Doomsday: 2 minutes to midnight

January 24, 2019

Scientists have reset the Doomsday Clock to 2 minutes before midnight.

This is the closest the clock has been to midnight since 1953, except for a period during 2018.  

A new nuclear arms race between the US and Russia threatens the cities of Europe. US threats to withdraw from multilateral nuclear disarmament agreements such as the Iran deal and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) contributes to the growing tensions. The time has come for the Dutch government to show leadership, together with other European countries, by ending their obstruction to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and refusing to participate in a new arms race.

A ban is coming
Away from the media spotlight, a broad coalition of people dedicated to prohibiting and eliminating nuclear weapons are making significant progress. Nuclear weapons are weapons of mass destruction that targets civilian populations — their use would violate international laws. The threat of Doomsday will exist until we eliminate these weapons. It is the only sane thing to do.

So while the US and Russia embark on a new nuclear arms race, 70 countries have signed the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, banning all nuclear weapons; cities and regional governments are committing to the Treaty; and banks and pension funds are divesting from the nuclear weapons industry.

There is much work still to be done, but today is a day to recognise the progress we are making in the face of irrational threats by the current nuclear armed states.

Danger of a nuclear disaster
The Doomsday Clock was established in 1947 by scientists working on the Manhattan Project, where the first nuclear weapons were developed. Under the banner of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, these experts knew better than anyone the dangers for people and the environment these weapons represented. Even while they were developing these weapons, they wanted to communicate the dangers to the public. The Doomsday Clock is a calculated estimate, based on technical and geopolitical developments, of how close we are to a nuclear disaster.

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