The Doomsday Clock is an internationally recognized design that conveys how close we are to destroying our civilization with dangerous technologies of our own making. First and foremost among these are nuclear weapons, but the dangers include climate-changing technologies, emerging... Read More
Renowned graphic designer Michael Bierut has called the Bulletin’s Doomsday Clock the most powerful piece of information design of the 20th century, and last week’s Clock announcement showed its impact to have continued—and grown—well into the 21st.
Contrary to popular opinion, Washington and Moscow should strive now to make progress on bilateral arms control. A more ambitious treaty that limits modernization plans can help stabilize a volatile situation.
The only visible achievement of the talks between the major powers and Iran in Istanbul in mid-April -- 15 months after the previous round had been pronounced a failure -- was agreement to meet again in Baghdad.
A probabilistic approach to risk leaves us unprepared for "infrequent catastrophes." Nuclear plants require a "possibilistic" approach that allows us to design safeguards against the worst-case scenario.
We continue to populate our planet with technologies that have catastrophic potential. We have vulnerable concentrations of humans, economic power, and hazardous materials. The most fearful concentrations of hazardous materials are in nuclear power plants. A serious accident there could kill hundreds or even thousands of people, and contaminate large areas of land for as long as a century.
Since 1996, supporters have pushed for Senate ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty (CTBT), arguing that the treaty would limit nuclear weapons proliferation and deter nuclear war. But the treaty does more than this -- it also has a health benefit. Put quite simply: No more tests, no more fallout.
There is an old joke that always makes me smile. It goes something like this:
A visitor to Ireland was in Cork and needed to get to Dublin quickly, so he asked a local what the best way to drive was. The answer came back after a short pause for thought: "If I was going to Dublin, I wouldn't start from here."