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The Doomsday Clock Is Moved Closer To Midnight

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the making-up-for-gained-time dept.

Power 313

Harperdog writes "The Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has moved the hands of the Doomsday Clock from 6 minutes to midnight to 5 minutes to midnight. The Board deliberated on the decision and came to the conclusion based on a variety of events: failure on climate policy, Fukushima, nuclear proliferation, etc. This article is a good explanation of the policy decision. Lawrence Krauss said, 'As we see it, the major challenge at the heart of humanity's survival in the 21st century is how to meet energy needs for economic growth in developing and industrial countries without further damaging the climate, exposing people to loss of health and community, and without risking further spread of nuclear weapons, and in fact setting the stage for global reductions.'"

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Zeno (4, Insightful)

Sebastopol (189276) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656750)

This is so stupid. I'm a lefty eco groovy person, but this is just pathetic. Almost as sad as Heston's "From my cold dead hands" battlecry.

It just puts emphasis on the moonbats on the left, and ammo for Faux News, rather than addressing the issues in a non sensationalist way.

Sigh.

Re:Zeno (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38656768)

They're just trying to stay relevant. We all forgot about them when the Cold War ended, and they crave attention again.

Re:Zeno (5, Insightful)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656830)

They're just trying to stay relevant. We all forgot about them when the Cold War ended, and they crave attention again.

You may have been joking/snarky/whatever, I'm not sure; but in all seriousness - I'd completely forgot about these guys and their "doomsday clock" until I saw this Slashdot story!

Re:Zeno (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656924)

We've all been too busy battling manbearpig to forget about all those nuclear weapons from the 1970s that are supposedly on "hair-triggers"

Re:Zeno (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38657042)

I just learned they existed about 3 days ago while watching an episode of Dirty Jobs (doomsday seed vault in Chicago). Frankly, it is pretty ridiculous. I'm sure the people around during the Black Death thought it was the end of times too. And those around for the Hundred Year War, WWI, WWI, the Cold War... I mean, when's the last time we *weren't* on the brink of possible death/doom?

The mere existence of nukes does not mean there will be nuclear war. If the global economy collapses, it will majorly suck but humanity survived the fall of the Roman, Greek and Ottoman empires. I think we can pull off this one too. I'm not even convinced that the worst-case climate dooms could be the end-all. Life on this planet has survived some pretty gnarly stuff. Maybe it'll never be the same but I'm inclined to believe that life will go on. Maybe not ours but is life really defined by humans?

Re:Zeno (5, Insightful)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657166)

Maybe not ours but is life really defined by humans?

Yep, it really is. I mean, who will be around to define it after we're gone?

Re:Zeno (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38657298)

Maybe not ours but is life really defined by humans?

Yep, it really is. I mean, who will be around to define it after we're gone?

Eloi and Morlocks, I'd imagine.

Re:Zeno (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38657542)

Optimistic story: "Midnight" on the clock doesn't mean the end of the world, it basically means the current "day" of mankind is over. As in total civilization collapse, where if the human species survives it, the continuity of the previous civilization will be lost to it at best, and not even known at all at worst. Thing is, it takes at least decades for a civilization to collapse. Rome took centuries. An all-out nuclear exchange is the only exception I can think of that would do it all in a day, but that scenario looks a lot less likely.

Story you probably don't want to hear: Put all the methane in the oceans and tundra into the atmosphere over a period of 100 years? Let's imagine what that does to the biomass. Now let's also consider that there's nothing in the chemistry of the earth that really requires that the atmosphere be composed of the percentage of oxygen that it is. The emergence of blue/green bacteria was an evolutionary quirk that caused a planetwide exinction event. Nothing preventing that from happening again if another organism decides to fill the void.

Re:Zeno (1)

Sir_Eptishous (873977) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657116)

Yea, all the NBC/WMD that were made during the cold ware are gone now, right? Lets have a party.

Re:Zeno (2)

mr1911 (1942298) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657188)

They're just trying to stay relevant. We all forgot about them when the Cold War ended, and they crave attention again.

That assumes they were once relevant.

Re:Zeno (2)

Synerg1y (2169962) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656870)

I don't think anybody takes it serious, do they?

Another relic from the cold war...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doomsday_Clock [wikipedia.org]

Re:Zeno (0)

Curunir_wolf (588405) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657176)

seriously

Re:Zeno (4, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657008)

So we can sit here and take turns throwing feces at the idea of a doomsday clock, or we could have an interesting discussion on whether it is possible to meet the world's future energy needs(?) without destroying the environment and/or nuclear proliferation.

Re:Zeno (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657122)

There's no reason we can't do both. I'm certain we can meet our energy needs, but maybe not our energy wants. Now where is that clock... *fling* *splat*

Re:Zeno (1)

uberjack (1311219) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657038)

I'm curious as to what they'll do when "the Doomsday clock" is at 11:59, and they feel like they need to forward it yet again - without an actual doomsday. This _is_ imbecilic, and you can't get any more tinfoil-hat than this.

Re:Zeno (2)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657382)

I'd say we can consider 11:59 to be reserved for two nuclear powers directly engaging in a (conventional) hot war with one another, or something equally risky in terms of chances of nukes flying. It's not like it only ever moves closer to midnight.

Re:Zeno (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38657432)

They add a seconds hand to the clock giving them 60 more ticks to vote over.

Re:Zeno (0)

Third Position (1725934) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657058)

I consider this strong evidence in support of my contention that a scientist is a political activist that wants to take credit for advances actually developed by engineers, entrepreneurs, and lay inventors.

Re:Zeno (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657084)

Agreed. The doomsday clock should have nothing to do with climate change. unless of course, in 5 minutes some super volcano is going to errupt and kill everyone.

The only thing they should be caring about is the fatty (a little ironic considering the food shortage issues North Korea has been facing) in charge of North Korea and those nuclear but jobs in Iran

Re:Zeno (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38657106)

Haven't the eco-leftists been banging on this drum in more and less sensationalists ways for a while now?

Isn't the situation kind of dire? Shouldn't we halt pollution within a few years and then start reducing it to have a chance to maintain a bearable civilisation?

If so, I don't think being a bit alarmist is premature.

Re:Zeno (5, Insightful)

Baloroth (2370816) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657136)

The real problem is that the clock wasn't intended to represent things like climate change. The entire idea was to show how close we were to the world ending tomorrow. Climate change and the like won't end the world tomorrow. The clock really only even makes sense in the context of nuclear war or other dramatic world-changing events (Doomsday). It isn't called the "Doomcentury" clock for good reason.

Re:Zeno (2)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657412)

Couldn't it be argued that climate change would tend to increase the likelihood of military conflict, and thus the risk of nuclear war? That's what I assumed they meant when I saw that in the summary.

Re:Zeno (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38657186)

You're a "lefty eco groovy person" named Sebastopol?!?! What are the chances!

Re:Zeno (3, Insightful)

poetmatt (793785) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657378)

Why is it part of any political spectrum? what kind of a US centric shitpost is that? I'd say the doomsday clock is significant at doing what it does for the reasons it does, which are not at all political.

How about the fact that the world is generally on a decline? Economies falling due to greed and corruption, change being stifled, advancing our society via positive means being directly subverted by greed. That isn't part of $political-stance and is a part of that is that being on a decline long enough does equal significant military outcomes of negative effect.

While it is labeled as doomsday, it is a honest enough indicator of "how's the world doing overall?".

The answer is clear and obvious (1)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656752)

Pixie dust.

Listen to us. (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38656758)

We have a doomsday clock.

Re:Listen to us. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38657312)

And you are not afraid to use it?

Eventually (5, Insightful)

mpeskett (1221084) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656766)

Sooner or later they're going to box themselves into a corner - they only have so many discrete 1-minute steps they can take before they find that the world is more fucked up than they thought possible, but somehow still carrying on.

Then what? Leave it at 1-minute to midnight, or edge ever closer in smaller and smaller increments?

Re:Eventually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38656810)

47.12892531826538162531623 seconds to midnight...

Re:Eventually (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38656862)

"Today, the Doomsday Clock moved from 11:59:59.98 to 11:59:59.99, signaling that once again, scientists have proved that there are no simple metaphors that can't be abused beyond the point of utility."

Re:Eventually (5, Insightful)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656892)

"A symbolic clock is as emotionally reassuring as a picture of oxygen to a drowning man." -Dr. Manhattan

Re:Eventually (1)

mrbester (200927) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657518)

First thing I thought of on seeing "Doomsday Clock" in the headline was Watchmen; didn't know it still existed.

Re:Eventually (5, Informative)

Chuq (8564) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656970)

You are aware that sometimes the clock moves AWAY from midnight?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Doomsday_Clock_graph.svg [wikipedia.org]

Re:Eventually (1)

mpeskett (1221084) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657090)

Just my pessimism showing through there. I know it goes both ways but I assume it's going to get closer to armageddon more often that it gets further away.

Re:Eventually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38657144)

You are aware that sometimes the clock moves AWAY from midnight?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Doomsday_Clock_graph.svg [wikipedia.org]

Yes, but his point is that they just want to be sensationalist by moving it forward now, so obviously they will want to continue moving it forward, and never want to move it back.

In the cold war it made sense. Now there's no reason the thing shouldn't be at 59 minutes to midnight. IT IS NOT POSSIBLE FOR DOOMSDAY TO HAPPEN ANYTIME SOON. We are in no danger. Unless we suddenly get hit by a meteor...but we're not going to be destroying ourselves.

Re:Eventually (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38657346)

Any scenario in which the US is destablized could result in nukes raining down somewhere.

And there are always biological weapons which potentially have the power to destroy us by accident.

Re:Eventually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38657306)

the point is, what are they going to say when they've got the clock at 11:59:59, then things get way worse, and the world keeps on ticking.

Re:Eventually (4, Insightful)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657372)

Which is exactly not the behaviour you would expect from a clock. The metaphor is flawed.

Re:Eventually (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38657546)

"Doomsday Yardstick" doesn't exactly have the same ring to it.

Re:Eventually (0)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657480)

You are aware that sometimes the clock moves AWAY from midnight?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Doomsday_Clock_graph.svg [wikipedia.org]

What would you do with a clock that did that in real life? Put it in the bin. Very apt metaphor.

Re:Eventually (3, Insightful)

ElectricTurtle (1171201) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656976)

This is what happened to (neo-)Malthusianism. Every generation since Malthus has predicted disaster at some invented threshold, and over and over these thresholds are surpassed. Humanity is immeasurably adaptable, precisely because when the crunch comes previously impossible things are made possible by that adaptability.

I think that this move is particularly disingenuous and calls into question the group's whole integrity considering that the real, global effect of Fukushima has been nation after nation scaling back and drawing down nuclear power. I personally think it's retarded, but nonetheless it should be counted as one the most major changes in direction in the nuclear power industry in a generation, and this group thinks it has the opposite effect? There's just no pleasing some people, obviously.

Re:Eventually (3, Interesting)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657330)

Malthusian catastrophe is:

Hong Kong residents living in cages [weirdasianews.com]

China's One Child policy, and millions waiting for days in swamped transportation arteries [rottentomatoes.com] for a shot at seeing their families once per year.

The downfall of multiple governments triggered by rising food prices [internatio...wpoint.org]

The German quest for lebensraum [wikipedia.org] from 1939-1945.

Now, you could argue those are all matters of resource allocation, rather than shortages per se. But what I see in the world is that as resources become scarce, they are distributed less equitably, not more.

Re:Eventually (4, Insightful)

bughunter (10093) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656994)

Well perhaps the clock metaphor isn't doing them service anymore if the majority of reactions are to the metaphor than the message.

Ultimately the point is, "we're going to pollute ourselves into the stone age." If that bit is being lost because the clock metaphor is becoming trite, then perhaps they should look for a new analogy.

This being slashdot, I think you know what I'm driving at...

Re:Eventually (2)

mpeskett (1221084) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657226)

This being slashdot, I think you know what I'm driving at...

I believe I do. Car analogy time! That's what you were driving at, right?

So the group of nuclear scientists should instead be adjusting the AC on the car of civilisation, to represent whether nuclear tensions have cooled off or heated up.

Because of course if you turn the heater up too high, chances are you'll get all irritable, fly off the handle at some idiot who doesn't know how to drive, and launch an ICBM strike against that asshole who keeps tailgating you.

Re:Eventually (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38657012)

You do know that the doomsday clock can move both forwards and backwards, right? It's meant to represent the proximity to 'doomsday', which can vary based on the political situation at the time.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Doomsday_Clock_graph.svg

Re:Eventually (1)

artfulshrapnel (1893096) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657100)

The actual name of this clock is "Zeno's Doom-o-Meter".

You get closer and closer to "doomsday" without ever actually reaching it. (If you do reach it? The clock explodes and the point is moot.)

Seriously, who came up with this method of measuring "doom"? The thing from the Futurama movie made more sense....

Re:Eventually (1)

ModernGeek (601932) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657384)

It can move to after midnight, at which point the world ends up being a truly terrible place. Once the world is at peace again, it can move back to before midnight.

Re:Eventually (1)

32771 (906153) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657470)

Well sometimes like during the cuban missile crisis, it could have all been over at 7 minutes to midnight.

I liked their reasons much better:

"It is five minutes to midnight. Two years ago, it appeared that world leaders might address the truly global threats that we face. In many cases, that trend has not continued or been reversed. For that reason, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is moving the clock hand one minute closer to midnight, back to its time in 2007."

At some time in the future the world might look like as if we don't have much to lose through nuclear war. Do people have given up caring about that possibility all of a sudden?

Re:Eventually (1)

SleazyRidr (1563649) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657494)

One one hand I agree with you, sure the world may have looked pretty bad in 1947, but starting it at 5 to didn't really leave them much room for if the situation got worse.

On the other hand, it all depends on what you mean by "carrying on." The world "carried on" through 1939-1945, but that'd probably be at midnight on the clock.

I don't know (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38656786)

How the fuck a bunch of grown individuals could come up with and publicize something so stupid and meaningless. Fucking retards. Whole god damn world, and you fucking nerd-fags wonder why life capable of traveling here doesn't want to have a thing to do with you.

Nothing Scientific about it (2)

poifull (2300450) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656788)

This is purely a fear mongering political protest.

Re:Nothing Scientific about it (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38656984)

>This is purely a fear mongering political protest.

So, I gather the world is not going to hell in a hand basket?

Go back to sleep and wake up to another beautiful day of shopping and consuming like all that would not bring about a day when it would be like there's no tomorrow.

That's such a relief! I was worried there for a while.

Everything is fine.

Re:Nothing Scientific about it (1)

iluvcapra (782887) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656992)

Politics is no place for nuclear weapons policy! :)

(I mean like, you're right, but you're expressing an opprobrium that is totally unjustified. Some dudes say nukes aren't a problem, some dudes do, some dudes sell bomb shelters and iodine tablets, some dudes draw pictures of clocks. Nuclear power is intensively political, and the BAS doesn't really make any pretensions to scientific proof. That's why they're "concerned" in the first place.)

Re:Nothing Scientific about it (1)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656998)

I don't think they ever claimed that the number of minutes on the Doomsday Clock was a scientifically calculated probability or anything. Even back in 1947, it was intended as a symbolic statement. The only thing that's arguably changed is that it's outlived its usefulness and is no longer an effective statement in the way it used to be.

Re:Nothing Scientific about it (2)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657220)

I disagree and think it's just as relevant. If it promotes discussion then it serves it's purpose to remind us of what may be.

so close! (5, Funny)

quaketripp (621850) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656794)

A few more minutes and we can start playing "2 minutes to midnight" by Iron Maiden!

Re:so close! (2)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657320)

Fuck that waiting, I'm going to play it right...

now.

And no one gave a shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38656818)

This is probably one of the most irrelevant groups around. Why can't people ever accept that the purpose of their group has been fulfilled, and now it's time to move on?

Or are we all worried about OMGIRANNUKESWTFPWNEDBBQ?

What about US planes and ballistic missiles? (1, Troll)

tp1024 (2409684) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656838)

The US wants to be able to attack any place on earth within 60min. It wants to be able to prevent any other country from retailiation. Space and air supremacy is the stated policy of the USA, basically world domination.

Why doesn't that figure on the clock? Oh, right.

Re:What about US planes and ballistic missiles? (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657204)

Yes, I'm sure the US wants world domination. This is why every country in the world salutes an American flag and celebrates the 4th of Ju... oh wait. The US is the only country that does that. It must mean the US isn't bent on world domination. If so, I'm sure it would have happened by now.

Re:What about US planes and ballistic missiles? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657444)

I am personally of the opinion that the only reason it hasn't happened by now is that they are outnumbered by the rest of the world by more than an order of magnitude, and they aren't so stupid as to think that going nuclear would actually have any sort of long term benefit.

You're All Going To Die! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38656848)

Survivor party at my house, ladies! Clothing is optional, but frowned upon.

uh huh (1, Offtopic)

shentino (1139071) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656850)

Yeah yeah right right.

Nice way to distract everyone from SOPA isn't it?

5 Minutes to midnight (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38656864)

is that GMT, UT, EST or what?

Re:5 Minutes to midnight (2)

Osgeld (1900440) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656886)

BST

Re:5 Minutes to midnight (1)

newcastlejon (1483695) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656952)

BST

More like BS, methinks.

pre-RTFA Reactions (2)

bughunter (10093) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656894)

'As we see it, the major challenge at the heart of humanity's survival in the 21st century is how to meet energy needs for economic growth in developing and industrial countries without further damaging the climate, exposing people to loss of health and community, and without risking further spread of nuclear weapons, and in fact setting the stage for global reductions.'

I've held a very similar opinion for many, many years (as have many others, I'm certain). After reading this quote, I had two immediate reactions, one hopeful and one cynical:

1. I'd like to think that safe, clean fusion power is just around the corner. I've become less convinced of this over the years but am still holding out hope. Can anything else provide the power levels and the energy densities required to sustain a technological urban society's advancement on the Kardashev scale?

2. And we wonder where all the interstellar civilizations are. All signs are pointing to a factor in the Drake Equation that minimizes the number of civilizations that last long enough to achieve starfaring status. Sadly, it appears more and more that this factor approaches zero...

Re:pre-RTFA Reactions (2)

lobiusmoop (305328) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657128)

I'm more inclined to say that this implicit assumption of 'infinite growth' is more part of the problem than anything else. Endless growth is the paradigm of the cancer cell, and not a good model for civilization.

Re:pre-RTFA Reactions (1)

bughunter (10093) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657466)

The "implicit assumption" here is the goal of surviving as a technological species long enough so that we eventually are able to overcome the limits of this single planet and put down roots elsewhere. This appears more and more to require that we steward our environment carefully so that we don't kill or enfeeble ourselves before that happens. Perhaps that's a good thing -- before we can colonize another planet, we first have to learn how not to kill or enfeeble ourselves while living on this one.

Even if we fail, this time, we won't go extinct... we'll just have to start over again. Perhaps it will be single-celled organisms, mollusks, or cockroaches that are given the next chance. But life will have another chance to propagate... perhaps to other planets.

"Cancer cells" don't behave that way.

News for nerds? (1)

kwerle (39371) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656914)

I was going to ask:
How is this "News for nerds - stuff that matters?"

But it looks like /. dropped that tagline. And a good thing, too, since this is just crap.

Re:News for nerds? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38657016)

Just wait, he'll be along in a minute to remind us.
You know who I mean...

Re:News for nerds? (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657050)

Maybe because the clock is run by nerd types? One of the few truly public venues where nerds get to tell the rest of the world how badly they're screwing things up...

Re:News for nerds? (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657316)

I can still see the tagline on the slashdot home page. What are you talking about?

Mission creep (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38656922)

I have it on authority, that next year's doomsday criteria will include sasquatch sightings.

Iran.... (2)

stanlyb (1839382) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656938)

They forgot to mention the coming war with Iran. Like it or not, for reason or without, it is coming.

Sounds like... (1)

Caerdwyn (829058) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656964)

Sounds like someone needs their pet social experiment to be funded.

Energy Correction is easy. (0)

3seas (184403) | more than 2 years ago | (#38656966)

But the problems is with those elitist who want to control everything.

Free energy devices have been designed and tested in many labs around the world, but teh power these devices produce cannot be metered and as such the powers that be, keep it suppressed. And there is also fuel cell technology and even again an inventor who has produced a car that runs totally off water (HHO) and this on to9p of adding a fuel cell to existing cars and trucks (even one police department has converted all their cars to be supplemented with fuel cells for a 40% mpg increase.

Technology is not the issue, its those who get in the way is where the problem is.

Re:Energy Correction is easy. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38657210)

Technology is not the issue, its those who get in the way is where the problem is.

Yes quite, but not in the way you suggest.
The issue is people like you spouting this sort of claptrap until the point comes where people are shouting "where's my damn jetpack?!" instead of getting some real work done to improve our species' lot.

Re:Energy Correction is easy. (1)

ormico (1226940) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657314)

I stopped reading after "Free energy devices..."

Re:Energy Correction is easy. (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657336)

Fucking Carnot cycle, how does it work?

Safe for a century and a half (4, Interesting)

nman64 (912054) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657044)

So, a doomsday clock that started at 11:53 in 1947 is now at 11:55... based upon that rate of advancement (2 minutes per 65 years, obviously ignoring any other adjustments), we should be safe for over a century and a half. I've heard far more alarming predictions than that. Nothing to see here.

Re:Safe for a century and a half (5, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657490)

So, a doomsday clock that started at 11:53 in 1947 is now at 11:55... based upon that rate of advancement (2 minutes per 65 years, obviously ignoring any other adjustments), we should be safe for over a century and a half. I've heard far more alarming predictions than that. Nothing to see here.

Personally I find it very alarming that a group of nuclear scientists can't even make a clock that doesn't work at a consistent rate. Perhaps what they need is to invent an atomic clock ;-)

Well, they're right. (1)

forkfail (228161) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657114)

We managed not to incinerate ourselves (yet) in nuclear fire, but we sure do seem to be doing a heck of a job of destroying the ecosystem that we are a part of, soiling our nests, devouring our resources like locust on steroids, and generally acting with all the foresight of bacteria in a sealed Petri dish.

Re:Well, they're right. (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657328)

Assuming that you ignore the fact that 'the environment' in Western nations is vastly better off than it was in 1947. We don't get thousands of people dying in a London smog these days, for example.

Re:Well, they're right. (1)

Beardo the Bearded (321478) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657352)

Maybe Prometheus' Challenge had nothing to do with atomics. Maybe all along it's been how we can stop ourselves from roasting the planet to a cinder.

Unaware (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657154)

I was unaware that the clock was used for anything other than how close we were to nuclear war.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38657304)

When nuclear war IS happening, are one of these guys gonna run to the doom clock and push the hand to midnight?

I will laugh... (1)

PortHaven (242123) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657326)

When the clock strikes midnight and nothing happens....

Re:I will laugh... (1)

mark-t (151149) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657548)

The doomsday clock is not to be interpreted as predictor of the end of the world. It is an reflection of how realistically close we are to global thermonuclear war When the clock "strikes midnight" it will be because a war has already escalated to that level.

The BAS (-1, Troll)

p51d007 (656414) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657364)

Is a POLITICAL GROUP of idiots... Bureau of ATOMIC scientist getting involved in (man made) so called climate change? What a joke...anyone that takes that group of morons seriously, shouldn't be allowed to vote. Climate change LOL....anything other than the sun does not affect the climate...PERIOD.

Poe's Law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38657556)

And here we see a prime example of Poe's law [rationalwiki.org] in action.

LFTRs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38657438)

Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors. There, I solved the worlds energy problems. Cheap, virtually un-exhaustible resources with virtually no pollution obtainable within a decade's time. It just needs funding and restrictions lifted. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9M__yYbsZ4

Professional pessimists (1)

mveloso (325617) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657450)

If they had sex with a supermodel they'd be complaining that it ruined their sex life forever.

I hate this negativism (1, Interesting)

Igarden2 (916096) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657488)

Gloom and frickin doom. I wish they'd stuff that stupid clock where the sun don't shine. I'm sick of all this fear mongering. Why don't they do something to help people for once?
There, I feel better now.

Stupid PR (1)

Bogtha (906264) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657492)

Fukushima might have been a disaster, but it's not something that can cause the end of the world. What's the point in including it?

Politics in Science (2, Insightful)

v(*_*)vvvv (233078) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657522)

There is nothing scientific about this clock, and most scientists would surely admit it. It is political and is meant to sway public opinion. So what we have here are either a) fake scientists, b) real scientists shooting themselves in the foot, or c) politicians.

The whole point of the scientific method is to be grounded on evidence and be void of any political, social, or even personal biases. I have nothing against this silly clock, but as long as science lends its name to garbage such as this, science will always have a hard time in politics claiming itself to be scientific.

Great! (1)

vinayg18 (1641855) | more than 2 years ago | (#38657528)

When this article makes the rounds on Associated Press, it should really help disperse the 2012 apocalypse bullshit.

5 minutes to midnight, in Washington? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#38657550)

Well that is 07:55am here in England...

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