased US-Russia tensions, the announcement of US withdrawal from the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty with Moscow all signal increased tensions last seen during times of Cold War.
“We are like passengers on the Titanic, ignoring the iceberg ahead, enjoying the fine food and music,” said Former California governor Jerry Brown, who serves as BAS executive chair. He also cautioned, "We're playing Russian roulette with humanity", citing the imminent threats to humanity. “It’s late and it’s getting later. We have to wake people up. And that’s what I intend to do!”
Meanwhile, Rachel Bronson, the Bulletin’s president lay the blame for the current perilous state at Washington’s doorstep, saying there should be no comfort taken from the fact that the clock did not move forward over the past year. “This new abnormal is a pernicious and dangerous departure from the time when the United States sought a leadership role in designing and supporting global agreements that advanced a safer and healthier planet,” Bronson said.