Happy Friday, people! The skies are blue, the birds are chirping, and the world is on the brink of apocalyptic disaster.
It might be time to start stocking up on canned food for the underground bunker, because according to a board of the world’s smartest people, we’re closer to global disaster than ever before.
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists have announced they will move the hands on their infamous ‘Doomsday Clock’ from five minutes to midnight, to just three.
Midnight, of course, meaning The End.
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists created the symbolic ‘Doomsday Clock’ way back in 1947, and twice a year assess how close we are to midnight.
In a press conference yesterday, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists announced they have moved the hand closer to midnight than it’s been in 64 years.
“The Doomsday Clock is closer to midnight than it’s ever been in the lifetime of almost everyone in this room,” the Bulletin’s chair, Lawrence Krauss, announced at the National Press Club in Washington on Thursday.
So, who the heck are the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, and are they part of some kind of league of superheroes?
Superheroes, no. Super smart, yes. The board is made up of nuclear physicists, atomic experts, theoretical scientists, and 18 Nobel Laureates. WE LISTEN TO THEM, OK?
The Bulletin looks specifically at atomic weapons, and the safety in which they are being handled. In light of Trump’s election, global warming, and increased volatility with war-torn nations such as Syria; the hand was moved from five minutes to midnight, to just three. *gulps*
The metaphorical ‘clock’ was created after the devastating attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki and amid Cold War fears between the United States and the Soviet Union.
It’s been changed just 21 times in its 70 year history, and has traced world events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, North Korea’s weapon testing, and various treaties regarding nuclear disaster.
Donald Trump prepares for inauguration. (Post continues after video)
It’s a common misconception that the clock was originally set at 11pm, ticking closer and close to midnight. Actually, it was set at pretty close to midnight to begin with.
The artist, Martyl Langsdorf (wife to the Bulletin co-founder, Hyman Goldsmith) designed the clock for the front cover of their annual magazine. She chose the original time of seven minutes to midnight because “…it looked good to her eye.”
The last time the Doomsday Clock was this close to midnight was in 1953, at the start of the nuclear arms race between the Soviet Union, and America.
The Bulletin is pretty specific with what they consider in moving the clock’s hand, too.
“The Bulletin’s clock is not a gauge to register the ups and downs of the international power struggle; it is intended to reflect basic changes in the level of continuous danger in which mankind lives in the nuclear age,” said Eugene Rabinowitch, another founder, at the time the magazine was first published.
And as they move the hand closer to midnight than it has been since the Cold War, we’re reminded just how desperate the state of international politics has become.
It’s the reality check none of us needed, huh?