World heading towards Doomsday because of Donald Trump? All about Doomsday Clock and why apocalypse is 2.5 minutes closer

Washington, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 27 January 2017, 08:32 PM
World heading towards Doomsday because of Donald Trump? Know all about the Doomsday Clock
World heading towards Doomsday because of Donald Trump? Know all about the Doomsday Clock

Is the world heading towards Doomsday because of US President Donald Trump? Well, Scientists who maintain the Doomsday Clock have warned that the world is in greatest danger in more than 50 years, the partly reason for which is Donald Trump's “words and actions.”

The Doomsday Clock tells us how close the Earth is to doomsday. The minute hand of the Doomsday Clock was on Thursday moved forward to two and a half minutes to midnight. This comes amid the rising concerns over nuclear weapons and climate change. The Midnight on the Doomsday Clock represents doomsday.

The science and security board of the Bulletin took a decision to advance the Doomsday Clock "in part based on the words of a single person:

Donald Trump, the new President of the United States," it said in a news release on Thursday.

Calling the comments made by Trump about expanding the US nuclear arsenal and his disbelief in climate change "disturbing", the board said his "statements and his actions as President-elect have broken with historical precedent in unsettling ways."

In December 2016, Trump had tweeted that the US "must greatly strengthen and expand its nuclear capability until such time as the world comes to its senses regarding nukes."

Trump said in a tweet in January 2014, "Global warming is an expensive hoax!" and Trump claimed in a tweet in November 2012 that the "concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive."

Trump promised to withdraw from the Paris accord during his election campaign. The  Bulletin of Atomic Scientists say the closer the minute hand is to midnight, the higher the chance of a global cataclysm.

The team assesses the minute hand of the doomsday clock each year and the clock's time "conveys how close we are to destroying our civilisation with dangerous technologies of our own making," the Bulletin said on its website.

The Bulletin said apart from Trump, it also considers factors like "strident nationalism worldwide ... a darkening global security landscape that is coloured by increasingly sophisticated technology and a growing disregard for scientific expertise."

The scientists announced in 2016 that the clock remained at three minutes to midnight due to climate change and "extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity" by the modernisation of nuclear weapon arsenals.

The clock was moved to three minutes to midnight in 2015 from its place at five minutes to midnight in 2014.

In 1945, the University of Chicago scientists founded the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. These scientists helped develop the first atomic weapons under the Manhattan Project.

The Doomsday Clock was created two years later as an expression of concern about the use of those weapons.

The group's science and security board after consulting with its  board of sponsors, which includes 15 Nobel laureates, took the decision to move the clock's time.

Trump had recently signed executive orders reviving the construction of two controversial oil pipelines - Keystone XL and Dakota Access – dismantling former President Obama’s environmental and climate record and garnering big criticism from scientists and climate activists alike.

About the Doomsday Clock:

The Doomsday Clock, a symbolic clock face, represents a countdown to possible global  catastrophe. The members of  The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Science and Security Board maintain the Doomsday Clock since 1947.

The closer the Clock is set to midnight, the more vulnerable the world becomes to global scientists, believe scientists.

The clock hang's on a wall in the Bulletin's office in the University of Chicago. The Doomsday Clock originally represented an analogy for the threat of global nuclear war. Since 2007, it also reflects climate change and new developments in the life sciences and technology that could inflict irrevocable harm to humanity.

The origins of the clock are traced to the international group of researchers called the Chicago Atomic Scientists, who took part in the Manhattan Project.

The scientists began publishing a mimeographed newsletter and then the magazine, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, following the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The magazine has depicted the Clock on every cover since its inception. 

In 1947, the clock was first represented, when The Bulletin co-founder Hyman Goldsmith asked artist Martyl Langsdorf to design a cover for the magazine's June 1947 issue. 

The clock doesn't register the ups and downs of international power struggle, but reflects the basic changes in the level of continuous danger in which mankind lives in the nuclear age.

Designer Michael Bierut redesigned the Clock in January 2007 to give it a more modern feel.

First Published: Friday, January 27, 2017 08:25 PM
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