‘Doomsday Clock’ ticked forward 30 seconds to 2 minutes to midnight

Guardian: The risk to global civilisation is as high today as it has ever been in the face of twin threats, nuclear weapons and climate change, a group of leading scientists has announced, putting a significant share of the blame on the Trump administration.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved its symbolic Doomsday Clock forward 30 seconds, to two minutes to midnight, in a reflection of how the scientists view the dangers facing the world.

The only other time the clock was set so close to catastrophe in its 71-year history was in 1953, after the US and the Soviet Union detonated their first thermonuclear bombs.

In the immediate aftermath of the cold war, the clock was set back to 17 minutes to midnight, but optimism about humanity’s future has steadily eroded since then.

“To call the world’s nuclear situation dire is to understate the danger and its immediacy,” said Rachel Bronson, the bulletin’s president and CEO, told journalists in Washington.

In explaining their decision on Thursday, scientists from the bulletin’s widely respected science and security board said that they were disturbed by the rising tensions on the Korean peninsula, the increasing emphasis and expenditure on nuclear weapons by major powers, the absence of arms control negotiations around the world, and the wavering political will to combat climate change.

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