The Doomsday Clock
In early 2017, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists reset their Doomsday Clock to two and one-half minutes to midnight, citing the danger of climate change. For the previous two years their Doomsday Clock was set at three minutes to midnight, the highest setting in 30 years.
The only time the Doomsday Clock was set any closer to midnight was in 1953, after the U.S. tested its first hydrogen bomb.
In 2016 the Doomsday Clock was set at three minutes to midnight. The Bulletin wrote in 2016, “The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions to reduce disaster must be taken very soon.”
In 2015 the Doomsday Clock was set at three minutes to midnight. The Bulletin wrote in 2015, “Unchecked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations, and outsized nuclear weapons 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 only other year the Doomsday Clock was at three minutes to midnight was 1984. The Bulletin warned readers that the U.S “seems to flout the few arms control agreements in place by seeking an expansive, space-based anti-ballistic missile capability, raising worries that a new arms race will begin.”