The world is closer than ever to nuclear annihilation with President Joe Biden in the White House, according to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the group which oversees the Doomsday Clock.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the clock on Tuesday to 90 seconds from midnight, the supposed time when all human life on earth will perish. The group cited the “mounting dangers of the war in Ukraine” as the reason for the shift.
Just two years ago, the group welcomed Biden’s election as putting “the world on a much better footing to address global problems.” Biden’s support of “international cooperation” could help avert nuclear apocalypse, a member of the group said in a statement after his inauguration. The group did not move the clock one way or another at the time.
“Finding a path to serious peace negotiations between Russia and Ukraine could go a long way toward reducing the risk of escalation,” the group said in a Tuesday press release. “In this time of unprecedented global danger, concerted action is required, and every second counts.”
The last time the Doomsday Clock moved forward was in January 2020, when it sat at 100 seconds from midnight. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which is helmed by Rachel Bronson, who is not a scientist but a former business school adjunct professor, cited the “continued corruption of the information ecosphere on which democracy and public decision making depend” as reason for the move.
“The war’s effects are not limited to an increase in nuclear danger; they also undermine global efforts to combat climate change,” the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists said Tuesday. “Countries dependent on Russian oil and gas have sought to diversify their supplies and suppliers, leading to expanded investment in natural gas exactly when such investment should have been shrinking.”
The Doomsday Clock stood at seven minutes to midnight during the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962. And, in 2010, the Doomsday Clock’s second hand was moved backward one minute because of former president Barack Obama’s work on climate change.
The Washington Free Beacon asked the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists in March 2022 to explain why the clock remained unchanged, despite the outbreak of a hot war in Europe involving a nuclear power. The group declined to answer.
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