The Doomsday clock was first introduced to us in the year of 1947 making it nearly 76 years old. The clock was made to metaphorically count the amount of time until the end of the world strikes. When created, the Atomic Scientists set the clock at 7 minutes to midnight. It has been set backwards and forwards a total of 24 times. The year the clock was the farthest from midnight was in 1991 and it was 17 minutes whereas the nearest it had ever been was in the year 2020 at 100 seconds to midnight where it was remained the same for the third year.
In just a few days on, January 24th of 2023, the Atomic Scientists will be reanalyzing the Doomsday Clock. Do you think time will stay the same? There are a couple of factors that come into play that make me think that it will be accelerated forwards. Those factors include impending nuclear threat and climate change.
Since World War 2, the world is at its highest risk for nuclear war. With having large amounts of nuclear weapons around the globe, this would be catastrophic as hundreds of detonations would occur within minutes of each other. I bet many of you are wondering why we are at such a huge risk for nuclear war and that would be because of the ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin went into war with the beliefs that it would be an easy victory. However, what Putin did not expect was for Ukraine to stand strong and fight back. With nearly a year of combat and over 33 thousand deaths between the two nations, Ukraine refuses to stand down and retreat.
This has caused Putin to become agitated and afraid. At this point, Putin will try anything for victory over Ukraine and when I say anything, I am talking about Russia resorting to going nuclear. Putin has threatened to use nuclear power over anyone who would try and aid Ukraine in any way. Many believe Putin is just a child throwing a tantrum and as they might not be wrong, it would be unwise to not take the threats seriously which is why the Atomic Scientists take the risk into consideration for the Doomsday Clock.
Impending climate change is the other factor that the scientists are keeping close in mind. This has a significant affect on the clock because climate change has drastically increased over the years. Within the next 20 years, we will see global temperatures raise by 1.5 degrees C. For those of you who do not already know, that is 34.7 degrees F. That tends to be a big number when we are talking about climate. A change this high will result in large-scale drought, famine, heat stress, species dying off, complete ecosystem loss and less habitable land. At least 100 million people will be thrown into poverty and humanity will start to die off rather quickly.
Northern latitudes, such as the Arctic, have already warmed more than the average 1.1 degrees C. Human activity that has caused a rise in greenhouse gas emissions if we want to see the Doomsday Clock change in a way that benefits us and our survival. We would need to replenish forest cover, reduce industrial activities, reduce the burning of fossil fuels, and reduce the amount of chemicals being released into the atmosphere. All of this could potentially save our planet indefinitely. If there is just one positive change for everything I just went over, we could push back the Doomsday Clock a little at a time and give humanity another chance at success. Do you have any other ideas on how we can push back the clock? If so, leave your answers in the comment section below. I would love to hear your ideas!