Putin’s nuclear threats carry ‘doomsday clock’ closest to Armageddon, nuclear scientists say
WASHINGTON — The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced Tuesday that it has pushed its metaphorical doomsday clock closer than ever to midnight, the hypothetical hour of Armageddon, reflecting experts’ assessment that humanity is facing unprecedented threats to its existence is.
The countdown time to 2023 has been set for “90 seconds to midnight,” the group’s leaders announced in a news conference at the National Press Club. This new time was 10 seconds closer to “Doomsday” than it was a year ago. The group has been measuring real and existential threats to humanity, from climate change to the prospects of nuclear war, for more than 70 years.
“The point of the clock is to assess where humanity is and whether we are safer or at greater risk,” said Dr. Rachel Bronson, President and CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. “And if we move the clock closer to midnight, we’ll send a message that the situation is becoming more urgent.”
This year, the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Russian invasion of Ukraine and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s thinly veiled threat to use nuclear weapons in the conflict have heightened the global threat to humanity, the group said.
“Putin has not given any indication that he is ready to accept defeat,” said Dr. Steven Fetter, a professor at the University of Maryland and an expert on nuclear threats.
“But even if nuclear use is avoided in Ukraine, the war has challenged the nuclear order, the system of agreements and agreements built over six decades to limit the dangers of nuclear weapons,” Fetter said.
According to experts, the renewed global threat of nuclear war has been exacerbated by the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.
“Events like Covid-19 can no longer be considered rare occurrences in a century,” said Dr. Suzet McKinney, Principal and Director of Life Sciences at Chicago real estate developer Sterling Bay.
“The total number and diversity of infectious disease outbreaks has increased significantly over the past 40 years, with more than half being caused by zoonotic diseases, d end in sight” of the Covid pandemic.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists was founded in 1945 by the late physicist and Nobel laureate Albert Einstein and other scientists who worked on the Manhattan Project to build the first atomic bomb.
The first doomsday clock was unveiled in 1947 and used the metaphor of a countdown to midnight to represent the overall level of threat facing humanity.
The watch’s threats “focus on man-made threats: nuclear risk, climate change, and new disruptive technologies, including biotechnology,” Bronson said. “We at Bulletin believe we can reduce them because humans created these threats.”
“The challenges outlined in today’s announcement from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists could be global in nature,” said Mary Robinson, former President of Ireland. “No country can tackle it alone, no matter the size of its population, the strength of its economy, or the fear of its military.”