Doomsday clock announcement to be made at 10 a.m.

Share

"We now face a true emergency - an absolutely unacceptable state of world affairs that has eliminated any margin for error or further delay", she said.

"At a time when world leaders should be focused on the clear and present dangers of nuclear escalation and the climate emergency. we are instead witnessing denial, disregard and unsafe brinksmanship", former United Nations secretary-general and deputy chair of The Elders Ban Ki-moon said.

The clock represents the likelihood of a manmade global catastrophe.

In fact, the Clock hand has been moved away from midnight nearly as often as it was moved closer, the Bulletin said.

The clock was somberly adjusted to its closest-ever positioning to doom. North Korea has threatened to abandon negotiations with the USA altogether, saying the a year ago and a half of talks was 'lost time'. The 2020 statement explained that "humanity continues to face two simultaneous existential dangers-nuclear war and climate change-that are compounded by a threat multiplier, cyber-enabled information warfare, that undercuts society's ability to respond". He added that governments across the globe have normalized a unsafe world in terms of the risks of nuclear warfare and climate change. These days, we've got a lot more than that to worry about than nuclear weapons, which is why the clock has moved so perilously close to midnight. In so doing, board members are explicitly warning leaders and citizens around the world that the global security situation is now more risky than it has ever been, even at the height of the Cold War.

The time on the clock was at its furthest from midnight back in 1991 following the ending of the Cold War and signing of first Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty by the United States and the Soviet Union.

Bulletin also names the dire erosion of global security and political infrastructure as motives for their decision to give the human race just 100 seconds on the clock. The Bulletin declared that "the need for emergency action is urgent". The statement noted that meeting the goals of that accord will require industrialized countries "to curb emissions rapidly, going beyond their initial, inadequate pledges and supporting developing countries so they can leapfrog the entrenched, fossil fuel-intensive patterns". If this doesn't show us climate change is here, then I don't know what will.

Speaking at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Finance Minister Mathias Cormann defended Australia's record on climate change.

As the executive chairman of the group that runs the Doomsday Clock warned, it is "dangerous rivalry and hostility among the superpowers" that increases the risk of a "nuclear blunder".

Naturally, many were alarmed by the clock's new position - it's the closest it's ever been to midnight, now - but what exactly is the Doomsday Clock, who decides what "time" it is, and why should we care about it?

Share