Doomsday Clock moves closer to world nuclear disaster

Tick, tick, tick…the world’s Doomsday Clock is the closest it’s ever been to forecasting global disaster.

The clock, published since 1945 by the Chicago-based Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and adjusted yearly, was reset at a Jan. 25 D.C. press conference to 90 seconds before midnight, compared to 100 seconds in early 2022. The farthest it’s ever been: 17 minutes to midnight after the Cold War ended.

The world is closer than ever, speakers said, to a modern Armageddon, though they didn’t use that loaded word. “The environment is both perilous and unstable,” warned Rachel Bronson, president of the Federation of Atomic Scientists, which publishes the Bulletin and sets the clock…

If the Doomsday Clock ever hits midnight, look for Hiroshima and Nagasaki on a worldwide scale. The federation has made that point often before, most notably in 2020, on the 75th anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of the two Japanese cities, on Aug. 6 and Aug. 9, 1945…

Speakers again advocated de-escalating the nuclear arms race by abolishing the weapons through international agreements—an unlikely prospect since the U.S. has unilaterally canceled remaining important nuclear disarmament deals with Russia…

And buried deep in one paper adjoining the printed report was that the U.S. and Russia abrogated one major nuclear de-armament treaty almost a decade ago, and that the most important of those pacts expires in 2026. There have been no negotiations on its renewal, that paper reports. Instead, the U.S. and NATO have been placing nuclear weapons and vehicles capable of carrying them closer and closer to the borders of Russia, the second huge nuclear power. Russia has said it will not rule out the use of nuclear weapons to defend itself if forced.

Will the so-called leaders of the world finally demonstrate some of that “leadership” – on behalf of peace?

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