The Doomsday Clock Moves Closer to Midnight.



The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists revealed Doomsday clock has reached 90 seconds to midnight.

Makenzie Pent, Reporter

With the recent movement of the Doomsday Clock, more people wonder exactly what the clock is and the significance of it. The Doomsday Clock’s origin traces back to a group of international scientists called the Chicago Atomic Scientists. It represents the likelihood of a civilization’s global self-annihilation regarding current events. The hypothetical global collapse is represented by midnight, signifying the closer the clock it to hitting midnight, the closer the destruction of society is.

The clock is changed due to the main factors of climate science, politics, and nuclear weaponry. In January of 2007, designer Michael Bierut, who was on the Bulletins Governing Board, redesigned the Doomsday Clock to give it a more modern appearance. The Doomsday Clock is a design that warns the public about how close we are to destroying our world with dangerous technologies of our own making.

Steve Fetter, a member of the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board which is comprised of a select group of globally recognized leaders with a specific focus on nuclear risk, climate change, and disruptive technologies, states “It’s a way to remind people of issues that are so big they pose a threat to civilization as a whole.”

Over the span of the creation of the clock, the time left has changed. Meaning time has been taken away and added back to the clock. In January 2020, the clock was moved to 100 seconds away from midnight and hadn’t changed during 2021 or 2022. But on January 24, 2023, the clock was moved to 90 seconds before midnight, ten seconds more than previously, meaning that the clock’s current setting is the closest it has ever been to midnight since its inception in 1947. This adjustment was largely attributed to the risk of nuclear threats that arose from Russian’s invasion of Ukraine, the existing effects of Covid-19, and political mismanagement of climate change.

Many argue on the creation of the Doomsday Clock. One side saying it’s a good warning to mankind, showing that if as a whole we don’t change, society will collapse, and all the work put into it will be wasted. Saying the clock is a way to preserve civilization by scaring society into rationality. The other side see it as an overestimate of the development of nuclear testing and weapons and say that even with climate change being an issue, it is not on the same level as nuclear weaponry. In addition, some critics accuse the Bulletin of pushing a political agenda and see it as a way of fear-mongering people to an agenda.

While the clock may not be a completely accurate distinguishment of when “Doomsday” will occur, it does give a good representation of how society needs to change. The closer it gets to hitting midnight, the more concerned scientists and citizens get in regards of political, climate, or nuclear issues. The clock is a threat to humanity as a whole showing that if we do not change, society will soon be destroyed by our own creations and decisions.