Global Warming Forces Doomsday Clock Closer to Midnight

| Wed Jan. 17, 2007 7:55 PM EST

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock two minutes closer to midnight today. It now reads 5 minutes to midnight—for the first time reflecting global failures to solve the global climate crisis as well as problems posed by nuclear weapons. The Bulletin Online reports:

"The dangers posed by climate change are nearly as dire as those posed by nuclear weapons. The effects may be less dramatic in the short term than the destruction that could be wrought by nuclear explosions, but over the next three to four decades climate change could cause irremediable harm to the habitats upon which human societies depend for survival."

Stephen Hawking, a BAS sponsor, professor of mathematics at the University of Cambridge, and a fellow of The Royal Society, said: "As scientists, we understand the dangers of nuclear weapons and their devastating effects, and we are learning how human activities and technologies are affecting climate systems in ways that may forever change life on Earth. As citizens of the world, we have a duty to alert the public to the unnecessary risks that we live with every day, and to the perils we foresee if governments and societies do not take action now to render nuclear weapons obsolete and to prevent further climate change."