To: Leaders and citizens of the world
Re: A new abnormal: It is still two minutes to midnight
Date: January 24, 2019
Humanity now faces two simultaneous existential threats, either of which would be cause for extreme concern and immediate attention. These major threats—nuclear weapons and climate change—were exacerbated this past year by the increased use of information warfare to undermine democracy around the world, amplifying risk from these and other threats and putting the future of civilization in extraordinary danger.
In the nuclear realm, the United States abandoned the Iran nuclear deal and announced it would withdraw from the Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF), grave steps towards a complete dismantlement of the global arms control process. Although the United States and North Korea moved away from the bellicose rhetoric of 2017, the urgent North Korean nuclear dilemma remains unresolved. Meanwhile, the world’s nuclear nations proceeded with programs of “nuclear modernization” that are all but indistinguishable from a worldwide arms race, and the military doctrines of Russia and the United States have increasingly eroded the long-held taboo against the use of nuclear weapons.
On the climate change front, global carbon dioxide emissions—which seemed to plateau earlier this decade—resumed an upward climb in 2017 and 2018. To halt the worst effects of climate change, the countries of the world must cut net worldwide carbon dioxide emissions to zero by well before the end of the century. By such a measure, the world community failed dismally last year…
Read more from the 2019 Doomsday Clock Statement
Watch the press conference from the National Press Club in Washington, DC
See the Clock Timeline and Statements
Go behind the scenes with members of the Science and Security Board
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It is a relief we are not any closer to midnight. Yet, we are closer to nuclear holocaust since the end of the Cold War, the experts say. ‘Russia and the United States have increasingly eroded the long-held taboo against the use of nuclear weapons’. Why do we keep coming back to war? The planet has had two world wars already, and heading towards a third. What is the underlying reason? For that we must examine history for possible answers. Power (manifested as interest) has been present in every conflict of the past – no exception. It is the underlying… Read more »