The Doomsday Clock, an indicator of how close the world is to total destruction, is now just 100 seconds off midnight. This is closer than it has ever been before.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) highlights three worsening factors in its Doomsday Clock statement. These are:
1) Nuclear weapons
The BAS says that national leaders have “ended or undermined” several major arms control treaties and negotiations in the last year.
They argue this has created an environment conducive to a renewed nuclear arms race, the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and lowered barriers to nuclear war.
According to the statement: “Political conflicts regarding nuclear programmes in Iran and North Korea remain unresolved and are, if anything, worsening.
“US-Russia co-operation on arms control and disarmament is all but non-existent.”
2) The climate emergency
The scientists also set out that, while public awareness of the climate crisis grew over the course of 2019, governmental action fell short of meeting the challenge.
They say: “At UN climate meetings last year, national delegates made fine speeches but put forward few concrete plans to further limit the carbon dioxide emissions that are disrupting Earth’s climate.
“This limited political response came during a year when the effects of man-made climate change were manifested by one of the warmest years on record, extensive wildfires, and quicker-than-expected melting of glacial ice.”
3) Cyber-based disinformation
The misinformation available to the public, meanwhile, has also heightened the nuclear and climate threats, according to the BAS.
The statement adds that many governments used cyber-enabled disinformation campaigns to sow distrust in institutions and among nations, undermining domestic and international efforts to foster peace and protect the planet.
How to turn back the hands of the clock
– US and Russian leaders can return to the negotiating table to reinstate the INF Treaty, or take other action to restrain an unnecessary arms race in medium-range missiles. They can seek further reductions in nuclear arms, and discuss a lowering of the alert status of the nuclear arsenals of both countries. Other suggestions include the two nations limiting nuclear modernisation programmes that threaten to create a new nuclear arms race, and starting talks on cyber warfare, missile defences and the militarisation of space.
– The countries of the world should publicly rededicate themselves to the temperature goal of the Paris climate agreement.
– Signatories of the Iran nuclear deal should work together to restrain nuclear proliferation in the Middle East.
– The international community should begin multilateral discussions aimed at establishing norms of behaviour, both domestic and international, that discourage and penalise the misuse of science.
The statement says science provides the world’s searchlight in times of fog and confusion. It adds that attention is needed to prevent information technology from undermining public trust in political institutions, in the media, and in the existence of objective reality itself.
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?