Wow. Our experiment is off to a great start—let's see if we can finish it off sooner than expected.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) moved its Doomsday Clock one minute closer to midnight on Tuesday. It now reads 11:55 p.m.
Two years ago, when it appeared that world leaders might actually address the global threats around us, the BAS ratcheted the clock backward by a minute, to 11:54pm.
Now that petite burst of optimism has dissolved.
It's mostly about the global failure deal with climate change.
Specifically, according to the BAS:
Better news on this front:
The BAS scientists note:
As we see it, the major challenge at the heart of humanity's survival in the 21st century is how to meet energy needs for economic growth in developing and industrial countries without further damaging the climate, without exposing people to loss of health and community, and without risking further spread of nuclear weapons.
Other issues worrying the BAS include nuclear disarmament:
The path toward a world free of nuclear weapons is not clear and leadership is failing
It's still possible for radical groups to acquire and use highly enriched uranium and plutonium to wreak havoc in nuclear attacks
Disagreements between the US and Russia about missile defense, and insufficient cooperation among the nine nuclear weapons states is creating distrust that is leading nearly all nuclear weapons states to hedge their bets by modernizing their nuclear arsenals
Ambiguity about Iran's nuclear power program continues to be the most prominent problem
The potential for nuclear weapons use in regional conflicts in the Middle East, Northeast Asia, and particularly in South Asia is alarming, and ongoing efforts to ease tensions, deal with extremism and terrorist acts, and reduce the role of nuclear weapons in international relations have had only halting success
And the BAS is also concerned about nuclear energy: