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Doomsday Clock Remains at Five Minutes to Midnight

Unknown Lamer posted about 7 months ago | from the hands-that-threaten-doom dept.

Earth 222

Lasrick writes "The Doomsday Clock remains at 5 minutes to midnight. In a letter to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and members of the UN Security Council, the Bulletin announced its decision and how it was made. The decision to move (or to leave in place) the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock is made every year by the Bulletin's Science and Security Board in consultation with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 18 Nobel laureates. The Clock has become a universally recognized indicator of the world's vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change, and new technologies emerging in other domains." Reasons for the clock remaining at five minutes include the U.S. and Russian not doing much for disarmament increasing nuclear weapon stockpiles in India and China, stalled efforts to reduce carbon emissions globally, and "killer robots."

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North Korea (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45966567)

We have an unstable dictatorship in range of several extremely wealthy Asian nations with mutual defense treaties. World War III is just one temper tantrum away.

Re:North Korea (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45966643)

"The Clock has become a universally recognized indicator of the world's obsession with alarmism"

FTFY

it is and has always been an excuse for (insert administration) to do what ever the F#$&^%* they want to do anyway.

Re:North Korea (4, Insightful)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about 7 months ago | (#45967135)

Hence the inclusion of global warming as a criteria?

(ducks)

Re:North Korea (1)

gnick (1211984) | about 7 months ago | (#45967353)

Yep - Apparently, we're exactly 5 minutes from global warming destroying the planet. I guess "The Day After Tomorrow" was just too optimistic.

Re:North Korea (4, Insightful)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 7 months ago | (#45967361)

Actually, yeah.

Not that climate change isn't something to watch (no matter who or what is at fault), but when you consider that (barring an asteroid) climate changes are on a far longer timescale than, say, massive thermonuclear war? Methinks the clock maintainers are looking for new and scarier boogeymen to conjure up, since the end of the Cold War pretty much took away the biggest one they had.

In all reality, there are plenty of things that could spell 'doomsday', even without human action towards that end - problem is, they're kind of unpredictable. Supercalderas/Supervolcanoes, asteroid impacts, Coronal Mass Ejections, you-name-it... can't do jack about those, though, so they have to find something they can point to and say "OMG you need to change your behavior NOW!" I'll leave the validity and urgency of these warnings as an exercise to the individual reader, as your mileage may vary.

Re:North Korea (1)

bluefoxlucid (723572) | about 7 months ago | (#45967187)

Thanks, exactly. The whole "doomsday" metric is stupid.

Re:North Korea (0)

jellomizer (103300) | about 7 months ago | (#45967279)

Exactly.
Its calculation are based on political biases, then actual fact to make a good calculation.

Yes. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45967315)

While it is true that the existence of any nuclear weapons *at all* brings us a lot closer to midnight than we otherwise would be....the existence of "a lot more than we would like" does not and should not bring us any closer to midnight.

Once we have enough nuclear weapons on hand to destroy the world, the only indicator of risk is the likelihood of us using them. Having the ability to destroy the world twice over doesn't make us any more likely to destroy the world than if we could only destroy it once over.

Further, anyone who believes that a nuclear-capable country will voluntarily give up *all* its nuclear weapons is simply being naive.

So, disarmament gestures are just that...gestures....they don't actually increase our safety at all.

Re:North Korea (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45966883)

We have an unstable dictatorship in range of several extremely wealthy Asian nations with mutual defense treaties. World War III is just one temper tantrum away.

There's an ocean between Asia and the US...

Re:North Korea (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45966971)

The US is a wealthy Asian nation now? Wow that invasion was a quiet one...

Re:North Korea (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about 7 months ago | (#45967153)

If you're looking for continental drift, don't blink! You might miss it!

Re:North Korea (0)

vikingpower (768921) | about 7 months ago | (#45967099)

"We, the USA, are a financially-not-so-stable dictatorship that thinks itself extremely wealthy. World War III is just one temper tantrum away".

There, FTFY.

Re:North Korea (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about 7 months ago | (#45967221)

I don't see a WWIII senerio with North Korea. If they actually get able to make a nuke and deploy it. They will probably hit Sourth Korea which is bad. However the SC and its mutual defense treaties will just kill them even with conventional warfare, because they will not be able to make more nuke and deploy them soon after that.

China is the wild card... However I don't seem them getting too involved with this if the attack was unprovoked.

Re:North Korea (2)

bob_super (3391281) | about 7 months ago | (#45967309)

"World War III" would require a lot of people involved.
If Little-Fat-Kim nukes anyone, he's going to be playing Saddam-on-ice for a few weeks, while a lot of people use his oppressed citizens as testbenches for their latest cool weapons.

Not a world war, and hardly doomsday outside of the radius of the first nuke, and maybe Pyongyang.

Killer Robots (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45966571)

Ah yes, killer robots.

Re:Killer Robots (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#45966611)

Yep, they exist, and they're basically manifestations of people killing each other just like every other weapon is. Not good, but not worse than what we had before.

Re:Killer Robots (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#45966885)

Yep, they exist, and they're basically manifestations of people killing each other just like every other weapon is. Not good, but not worse than what we had before.

Also, not nuclear powered, which is what the Doomsday Clock primarily measures.

Re:Killer Robots (1)

crashcy (2839507) | about 7 months ago | (#45967147)

Except for Gipsy Danger. Which is nuclear powered. And analog.

Re:Killer Robots (1)

hermitdev (2792385) | about 7 months ago | (#45967173)

Yes, but a nuclear powered doomsday clock would be worth paying attention to.

DOOOOOOOMED (4, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#45966573)

Seriously, this particular instrument has always been a "be afraid, due to mangled metaphor" instrument for PR, and never really meant anything meaningful and measurable.

I mean, we do lack an objective instrument for how screwed we are as a species, but "any minute now" is just a terribly uninformative model.

Re:DOOOOOOOMED (4, Funny)

Kenja (541830) | about 7 months ago | (#45966667)

Yup. It's like a less useful Homeland Security threat level color.

Re:DOOOOOOOMED (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#45966733)

Yup. It's like a less useful Homeland Security threat level color.

Now there's a comparison I never thought I'd see..

Re:DOOOOOOOMED (2)

pr0fessor (1940368) | about 7 months ago | (#45967117)

I disagree... It sounds much better as the chorus of a song like "Two Minutes to Midnight" where as "Threat Level Orange" just doesn't roll of the tongue as easily.

Re:DOOOOOOOMED (4, Funny)

ISoldat53 (977164) | about 7 months ago | (#45967213)

And you can't rhyme anything with it.

Re:DOOOOOOOMED (1)

Kenja (541830) | about 7 months ago | (#45967343)

sporangium (sp-rnj-m)
n. pl. sporangia (-j-)
A single-celled or many-celled structure in which spores are produced, as in fungi, algae, mosses, and ferns. Also called spore case.

Re:DOOOOOOOMED (2, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#45966889)

I mean, we do lack an objective instrument for how screwed we are as a species, but "any minute now" is just a terribly uninformative model.

Especially when we've been "minutes from DOOM" for 60-some-odd years already.

Re:DOOOOOOOMED (3, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#45966949)

I mean, a PR stunt that says "don't start a nuclear war, ya doffers" wasn't necessarily a bad idea back then, but its continuation as an "institution" really just ruins its credibility.

Re:DOOOOOOOMED (4, Funny)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#45967123)

Yup.

At this point, it's no longer "The Boy Who Cried Wolf," and more "That geriatric motherfucker that won't stop calling about those kids on his lawn."

Re:DOOOOOOOMED (1)

hermitdev (2792385) | about 7 months ago | (#45967229)

Yeah, my first thought was "And, in other news, not one fuck was given."

Re:DOOOOOOOMED (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#45967287)

Well, I'm a little concerned that I used the word "doffers" without actually knowing what it means, and that's tangentially related!

Re:DOOOOOOOMED (3, Insightful)

Tailhook (98486) | about 7 months ago | (#45967383)

The doomsday clock accumulates the new fears of western elites like some sort of alarmist meme flypaper.

In truth, the doomsday clock represents exactly that set of things you should not worry about. The thing that will actually blow up our world will be deliberately excluded from the list because that thing will enjoy the highest degree of political immunization. Right up until it all goes pear shaped.

Re:DOOOOOOOMED (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#45967429)

No, that's completely unreasonable. I'm not unconcerned with climate change. It's a serious problem from any sort of critical analysis. It just doesn't map to "anything could happen and we all die" in the slightest.

Re:DOOOOOOOMED (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45966987)

Didn't you notice? We already had the global catastrophe. Complete with nuclear bombs, intercontinental missiles, and everything else. I've seen it in the cinema!

Re:DOOOOOOOMED (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45967047)

The clock must equate "1 day" as the galactic year.

So it's the last five minutes of a 91250000000 days long "day".

Re:DOOOOOOOMED (1)

pr0fessor (1940368) | about 7 months ago | (#45967337)

Seriously? Our idea of keeping the peace is mutually assured destruction, therefore we will be minutes away until that changes.

Re:DOOOOOOOMED (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45967049)

Everyone knows how a clock works. It just goes forwards, but you can turn the clock hands back. In other words: if nothing is done, the world is doomed, but there are ways to prevent it. Moving the clock hands is also an easy way to state that there has been either good or bad development.

We don't know how long one doomsday clock minute is and the progression is certainly non-linear and arbitrary, but these do not really matter at all. We are only interested in which direction it is going.

And yes, it is a PR instrument. It's a lot more interesting than just stating things have gone better or worse. By selecting the direction you can say "better" or "worse", and by selecting the magnitude of change you can say "a little", "a lot", "not at all" and so on.

Re:DOOOOOOOMED (1)

Applehu Akbar (2968043) | about 7 months ago | (#45967139)

Nothing offends political alarmists more than good news. In this case, the systematic "burning" of Cold War nuclear weapons as commercial fuel to light the very cities they once threatened. So the Doomsday Clock alarmists are moving the goalposts once again. Apparently the doomsday being measured now includes manmade climate change.

Re:DOOOOOOOMED (5, Insightful)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#45967255)

Yeah, it's kinda silly to compare an environmental disaster that will moderately drop the potential carrying capacity of the planet to nuclear annihilation, as even being the same order of magnitude of danger. It makes climate change harder to take seriously, which is bad, because it's important(just not anywhere near as important as not starting a nuclear war).

any minute now is pretty accurate (1)

SuperBanana (662181) | about 7 months ago | (#45967305)

we do lack an objective instrument for how screwed we are as a species, but "any minute now" is just a terribly uninformative model.

Relative to the timescale of the human species, I'd say "any minute now" is pretty accurate. We've been around for over 200,000 years - but in the space of about one hundred years, we've irreversibly altered the planet and created the tools with which to destroy it completely, and I'm not just talking about the nukes.

I'd give us about 100 years tops before we're at post-apocalyptic climate/civilization status.

Also, given that both the USSR/Russia and the US have had numerous accidents and close-calls involving nuclear weapons and those weapons are aging and not really going away...yeah, I'd say it's pretty accurate. I've always been amazed that we haven't blown up anything "by accident" yet.

Re:any minute now is pretty accurate (3)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#45967333)

So, if we're doomed in 5 minutes, what does 24 hours represent? What's the scaling factor? To me, it reads as false objectivity.

Am I blind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45966585)

Or is there no links?

Re:Am I blind (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45966659)

All your links belong to us.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45966587)

So the doomsday clock is a fucking joke?

wait wait wait.... (4, Insightful)

roc97007 (608802) | about 7 months ago | (#45966589)

Ok, I understand nuclear weapons stockpiles, and natural catastrophes... but "killer robots"? Isn't the doomsday clock supposed to indicate how close we are to global disaster? How does "killer robots" enter in exactly? I mean in the real world, not in the Terminator universe.

Re:wait wait wait.... (0)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#45966671)

Because even sometimes very smart people use fiction as a basis for their beliefs.

Think about the number of intelligent people you know who have, in their lives, believed Atlas Shrugged was meaningful commentary on economic systems.

Re:wait wait wait.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45967045)

or the number of supposedly intelligent people who think 'society' is a whole greater than the sum of its parts.

or the number of supposedly intelligent people who think they have the ability and capacity to know best what choices other people should make.

Re:wait wait wait.... (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#45967203)

Um, no? That really has no bearing on what I said whatsoever, and kinda just makes you look crazy.

We're talking about people using fiction to justify their beliefs, not "things I disagree with theater"

Re:wait wait wait.... (1)

sg_oneill (159032) | about 7 months ago | (#45966729)

I think thats a reference to Drones?

Not entirely sure how thats an existential threat to humanity, unless AI research has gotten a lot darker since I last looked at it?

Re:wait wait wait.... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#45966909)

Not entirely sure how thats an existential threat to humanity

The threat doesn't have to be existential. Nukes are our own doing, for example.

Re:wait wait wait.... (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#45966977)

That's not the correct parsing of "existential threat", which means a "a threat to continued existence as a species" not "a threat related to to the philosophy of existentialism"

Re:wait wait wait.... (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#45967157)

Ah. Forget I said anything, then.

killer robot = drone (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45966731)

Sending off drones or other machines/vehicles with weapons into foreign nations, without declaring war, and covertly, seems pretty dangerous to me. Seems like very fertile grounds for an international crisis. Lots of groups will like the idea, not all of them nations.

Re:killer robot = drone (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45966921)

Sending off drones or other machines/vehicles with weapons into foreign nations, without declaring war, and covertly, seems pretty dangerous to me. Seems like very fertile grounds for an international crisis. Lots of groups will like the idea, not all of them nations.

I am not sure how "pretty dangerous" drones could lead to a worldwide catastrophe, which is what the Doomsday Clock is supposed to indicate.

Re:killer robot = drone (1)

roc97007 (608802) | about 7 months ago | (#45967481)

Exactly. I mean, the inexplicable lack of left turn signals at busy intersections in Phoenix, AZ seems pretty dangerous to me. Shall we set the doomsday clock to 4 minutes to midnight?

Re:wait wait wait.... (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | about 7 months ago | (#45966969)

They changed how the setting of the Clock is chosen a few years back... now it includes anything those making the decision believe to represent a "global threat".

The Clock has always been more political than anything else (the Bulletin being mostly an advocate for arms control and elimination), the change just made that more open.

Re:wait wait wait.... (1)

Prune (557140) | about 7 months ago | (#45967427)

This was covered on Slashdot less than a week ago, link inlcuded: http://bos.sagepub.com/content/70/1/32.full [sagepub.com]

The article discusses at length the detailed concerns, but just to demonstrate that this is taken seriously far beyond the doomsday clock group, I quote here an excerpt related to that specific point:

Challenging the assumption of the inevitability of autonomous weapons and building on the work of earlier activists, the Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, a coalition of nongovernmental organizations, was launched in April 2013. This effort has made remarkable progress in its first year. In May, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Christof Heyns, recommended that nations immediately declare moratoriums on their own development of lethal autonomous robotics (Heyns, 2013). Heyns also called for a high-level study of the issue, a recommendation seconded in July by the UN Advisory Board on Disarmament Matters. At the UN General Assemblyâ(TM)s First Committee meeting in October, a flood of countries began to express interest or concern, including China, Russia, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. France called for a mandate to discuss the issue under the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons, a global treaty that restricts excessively injurious or indiscriminate weapons. Meeting in Geneva in November, the state parties to the Convention agreed to formal discussions on autonomous weapons, with a first round in May 2014. The issue has been placed firmly on the global public and diplomatic agenda.

Re:wait wait wait.... (1)

bob_super (3391281) | about 7 months ago | (#45967467)

If you had watched the documentary correctly, the killer robots are only temporarily delayed by the particle accelerator.
Since they are currently upgrading the LHC, the robots are free to kill us all.

Once the LHC is at full power, we'll be protected again.

Re:wait wait wait.... (1)

ThatsDrDangerToYou (3480047) | about 7 months ago | (#45967477)

Ok, I understand nuclear weapons stockpiles, and natural catastrophes... but "killer robots"? Isn't the doomsday clock supposed to indicate how close we are to global disaster? How does "killer robots" enter in exactly? I mean in the real world, not in the Terminator universe.

Hey, you keep your hands off my killer robot! Look, he's soooo cuuuuute! The ladies really go for the whole killer robot thing, you know. They are so dark and mysterious, and it goes without saying that they imbue their geek masters with irresistable sexiness.

So yeah, killer robots w00t! ... what was the question again?

Who cares? (3, Funny)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 7 months ago | (#45966603)

Does anybody really care about this stupid metaphor and the idiots in charge of setting the time? It's so ridiculous that when I saw it in a movie I laughed, and then later found out it was real and laughed much harder.

Re:Who cares? (2)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#45966695)

Yes, some people care, because they lack any other critical tools to understand nuclear geopolitics. A deficit I have to acknowledge a degree of myself(but I'm cognizant of objective measures enough to know that "5 minutes" means absolutely nothing in context).

Re:Who cares? (2)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 7 months ago | (#45967209)

It was the nuclear clock. Now it is the doomsday clock with mission creep.

As usual, they leave out the feature with far and away the greatest effect on quality and length of life: type of government.

But that gets into politics, and we only accept pre-approved political stances like *reducing* carbon thru forced measures is the solution, or, ummmmmmmm, killer robots.

Re:Who cares? (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about 7 months ago | (#45967299)

Forgive my rudeness, but that appears to be a bit of a non-sequitur.

clarification for those confused (-1, Troll)

nimbius (983462) | about 7 months ago | (#45966625)

For those of us americans who are rather new to the idea of a doomsday clock, its been in existence since 1947. The closer they set the Clock to midnight, the closer the Science and Security Board believes the world to be to global disaster.

the clock was and has been largely deprecated in american society regardless of the fact that we have precipitated many of its advancements. Its a confusing decision but easily understood once explained. Anything that detracts from regularly scheduled trips to the consumatorium is generally frowned upon by the leaders. In addition, anything that causes you to question or forego extra toppings on your convenience food is to be avoided as well. Doomsday clocks, nutritional information and living "within ones means" are all notions and fancies you'll not find tolerable in this the year of our lord 2014.

Re:clarification for those confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45966739)

what the fuck are you going on about.

get back on your meds

Re:clarification for those confused (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45967189)

Heathen! The doomsday clock and the government knows better than you. Now go back to your straw hut and eat your ration of tofu, citizen!

Safe nuclear? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45966641)

Anyone seen any mentions of safe nuclear power technologies?

Re:Safe nuclear? (1)

tlambert (566799) | about 7 months ago | (#45967109)

Anyone seen any mentions of safe nuclear power technologies?

No. They have a pretty clear anti-nuclear agenda. The people who matter in the nuclear physics community are not really involved in their opinions they rendered on nuclear power, only on Pakistan, India, and China, which are where it matters in terms of creating new weapons.

Nuclear stockpile (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45966651)

"[...] catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change, and new technologies emerging in other domains"

So if the nuclear stockpile was reduced but the climate change and destruction of environment were still going on, would the
clock have been moved back then ?

Re:Nuclear stockpile (1)

hermitdev (2792385) | about 7 months ago | (#45967399)

No, because unforeseen new technologies will necessitate moving the clock forward in a vain attempt at remaining relevant.

Inspiration (5, Funny)

egcagrac0 (1410377) | about 7 months ago | (#45966657)

The doomsday clock is what inspires people to keep proclaiming this to be the year of Linux on the desktop.

Re:Inspiration (1)

rvw (755107) | about 7 months ago | (#45967039)

The doomsday clock is what inspires people to keep proclaiming this to be the year of Linux on the desktop.

As long as the clock runs on Linux... Think of what could happen if this was powered by Windows. Clippy...

Location? (4, Funny)

Rik Sweeney (471717) | about 7 months ago | (#45966669)

Where is this Doomsday clock? It certainly can't be Europe or America, because otherwise it'd be at 5 minutes to 11 due to daylight savings.

Re:Location? (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about 7 months ago | (#45966941)

Daylight saving time switches generally happen at 2 am.

Re:Location? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45967169)

It would only be Daylight Savings time in the Southern Hemisphere now. I don't know of any countries there that use such a silly system.

Re:Location? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45967397)

Where is this Doomsday clock? It certainly can't be Europe or America, because otherwise it'd be at 5 minutes to 11 due to daylight savings.

No no, the time changes relative to the observers frame of reference...

Perhaps it needs to be mover to 1 min. before... (1)

3seas (184403) | about 7 months ago | (#45966687)

As clearly this is for those causing it to exist at all.... You know those who like living on the edge...

The Grey (2)

SuperKendall (25149) | about 7 months ago | (#45966701)

The real reason the clock remains so close, is the very real possibility of the singularity caused by the Grey Google.

When the Google consumes every last company on earth, what else can they acquire but your matter?

Re:The Grey (1)

Prune (557140) | about 7 months ago | (#45967469)

> Grey Google

Took me a moment to see your link it to the nanotech "grey goo" disaster scenario. Given Google's ventures in various new areas, such as their recent involvement in robotics, I wouldn't be surprised if that comes from there too, eventually.

Wait, what? (0)

Spy Handler (822350) | about 7 months ago | (#45966813)

Since when did the doomsday clock include climate change? Since Al Gore became master of earth?

Call me crazy or old but I thought it was about nuclear holocaust.

Re:Wait, what? (2)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 7 months ago | (#45966931)

Since when did the doomsday clock include climate change? Since Al Gore became master of earth?

I'm pretty sure ol' Al had to give that title up when he became Emperor of the Moon.

Re:Wait, what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45967041)

The doomsday clock has been a propaganda device by leftist alarmists since it's inception. Even if world peace breaks out and everyone is singing Kumbaya, they will advance the clock to two minutes before midnite, because we no longer have war to control the human overpopulation in developing countries.

Re:Wait, what? (2)

L. J. Beauregard (111334) | about 7 months ago | (#45967267)

Al Gore

DRINK!

To quote 4chan /b/ on things like this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45966873)

Now That's What I Call [knowyourmeme.com] EDGY [change.org]

What clock does this run on? (1)

zoffdino (848658) | about 7 months ago | (#45966891)

The US and Russia have had nukes for 70 years now. I don't know the exact numbers but IIRC a Tom Clancy's novel says Russia / Soviet Union has 27,000 nukes alone. India and China have possessed them for the better part of the last half-century. North Korea can always go nut, but their nuke is more is a gerrymandering device than a serious global threat. They may hit Seoul... if they aim at Tokyo.

Climate change take years to become a major problem for homo sapiens. The dinosaurs took 100,000 years to go extinct from the impacts of the K-T event. And that's considered a very rapid extinction.

If the 24-hour clock is the age of the Earth, human only existed in the last minute. 5 minutes to catastrophe is plenty of time.

Re:What clock does this run on? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45967303)

If the 24-hour clock is the age of the Earth, then that's a pretty fucking stupid choice of units.

Iran, NK (-1, Flamebait)

CheezburgerBrown . (3417019) | about 7 months ago | (#45966933)

Iran and North Korea are closer to bringing Nukes to our doorstep and these tards are blind to it.

Re:Iran, NK (2, Informative)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 7 months ago | (#45967155)

Iran doesn't have nuclear weapons. This has been verified repeatedly by the IAEA. The only people who say otherwise are the Israeli government, because they would really really like the United States to attack Iran. That's why their lobbyists have been working really hard to undo the deal that the Obama administration cut with the Iranians and the rest of the UN Security Council to make sure that the Iranians never get a nuke.

North Korea has had nukes for about a decade now. The serious threat has never been North Korea nuking the US, it's been North Korea nuking South Korea or Japan. They could already do that if they wanted to, and haven't, because they and their Chinese backers aren't really that crazy or stupid. Kim Jong Un has to make a lot of noise like he's going to launch a serious attack in order to gain credibility with the hardliners at home who would probably have him killed if he didn't look like he was one of them. The NK nukes are pretty much there as a doomsday device to make sure the US and its allies doesn't attack them again, and they're doing exactly that.

God (1)

TempleOS (3394245) | about 7 months ago | (#45966953)

I doubt God would allow it. He did with Noah, or whatever. God says... Ghost off_the_record ROFLMAO adultery Oh_really Dad depressing lift rocket_science astrophysics soap_opera how_hard_could_it_be hype let's_see bummer what's_the_plan you're_so_screwed slumin vote California I_didn't_do_it could_it_be___Satan straighten_up I_was_just_thinking astronomical fortitude Greek_to_me play are_you_deaf are_you_insane why_do_I_put_up_with_this one_small_step boss no_way_dude I'm_God_who_the_hell_are_you do_you_want_another driving lighten_up grumble hobnob enough_said what_have_you_done_for_me_lately Is_that_your_final_answer dignity radio smurfs pow Is_that_so

A stopped clock ... (1)

jamesl (106902) | about 7 months ago | (#45967035)

A stopped clock is right twice a day. The doomsday clock, it turns out, has never been right.

But maybe this time is different.

What better way to desensitise people to threats (1)

trawg (308495) | about 7 months ago | (#45967077)

... than to constantly use fear of imminent danger to try to scare them into action, and then have nothing happen.

It's classic 'boy who cried wolf'. I don't know what the right way is, but I can't see any evidence that the Doomsday Clock is having any effect (...is there any?)

Re:What better way to desensitise people to threat (1)

0123456 (636235) | about 7 months ago | (#45967149)

Never attribute to conspiracy what can be adequately explained by a bunch of hippies desperate for attention.

With "climate change" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45967097)

I'm surprised they aren't claiming it's 1 minute 'til.

Re:With "climate change" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45967371)

The hands of the doomsday clock are carefully placed placed just before the moment that would cause the general populace to call them on their bullshit.

Obligatory Iron Maiden (1)

istartedi (132515) | about 7 months ago | (#45967103)

The clock inspired an Iron Maiden [youtube.com] classic 80s nuke rock piece. When MTV played videos, nuclear war and/or post nuclear settings were a recurring theme since the cold war was still on and intensified during the Reagan administration. I should make a list of these videos if somebody hasn't already.

Killer robots ? (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about 7 months ago | (#45967125)

From TFA:

Technological changes are outpacing humanity’s ability to manage them in ways that ensure our safety and security.

Combine that with automated killing of automatons. I challenge you not to shiver.

M.A.D. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#45967161)

Why aren't we a little bit safer? The doomsday clock was primarily about WW3 and the huge overkill of nukes that the US and the USSR had literally pointing at each other. Sure we still have some, but the stockpiles are significantly smaller. Communism fell in Russia, and they are sorta kinda our friends.
How are we going to kill ourselves? WW3 would have done it in a matter of hours.
Global warming? I doubt thats gonna be doomsday for us.
North Korea? If they ever tried to fire anything, it would be blown out of the sky.. (by our killer robots)
Killer robots are just dumb and nobel laureates should be ashamed for putting that in.

5 minutes is not too bad (1)

Infiniti2000 (1720222) | about 7 months ago | (#45967165)

5 minutes to midnight lasted for hours on Polar Express [imdb.com] , so I'm not too worried.

Breaking news (1)

UnphaZeD (552355) | about 7 months ago | (#45967199)

From the airport: Terror level is "Orange". I have a hard time believing that people get paid to come up with this stuff.

Paradox (1)

trongey (21550) | about 7 months ago | (#45967247)

Does anybody else think it's funny that we're reading an article about an anachronistic clock?

Never been more than 17 min away? (3, Informative)

BringsApples (3418089) | about 7 months ago | (#45967261)

From wikipedia:
Reflecting international events dangerous to humankind, the Clock's hands have been adjusted twenty times since its inception in 1947, when the Clock was initially set to seven minutes to midnight.

They give a good graph here [wikipedia.org] .
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