Climate change and the threat of nuclear war are accelerating the world on a path to doomsday, according to a group of scientists and Nobel laureates.
Kennette Benedict, executive director of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, said that “it is now three minutes to midnight.”
The group has a symbolic doomsday clock that has existed since 1947. According to the group, the civilized world is now the closest to destruction that it has been since 1983, amidst tensions between the Soviet Union and the US.
Benedict commented: “Today, unchecked climate change and a nuclear arms race resulting from modernization of huge arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity. And world leaders have failed to act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe.”
The issue of climate change is still being fiercely disputed.
Richard Sommerville, a Scripps University professor and member of the Science and Security board at the Bullettin of the Atomic Scientists, declared that “unless much greater emissions reductions occur very soon, the countries of the world will have emitted enough carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases by the end of this century to profoundly transform the Earth’s climate.”
Physicist Freeman Dyson, a noted climate change heretic, thinks that the current carbon dioxide models are too simplistic. He does concede the posssiblity of climate change, but thinks that it could possibly be a good thing because of the beneficial effects of carbon dioxide on plants. Ironically, according to the New York Times, he is an “Obama-loving, Bush-loathing liberal.”
The threat of nuclear war is another reason the doomsday clock is being moved forward.
Sharon Squassoni, another member of the Science and Security board at the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, says that the disarmament process has “ground to a halt” and that countries including the US, Russia, France, China, India, Pakistan, Israel, and North Korea are all modernizing or expanding their nuclear weapons programs. Post-nuclear optimism seen after the Cold War ended has “essentially evaporated,” she says.
Is the threat of climate change a serious one or not? Has the spread of nuclear weapons gotten worse? Feel free to share your thoughts.
h/t: Yahoo! News