Doomsday Clock Moves Forward

Have you ever heard of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists?

It’s a non-technical academic journal that covers global security and public policy issues related to the dangers posed by weapons of mass destruction, climate change, and emerging technologies and diseases.

The Bulletin is best known for occasionally announcing that the “Doomsday Clock” has inched closer to midnight. The idea is that when the clock reaches that bewitching hour, the nukes will be flying and life as we know it will be over. Forever.

In January 2017, the Atomic Scientists declared that the clock had moved forward 30 seconds and was now situated at 2½ minutes before midnight.

It’s interesting. They always say the clock has “moved forward,” as if through its own power. You know, sort of like the indicator on a Ouija Board. They never say that they moved it forward, even though they’re the only ones who control this imaginary clock.

I guess this is the closest to midnight the clock has been moved since the U.S. and U.S.S.R. were trading threatening words during the Cold War. Kind of makes me wonder what these Atomic Scientists do in between clock moving sessions.

It reminds me of The Farmer’s Almanac, which each fall predicts horrific conditions in many areas of the country – like 50 million inches of snow per day and temperatures averaging 50 below zero in the upcoming winter.

Every year the book’s authors prognosticate such gloom and doom, and every year the media eats it up with a spoon and gives them free publicity for their books. Apparently the Farmer’s Almanac folks learned a long time ago that it’s tough to sell books when you predict a mild winter.

Anyway, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists was established by former Manhattan Project physicists after the atomic bombing of Japan. Way back when, the clock was set at seven minutes before midnight. Now that it’s 2½ minutes before midnight, “the probability of global catastrophe is very high.”

So, why the recent movement from 3 minutes to 2½? It should come as no surprise that these scientists with apparently way too much time on their hands are placing the blame for the 30-second clock movement on President Donald Trump.

Citing “reckless language” by Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding nuclear weapons, as well as Trump’s “growing disregard of scientific expertise on climate change,” the scientists moved the clock 30 seconds closer to midnight while warning the two leaders to stop acting like “petulant children.”

I’m no more qualified than anyone else to predict if or when a nuclear war will end most life on this planet. But I do know that the U.S. and Russia fully understand that if either of us starts a nuclear war, the other side will finish it. There will be no winners.

So, rather than worry about an apocalyptic nuclear war, maybe the atomic scientists should warn people to prepare for a much more likely scenario… such as a collapse of the electrical grid. For all we know, the Doomsday Clock could be at 11:59:59 p.m. for that possibility.

As horrible as an electrical grid shutdown would be, at least we’ll be able to provide for ourselves and our families if we’ve stockpiled survival food, water and other essential items, and acquired a water purification device and an emergency generator.

You don’t have to be a rocket scientist – or even an atomic scientist – to figure that out.


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