The hands on the symbolic “Doomsday Clock” are now the closest they have been to midnight in over sixty years. After being pushed thirty seconds ahead, the clock now stands at two minutes and thirty seconds to midnight (midnight being the end of the world). The Doomsday Clock was made in 1947 by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists to show how close the world was to ending by an apocalypse of some kind. It had originally been created to warn people how close the world was to nuclear war; however the clock began to stray farther and farther from midnight as the years went on until just recently. The clock has not been as close to midnight than it is right now since 1953, when the clock was set at just two minutes to midnight due to Cold War tensions.
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has stated that a number of factors has contributed to the Doomsday Clock being moved closer to midnight, including the recent inauguration of President Donald Trump. Bulletin executive director and publisher, Dr. Rachel Bronson, also claimed that concerns with the heightened tensions between the United States and Russia, which altogether possess about ninety percent of the entire world’s nuclear weapons, influenced their decision to move the clock thirty seconds ahead. Other reasons mentioned for the Doomsday Clock being set ahead are the lack of progress in fighting climate change and recent innovations in artificial intelligence and biology.
Despite the Doomsday Clock being moved so close to midnight, the end of the world does not seem to be as close as the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists believe it is. Tensions of world-ending nuclear war were much higher in the 1950s than they are right now, and Donald Trump’s presidency and artificial intelligence does not ensure the end of the world is near. It seems like the world is still the same as it was before the clock changed, but only time will tell if the world really is that close to Doomsday.