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Pandemic, nuclear war & climate change; The ‘Doomsday Clock’ will remain at 100 seconds to midnight this year

The “Doomsday Clock” showing the dangers confronting the planet and humanity will persist at 100 seconds to midnight this year between the perils of the coronavirus pandemic, nuclear war, and climate change.”The hands of the Doomsday Clock remain at 100 seconds to midnight, as close to midnight as ever,” Rachel Bronson, president of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, said in a statement.

“The lethal and fear-inspiring Covid-19 pandemic works as a historic ‘wake-up call,’ a vivid illustration that national governments and international organizations are unready to handle the absolutely civilization-ending menaces of nuclear weapons and climate change,” Bronson said. The determination on placing the hands of the clock is practiced by board members from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which was established in 1945 by Albert Einstein and University of Chicago scientists who assisted expand the world’s first atomic weapons.

The board members comprise 13 Nobel laureates. Built in 1947, the clock ran to 100 seconds to midnight in January of last year the closest to midnight it has been in its records. It was first set at seven minutes to midnight. The furthest it has ever been from midnight is 17 minutes, following the conclusion of the Cold War in 1991. Ex-California governor Jerry Brown, executive chair of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, said it’s “time to eliminate nuclear weapons, not build more of them.

“Likewise, with climate change: the US, China, and other big countries must get serious about cutting lethal carbon emissions – now,” Brown stated. Susan Solomon, professor of environmental studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), said “the pandemic-related financial slowdown momentarily diminished the carbon dioxide discharges that create global warming.”But over the coming decade fossil fuel use needs to decline precipitously if the worst effects of climate change are to be avoided,” Solomon said. Former Liberian president Ellen Johnson Sirleaf declared that the Covid-19 pandemic “is a terrifying sign against contentment in the face of global perils to all human life.” It is only through collective action and responsible leadership that we can secure a peaceful and habitable planet for future generations,” she said.

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The Bulletin members advocated that the United States and Russia spread the New START nuclear treaty and that the US retreat to the nuclear contract with Iran. They also urged governments, technology giants, and media organizations to collaborate on discovering “practical and ethical ways to combat internet-enabled misinformation and disinformation.”

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