The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists set the hands of the “Doomsday Clock” on Tuesday, according to a recent report published by Fox News. Based on a series of recent events and destructive factors, the scientists have set the “Doomsday Clock to show five minutes towards destruction.
This tradition was first begun in 1947 by the board of directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists at the University of Chicago. The symbolic clock shows how close humanity is to global destruction based on how many minutes are left till midnight. Scientists take into account wars, natural disasters and international events when they set the clock every year on January 10.
This year’s estimation is one minute less than the one set two years ago. Back then, the Bulletin considered that humanity is six minutes away from destruction because there were worldwide talks about climate changes and arm reduction treaties. In 2012, scientists’ optimism has dropped one minute because of the recent nuclear terrorism threats and climate change issues.
The most optimistic anticipation was in 1991 when the Cold War thawed and the United States and Russia began cutting their arsenals. The Bulletin estimated back then that the world is 17 minutes away from destruction, the longest estimation that scientists have made so far. Since 1991, BAS gradually lost its hope that the world is ever going to be saved by destruction and clock’s hands grew closer to midnight every year.
Kennette Benedict, director at BAS told the press that the Fukushima nuclear meltdown made a big impression on scientists which is why they have decided to set the clock to five minutes to midnight. He also stated that the estimation is a way of reminding people about the incident, of helping people decide to give up this new technology. The bulletin was also influenced in this year’s decision by the growing interest in nuclear power of countries like Turkey, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates.
The pessimistic prospects should not influence people into thinking that the world is indeed going towards destruction. There have been many other similar foresights and none of them turned out to be true.