The Doomsday Clock is sounding the alarm for 2022. Comic book fans are well-aware of the real-life institution that dictates the scale of how close human civilization is to catastrophe. This week, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists put out their yearly statement and the picture is not pretty. In their findings, the scientists still believe we're in an "extremely dangerous moment." Despite making it through two years of the global health situation. Things aren't moving as quickly as some experts would have hoped. Back in 2019, the scientists had struck much of the same chord. Some things have improved, of course with scientific advancement and technology, but it's clear something will have to change if the prognosis is going to improve for next year.
"Last year's leadership change in the United States provided hope that what seemed like a global race toward catastrophe might be halted and—with renewed US engagement—even reversed. Indeed, in 2021 the new American administration changed US policies in some ways that made the world safer: agreeing to an extension of the New START arms control agreement and beginning strategic stability talks with Russia; announcing that the United States would seek to return to the Iran nuclear deal; and rejoining the Paris climate accord."
"Perhaps even more heartening was the return of science and evidence to US policy making in general, especially regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. A more moderate and predictable approach to leadership and the control of one of the two largest nuclear arsenals of the world marked a welcome change from the previous four years."
"In view of this mixed threat environment—with some positive developments counteracted by worrisome and accelerating negative trends—the members of the Science and Security Board find the world to be no safer than it was last year at this time and therefore decide to set the Doomsday Clock once again at 100 seconds to midnight. This decision does not, by any means, suggest that the international security situation has stabilized. On the contrary, the Clock remains the closest it has ever been to civilization-ending apocalypse because the world remains stuck in an extremely dangerous moment. In 2019 we called it the new abnormal, and it has unfortunately persisted."
"Last year, despite laudable efforts by some leaders and the public, negative trends in nuclear and biological weapons, climate change, and a variety of disruptive technologies—all exacerbated by a corrupted information ecosphere that undermines rational decision making—kept the world within a stone's throw of apocalypse. Global leaders and the public are not moving with anywhere near the speed or unity needed to prevent disaster."
"Leaders around the world must immediately commit themselves to renewed cooperation in the many ways and venues available for reducing existential risk. Citizens of the world can and should organize to demand that their leaders do so—and quickly. The doorstep of doom is no place to loiter."
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