Doomsday Clock Is Getting Closer To Midnight- Should We Worry?

As the hands of the Doomsday Clock have only been closer to the metaphorical midnight(meaning the end of the world) back in 1953, I think it's time to take this threat very seriously
Doomsday Clock Is Getting Closer to Midnight- Should We Worry?
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Two and a half minutes to midnight- that's all the time left, metaphorically speaking, until a global catastrophe wipes the human race off the face of the Earth. In 1945 scientists from the University of Chicago founded the "Bulletin of Atomic Scientists" and created the Doomsday Clock as a symbolic tool that measures the minutes remaining to the destruction of our world(midnight). A view of the timeline of the Doomsday Clock since its inception in 1947 to this day indicates a disturbing tendency: When the countdown started 70 years ago there were 7 minutes to midnight; during the following years

the hands of the clock moved in an unwanted direction until they reached a maximum of 2 minutes till total annihilation in 1953, when the Cold War was at its peak and the two world superpowers of the time were involved in testing hydrogen bombs.

There were also periods  in which the hands of the Doomsday Clock moved in the opposite direction, such as the years when the fall of communist regimes in Eastern Europe led to the end of the Cold War; 1991 was the best year in which there 17 minutes to midnight as the world's military powers agreed to reduce their nuclear arsenal, but the illusions that we might one day live in a relatively safe world for many generations to come were quickly dissipated, and unfortunately the clock moved closer and closer to midnight until it reached two and a half minutes in 2017. Of course, it is hard to transpose this symbolic measurement of time into real years, but it's obvious to me that when we refer to a possible apocalypse caused by the reckless behavior of humans we can speak about it in terms of centuries or maybe even decades, in the most pessimistic scenarios.

So, is this symbolic clock and its yearly countdown which is getting closer and closer to a dark eternal night for mankind a reason of real concern for us? Do we have to expect the worst to happen to our planet much sooner than people thought 70 years ago when the countdown started? I think we really need to worry because in addition to nuclear power, which was seen as the main threat to global security in 1947, there were three other key elements identified by scientists which can lead to a premature end of civilization as we know it: climate change, biotechnology and emerging technologies. I think all of them are extremely dangerous for world security, and if things get out of control, each of them can force the hands of the Doomsday Clock to reach midnight.

In my opinion,

nuclear power is still the biggest threat to world security; if political and military power in a country which has nuclear arsenal falls into the hands of a disturbed individual with tyrannical tendencies doomsday will not be minutes, but seconds away! Then there's the climate change which has obviously intensified in the past decades; in my view the global warming caused by the thinning of the ozone layer which used to protect our planet for millions of years will continue in the following decades and there's no need to say what a huge negative impact it will have on the lives of the future generations and on the flora and fauna of the Earth. Thousands of animals and plants will simply disappear, while the increasingly higher population of the world will be confronted with even more lack of food and water, thus making more conflicts inevitable.

In addition to these two factors, biotechnology, which has the potential to help humans get rid of many diseases, can also have a devastating impact on the immediate future of our planet. The accidental or deliberate creation of new pathogens and their release from the labs in which they appeared can easily lead to the death of a huge number of people until the antidote is found. Emerging technologies can also be deadly if they fall into the wrong hands, as those evil individuals who want to harm a lot of people will be in the possession of some extremely powerful tools of destruction and control that will allow them to easily subdue entire populations.

Taking into account all these factors I consider that the placing of the hands of the Doomsday Clock at only two and a half minutes to midnight is justified and it should be a reason of concern for all of us. Therefore, I think that whenever we find out that people with political, military and economical power are about to take measures that might be harmful to the global security, we must take action and let them know that the consequences of their reckless and sometimes even mad actions might prove irreversible for mankind and we won't allow them to do as they please. Maybe it's not too late to move the hands of the clock in the right direction, and get as far away as possible from the dreaded midnight!


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