“Doomsday Clock” advances in 2022 and reaches its worst mark

"Doomsday Clock" advances in 2022 and reaches its worst mark

The Doomsday Clock, or “Doomsday Clock”, was created in 1947 to estimate how close humanity would be to its end. And, in December 2022, he jumped forward 10 seconds, reaching the most worrying time since he started counting the hours until the end of the world.

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The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the organization responsible for the symbolic marker, revealed that there are now only 90 seconds left to midnight – the time when global collapse would become inevitable. The clock has not advanced the hour count since 2020, when political tensions rose between the United States and Iran. Now, the conflict responsible for advancing the hours was Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began in February 2022.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists explains that the war “raised profound questions about how states interact, undermining norms of international conduct that underpin responses to a variety of conflicts.” In addition, the committee considers the possibility of escalation to the use of nuclear weapons as “a terrible risk.” During the last year, Russia has already taken the fight to Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhia, regions affected by nuclear disasters, in violation of international protocols.

In 1947, the Doomsday Clock was created at seven minutes to midnight and its hands advanced for the first time in 1949, when the first Soviet atomic bomb test advanced the clock by 3 minutes. The furthest the clock has ever been from the “end of the world” was in 1991, when the end of the Cold War sent the clock back to 11:43 pm.

In addition to the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the expansion of the nuclear potential of China, North Korea, Iran and India in recent years also contributed to the decision to advance the clock count in 2022. But not only wars and nuclear weapons are to blame: the council stated that the climate crisis, misinformation spread over the internet and its threats to democracy, infectious diseases and biosecurity were also latent risks over the past year.

Mary Robinson, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, says, “The Doomsday Clock is a wake-up call for all of humanity; we are on the brink of a precipice and our leaders are not acting at scale and quickly enough to ensure a peaceful and secure planet.”

Source: Bulletin of Atomic Scientists