Doomsday Clock Running out of Minutes, Humanity Running out of Time

Monday, 21 January 2019 14:08 John Hallam
Print
 MONDAY 21 JAN 2019

PEOPLE FOR NUCLEAR DISARMAMENT
HUMAN SURVIVAL PROJECT

DOOMSDAY CLOCK RUNNING OUT OF MINUTES
HUMANITY RUNNING OUT OF TIME
PARLIAMENTARIANS TAKE NOTE – THIS ISSUE SHOULD 'TRUMP' EVERY OTHER ISSUE

A year ago, the nobel prizewinners and nuclear policy experts that sit on the advisory board to the Doomsday Clock solemnly and grimly moved it to two minutes to 'midnight', 'midnight' being a man-made cataclysm that would spell the end of civilisation and possibly of humans as a species. Risks posed by both Global Warming and nuclear war factored largely in their calculations, with nuclear war making a comeback as a likely apocalypse.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists will host a live international news conference at 10 a.m. EST/1500 GMT on Thursday, January 24, 2019, to announce the 2019 time of the Doomsday Clock. The news conference will take place at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Watch the announcement live on clock.thebulletin.org, on our Facebook page, or on Twitter.

The last time the doomsday clock was at this time was in 1953/54, when the US and Russia exploded their first H-Bombs, and when the prospect of a US pre-emptive strike against Russia was very real.

In the intervening year, some fragile improvements have taken place with respect to nuclear war with the DPRK, but the situation with respect to Russia and China has deteriorated further, and the situation with the DPRK could also easily deteriorate. The DPRK (like everyone else including the US) is expanding and upgrading its nuclear forces.

Factors that could yet lead to a civilization-ending nuclear exchange include:
--The erratic nature of the Trump leadership.
--The imminent trashing of the INF treaty
--A continued use of nuclear threats by both the NATO countries and by Russia, and upgrades in Russian nuclear forces
--A continued deterioration of the situation in the South China Sea, and continued upgrades in the Chinese nuclear forces.
--Continued upgrades, and threats to expand, US nuclear forces.
Meanwhile in South Asia, a 'mini' standoff between India and Pakistan continues with both those countries upgrading their nuclear forces.

With the Doomsday Clock already at 2 metaphorical minutes to 'midnight', there is not much time left on the clock in which to avert catastrophe. Yet most people and most parliamentarians seem blissfully unaware (or in denial over) the imminence of the problem.

The risk of an event sequence that could easily end civilisation is already at a level that can end civilisation. Parliamentarians and other influential people worldwide and in Australia need to be aware of the situation and take action. Governments of whatever political colour must see the need both to reduce immediate – term risks of global thermonuclear war, and to abolish nuclear weapons altogether.

This issue should be at the top of the political agenda not near the bottom as it now is.

Australia should:

--Take urgent action at the UN and elsewhere (esp in representations to its 'great and powerful friend' to lower and eliminate nuclear risks, currently as high as they have ever been

--Sign and ratify the Ban Treaty

--Make real progress on the wide incremental agenda of nuclear disarmament and arms control.

Above all, Parliamentarians and publics need to be thinking about and talking about this issue as the existential threat that it truly is. This matters in reality more than anything else matters, and if this issue does not matter then nothing matters.

John Hallam
UN Nuclear Disarmament Campaigner
People for Nuclear Disarmament
Human Survival Project
Co-Convenor Abolition 2000 Working Group on Nuclear Risk reduction
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
61-411-854-612

Bob Rosner joins the 2019 Doomsday Clock Announcement
By Gayle Spinazze, January 16, 2019

https://thebulletin.org/2019/01/bob-rosner-joins-the-2019-doomsday-clock-announcement/?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=Twitter%20Post&utm_campaign=ClockRosner_Jan18

https://clock.thebulletin..org/

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists will host a live international news conference at 10 a.m. EST/1500 GMT on Thursday, January 24, 2019, to announce the 2019 time of the Doomsday Clock. The news conference will take place at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. Watch the announcement live on clock.thebulletin.org, on our Facebook page, or on Twitter.

Speakers for the Doomsday Clock announcement on January 24, 2019 include:

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

William J. Perry, chair, Bulletin Board of Sponsors; former Secretary of Defense
Rachel Bronson, president and CEO; Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Herb Lin, Bulletin Science and Security Board; Senior Research Scholar for cyber policy and security at the Center for International Security and Cooperation and Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution, both at Stanford University

Robert Rosner, chair, Bulletin Science and Security Board;
William E. Wrather Distinguished Service Professor in the Departments of Astronomy & Astrophysics and Physics, and the Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago

Susan Solomon, Bulletin Science and Security Board; Lee and Geraldine Martin Professor of Environmental Studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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