Two And A Half Minutes

Two And A Half Minutes

Status: Finished

Genre: Non-Fiction

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Status: Finished

Genre: Non-Fiction

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Summary

Two and a half minutes to midnight on the Doomsday Clock. It's only ever been nearer once since it's creation.
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Summary

Two and a half minutes to midnight on the Doomsday Clock. It's only ever been nearer once since it's creation.

Content

Submitted: March 01, 2017

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Content

Submitted: March 01, 2017

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Two And A Half Minutes.

 

The Doomsday Clock had been set at three minutes until midnight for two years, but in the middle of January this year, it moved on to two and a half minutes. Hearing this I decided to find out more about what the Doomsday Clock is, and why it has been changed.

 

In 1945, at the University of Chicago, a group of scientists who helped develop the first atomic weapons founded The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BPA). In 1947 the BPA created the Doomsday Clock, with the minute hand signifying how close to catastrophe or apocalypse the world is deemed to be. The closer to midnight that hand gets, the nearer the end is assessed to be.

 

The four main categories that are assessed in positioning this minute hand are; Nuclear Weapons, Nuclear Energy, Climate Change and Biosecurity. Anything that leads to an increase in destabilizing the world is taken into account.

 

In 1991, the hands stood at 17 minutes to midnight, the furthest position they have had since the clock’s creation. There was an air of co-operation at that time, with less hostility around the world and a lot of promises to work together to make things right. The closest it has so far been was in 1953, when it stood at just 2 minutes from that midnight hour. This, of course, was because of the Hydrogen Bomb and the threat to the entire world it was perceived to be.

 

The election of Donald Trump as President of the U.S.A. is one of the reasons for the thirty second move forward that has now occurred. This is in part because of his comments made about the use of, and the proliferation of, nuclear weapons. His attitude to climate change, seeming to be bordering on total disbelief in its existence, is also seen as a threat to the world; as is the emergence of strident nationalism that his very election represents. Of course, we have to realise that the President has the Sole Authority in the U.S.A. to order the press of that button and begin a nuclear attack. This is a man who has shown himself to be thin skinned in the face of criticism, and who has also shown that he has an impulsive temperament.

 

Donald Trump is by no means the sole reason for this change though. Currency volatility is a very destabilizing factor around the globe and there has been a lot of that in the last few years. The cracks that are appearing in the European Union, due to both internal and external pressure also had a bearing, with Brexit being seen as one of the biggest threats to global stabilization.

 

The increasingly digital world is constantly under threat from cyber attacks. These seem to be coming more and more frequently and to be focusing on bigger and bigger targets. Cyber security is something that requires constant attention. The rise of fake news is also seen as a risk factor. It is not the obviously fake stuff that gives cause for concern, but the sinister use of all-to-believable pieces to stir up tensions and hostility.

 

There are so many different contributing factors to this increased risk to the world that this essay could go on and on. I’m going to end it on a hopeful note......I hope that the minute hand does not move any nearer to midnight!


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