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Artículo Two and half minutes away from the end of the world News

News

Two and half minutes away from the end of the world

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Antonio J. Rodríguez

27 Enero 2017 17:43

A team of scientists, including 16 Nobel laureates, has moved the hands of the apocalyptic time piece forward. We’re now just two and a half minutes from midnight.

 

This is the closest we’ve been to Armageddon in 64 years. And it’s all Donald Trump’s fault. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which includes 16 Nobel prize winners, has announced that the Doomsday Clock is just two and a half minutes from midnight. What does this mean? The Doomsday Clock is a symbolic timepiece that serves to warn humanity how close it is to ‘midnight’ – Armageddon. The clock was created in 1947 by atomic scientists who had been involved in the Manhattan Project, helping to develop the first nuclear weapons. During that period of history, the world was just one miscalculation away from the annihilation of all life. The clock came dangerously close to midnight in 1953, when the USSR tested its newly-created hydrogen bombs. Two minutes separated us from apocalypse during the Cold War years until 1991, when the disintegration of the Soviet bloc saw the clock move back to 17 minutes to midnight. Humanity was temporarily out of the danger zone. Today, however, we appear to be on the edge of the abyss once more. ‘Nuclear rhetoric is now loose and destabilising. We are more than ever impressed words matter, words count,’ Thomas Pickering from the Bulletin said at a press conference. But the Doomsday Clock no longer warns only of the threats from nuclear weapons. In the Bulletin’s view, climate change and the proliferation of false news are other factors that could potentially lead to apocalypse. And, at the present time, Donald Trump is the man most actively amplifying these dangers.

Climate change should not be a partisan issue. The Trump administration needs to clearly and unequivocally state that climate change, caused by human activity, is a reality,’ said the Bulletin’s David Titley, an expert on climate change.

‘Never before has the Bulletin decided to advance the clock largely because of the statements of a single person. But when that person is the new president of the United States, his words matter,’ wrote Titley and Lawrence M. Krauss in a New York Times op-ed. Time to take a deep breath and hope that the hands of that ominous clock don’t tick any closer to midnight.

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