Friday, January 24, 2020

100 seconds to midnight

The Doomsday Clock is a tracker created by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists for how close we are to global destruction. Created in 1947, it got worse as the Cold War started, then improved as it cooled down, then got worse again as Ronald Reagan tried to confront the "evil empire" and blow up the world. And then, when the Cold War ended, we were pretty safe for a while: the world was still shitty, but we weren't really trying to kill ourselves. But for the past decade, thanks to US aggression and climate change, it has been counting down again. And now, it is at 100 seconds to midnight:

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced its symbolic “doomsday clock” has moved forward to 100 seconds to midnight, the closest to catastrophe that the scientists have judged the world to be at any point since its creation in 1947, at the outset of the cold war.

“The world needs to wake up. Our planet faces two simultaneous existential threats,” said Mary Robinson, chair of an independent group of global leaders called The Elders, and the former president of Ireland and former UN high commissioner of human rights.

Even at the height of the Cold War, when the US and Russia had developed the hydrogen bomb and were ready to nuke each other on a moment's notice, it never got closer than 2 minutes (hell, for all his shit Reagan didn't manage to push it past 3). But now, we are closer to doom than ever before. And what are our leaders doing about it? Still making excuses. Still trying to protect the status quo. Still trying to compromise with physics.

When we say we need to save the world, they say we can't afford it. The truth is that we can no longer afford them. Our current global leadership isn't just morally and intellectually bankrupt - they are actively working for our destruction. And if we want to survive - not just as a species, but as individuals - we need to vote them out on their arses and get better ones.