It’s 3 minutes to midnight, folks. And no, this isn’t some timezone joke. The Doomsday Clock is stuck — figuratively — at 3 minutes to midnight. To be more specific, it’s stuck at 3 minutes to doomsday.
The Guardian reported Tuesday that for a second year in a row, humanity as we know it remains teetering on the brink of apocalypse. If you’re unfamiliar with what on Earth we are talking about, let us explain.
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists created the Doomsday Clock in 1947 to illustrate how close the world as we know it is from rolling the credits. Yep, you guessed it, a bunch of scientists sit around all year thinking about just how close the apocalypse is. Three minutes to midnight is the closest the clock has been to Doomsday since the Cold War in 1984, with the exception of last year’s 3 minutes.
But hey, what about that killer Iranian nuclear deal we signed and that epic agreement in Paris to curb climate change? Well, apparently, the good people over at the Bulletin are thumbing their noses at those deals. “The clock ticks now at just three minutes to midnight because international leaders are failing to perform their most important duty,” the Bulletin concluded.
They’re not totally off the mark. The Iranian nuclear deal is murky at best and the climate change agreement has come off more as a symbolic deal than a concrete plan to fix anything. That is, if you believe in climate change to begin with. That, however, is an entirely different discussion.
You’re probably thinking, “Well, at least the clock didn’t get any closer to midnight.” Here’s Lawrence Krauss, who chairs the Bulletin’s board of sponsors, with a few words for you optimists: “The decision not to move the hands of the clock in 2016 is not good news.” Yikes.
Bad jokes aside, the scientists put forth a few compelling reasons for why we’re still almost maybe about to die. They listed the rise of ISIS, the growing threat of cyberwarfare, the growing threat of nuclear war, and climate change (that’s probably a jab at all of you deniers).
Not bad, not bad.
Although, do we really need a bunch of scientists to tell us what we already know? No. Anyone with access to the internet can tell you that we, as a global community, are not doing so well. Here’s former US cabinet secretary George Schultz to make sure you understand. “We have a world awash in change. There is nowhere you can look and say it’s a world of stable prosperity,” he said. “It’s a terrible mess.”
It is indeed a mess.