The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, a non-profit group dedicated to monitoring the potential for global catastrophe, last night set the Doomsday Clock forward. We’re now 100 seconds …

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, a non-profit group dedicated to monitoring the potential for global catastrophe, last night set the Doomsday Clock forward. Were now 100 seconds away from midnight.
As Douglas Adams was fond of writing: dont panic. This doesnt literally mean well all be dead in the next minute-and-a-half. As the Bulletin puts it:
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. It is a metaphor, a reminder of the perils we must address if we are to survive on the planet.
As far as metaphors go, its the ultimate reminder that were on the brink of irrevocably destroying our species and its habitat. The fact that were now closer than ever to midnight Doomsday indicates that time is running out. Basically, as a species, weve  reached the point of no return, and we cant afford to make any more mistakes.
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So whats the real danger?
The Bulletin, whose advisory board contains 13 Nobel laureates, says:
Humanity continues to face two simultaneous existential dangersnuclear war and climate changethat are compounded by a threat multiplier, cyber-enabled information warfare, that undercuts societys ability to respond. The international security situation is dire, not just because these threats exist, but because world leaders have allowed the international political infrastructure for managing them to erode.
Theres a lot to unpack there. Weve been under nuclear threat for a few generations now. The Doomsday Clock was created back in 1947, not too long after the US dropped a pair of atomic bombs on the civilian populations of Hiroshima and Nagasaki Japan.
But, according to the Bulletin, were now closer to the edge of nuclear warfare than weve ever been before. Heres a bit of perspective: In 1953, when the Doomsday Clock hit two minutes two midnight for the first time, the Bulletin said the following in its official statement:
The hands of the clock of doom have moved again. Only a few more swings of the pendulum and, from Moscow to Chicago, atomic explosions will strike midnight for Western civilization.
The only other times the Doomsday Clock moved as close as two minutes to midnight were in 2018 and 2019. And now, as the US continues to sew global discord and destroy nuclear proliferation treaties, were closer than weve ever been to seeing the promise of nuclear obliteration made real.
Per the Bulletins statement:
The world is sleepwalking its way through a newly unstable nuclear landscape. The arms control boundaries that have helped prevent nuclear catastrophe for the last half century are being steadily dismantled.
But politicians and world leaders arent just failing to protect us from the greatest weapons-based threat our species has ever known, theyre also completely fumbling the larger looming threat: climate crisis.
In an open letter to the worlds political leaders, the Bulletin says:
Climate change that could devastate the planet is undeniably happening. And for a variety of reasons that include a corrupted and manipulated media environment, democratic governments and other institutions that should be working to address these threats have failed to rise to the challenge.
The problems of nuclear proliferation and climate crisis form the framework by which our eventual obliteration will arrive, but theyre exacerbated in 2020 by the emergence of mass manipulation via the internet. The open letter continues:
Continued corruption of the information ecosphere on which democracy and public decision making depend has heightened the nuclear and climate threats. In the last year, many governments used cyber-enabled disinformation campaigns to sow distrust in institutions and among nations, undermining domestic and international efforts to foster peace and protect the planet.
The Doomsday Clock isnt the universes official timer, as mentioned before its a metaphor. But when viewed over a series of years, it tells us whether were headed in the right direction.
Credit: The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists
We cannot, as a species, afford to allow those responsible for the proliferation of nuclear threats and the continued organized efforts to discredit empirical scientific evidence indicating the clear and present danger of climate crisis to remain in control of the future.
For more information check out the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists entire statement here.