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Only 100 seconds from Doomsday. Wake up!

Published 23 January 2020

The Doomsday Clock, ever since its creation in 1947 at the University of Chicago by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, has been giving midnight as the symbolic time-location for the end of the world. We move closer or further away as a function of nuclear, ecological and technological risks, and international tensions.

At the start of the 1990s, after the Berlin Wall came down and the Cold War ended, the minute hand moved back to 17 minutes to midnight.

But since that decade ended, with one exception (2010), it has not ceased to advance, especially since 2015 (midnight minus 3)

On 25 January 2018, the clock stood at midnight minus two (23 h 58) on account of the "inability of world leaders to confront the imminent threats of nuclear war and climate change"

That position was maintained on 19 January 2019.

Now on 23 January 2020, at 10am Chicago time, 4pm in Paris, the leaders of the Bulletin have again advanced the clock – by 20 seconds.

In their view, humankind is now only 100 seconds from the end of the world.

We have never been so close to the atomic apocalypse since the World War bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, not even during the Korean War in 1953 or at the height of the Cold War.

Think about that on the benches of the National Assembly, in the Senate, in the Government! Talk about it in the papers and electronic media!


The panel of speakers this year announcing the news and explaining the reasons for it:

• Jerry Brown, executive chair, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists ; former Governor, State of California

• Mary Robinson, chair, The Elders ; former president of Ireland ; former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

• Ban Ki-moon, deputy chair, The Elders ; former UN Secretary-General former South Korean Foreign Minister

• Rachel Bronson, president and CEO ; Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

• Sivan Kartha, Science and Security Board, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists ; senior scientist at the Stockholm Environmental Institute ; author of the Fifth and Sixth Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

• Robert Latiff, Science and Security Board, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists ; Fellow, University of Notre Dame Institute for Advanced Study ; member, Intelligence Community Studies Board, and the Committee on International Security and Arms Control of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

• Robert Rosner, chair, Science and Security Board, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists ; William E. Wrather Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics, and the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. Rosner served as Director of Argonne National Laboratory, where he had also served as Chief Scientist

• Sharon Squassoni, Science and Security Board, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists ; Research Professor at the Institute for International Science and Technology Policy, Elliott School of International Affairs, The George Washington University


Positions of the minute hand as a function of international risks:

2020 : Minus 100 seconds
2019 : Minus 2
2018 : Minus 2
2017 : Minus 2 minutes 30 seconds
2016 : Minus 3
2015 : Minus 3

2012 : Minus 5
2010 : Minus 6
2007 : Minus 5
2002 : Minus 7
1998 : Minus 9
1995 : Minus 14
1991 : Minus 17

1990 : Minus 10
1988 : Minus 6
1984 : Minus 3
1981 : Minus 4
1980 : Minus 7
1974 : Minus 9
1972 : Minus 12
1969 : Minus 10
1968 : Minus 7
1963 : Minus 12
1960 : Minus 2
1953 : Minus 2
1949 : Minus 3
1947 : Midnight minus 7


ANTIDOTE : France must commit to take part in abolishing nuclear and radioactive weapons

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