Well what a way to start my blog, and on such a positive note. It’s happened, The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) has set the Doomsday Clock to two minutes to midnight, reflecting the world we live in as one full of nuclear threats and diplomatic cold shoulders. Interestingly this happens as world leaders meet in Davos, Switzerland at The World Economic Forum to discuss everything from trade deals, International Aid and trying to create better relations in the global political environment.
So what is the Doomsday clock and what significance does it hold? The Doomsday Clock was founded in 1947 by the BAS as a way of showing how close mankind is to destroying our planet as we know it. With the BAS moving the clock 30 seconds closer to midnight we are now at the closest ‘time’ to doomsday since 1953, with the US and Soviet Union testing Hydrogen bombs.
So why is the clock set to a time last used at the height of the cold war? There isn’t one simple reason but global politics have never been so confusing and tense, with governments not even having full support within themselves and the rising of “alt-right” political groups occurring all over the world. BAS President and CEO Rachel Bronson also confirmed that “nuclear issues took center stage once again”. Reflecting both North Korea’s nuclear desires and the US Government’s proposed increase in budget for its nuclear program, to modernize and fortify the US’s position of a leading nuclear power.
The rise of politicians on all sides using social media and public announcements to communicate in ‘wars of words’, instead of using traditional diplomatic roots has lead to more public fear and politicians being expected to back up their idle threats by the public. There isn’t a day that goes by without any political spat being simultaneously broadcasted globally, and while social media was first used as a political tool to engage with the public it is now becoming a more aggressive way to handle diplomatic disputes and drumming up fear and anger in the populace.
Is there still hope? Well while we are all still around roaming the planet there will always be hope of a better tomorrow. It might seem like there is a new issue in the world every day, but we have to remember for every new issue in the world, another has been diffused. With the decline of ISIS and North and South Korea sending a unified team to the Olympics (admittedly this is a small step). Will the current issues faced by the world governments today follow suit and fade after time such as the Cold War did? Well… when one can only hope.
This is the second year in a row that the doomsday clock has been moved 30 seconds closer to midnight and represents the deteriorating state of affairs the world is finding its self in and with us moving ever closer to midnight could it be time to buy myself an underground bunker and live out my days in solitude? Not yet, but get back to me in 4 years because at this rate that’s when the clocks set to strike midnight.
Written by, Steven Anthony Moore.
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