His watchjudgement day“, created in 1947, is a symbolic way advocated by the University of Chicago’s Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to show how close humanity is to the apocalypse. Don’t get it? Don’t worry, we’ll explain.
The analogy used to measure it is that the human race is “minutes since midnight”. Its start was seven minutes to midnight (which would be the moment of destruction) and its hands first moved in 1949, when the testing of the atomic bomb made it advance three minutes.
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The clock counting the end of humanity reached its worst point in December 2022, having advanced 10 seconds.
In 1991, the index returned with the end of the Cold War and reached 23:43. Soon, it was the most optimistic moment of the clock. So little movement occurred after 1991, and scientists revealed that the clock had not moved since 2020, when political tensions between the United States and Iran rose.
Now, there are only 90 seconds left until midnight, when the end of humanity would become inevitable. And the reason for this advance was Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
A new war would have raised troubling political questions that undermine international rules of conduct. This situation leads scholars to consider the possibility of nuclear war, as Russia took the hit in Chernobyl and Zaporizhia, which violated several protocols.
But the issues concerning his progress clock they are not only related to wars. They include disinformation spread on the web, climate crises, infectious diseases (such as covid-19), threats to democracy, among other topics.
The movement of the clock scares scholars as it is intended to alert world leaders to a possible collapse of humanity and that steps must be taken to have a peaceful and safe planet to live on.
Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, spoke about the message they want to send with the symbolic clock:
“The Doomsday Clock is sounding the alarm for all mankind. We are on the edge of a cliff. But our leaders are not acting with sufficient speed or scale to ensure a peaceful and sustainable planet.
From reducing carbon emissions to strengthening gun control conditions to investing in pandemic preparedness, we know what needs to be done. The science is clear, but the political will is lacking. This must change in 2023 if we are to avoid a disaster.”