Doomsday Clock closer to midnight in wake of Trump presidency

The Guardian reports: The election of Donald Trump and wider geopolitical turbulence are so dangerous that the scientists behind the Doomsday Clock have pushed it forward to 2 minutes and 30 seconds before midnight.

The new “time” means experts at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists believe the earth is closer to imminent peril than at any point in the last 64 years.

The clock, an indicator of the world’s vulnerability to nuclear, environmental and political threats, was set at 3 minutes to midnight – with midnight being the apocalypse – in 2016.

“The current political situation in the US is a particular concern,” said theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss at a press conference in Washington DC on Thursday.

“The Trump administration needs to state clearly and unequivocally that it accepts that climate change is caused by human activity,” added Krauss, explaining that although some global progress such as the Paris accord was made last year, 2016 was the hottest year on record.

Several of Trump’s cabinet nominees are climate sceptics, such as Mick Mulvaney as head of the Office of Management and Budget, which Krauss notes “foreshadows the possibility they will be openly hostile to even modest efforts to combat climate change.”

But climate change isn’t the only issue. Nuclear weapons, particularly those held by the United States and Russia and the testing of weapons by North Korea, and tensions in Syria, Ukraine and Kashmir all making the world a more dangerous place than it was last year. [Continue reading…]

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