The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the Doomsday Clock 30 seconds forward to 2 1/2 minutes until midnight, which symbolizes the end of the world. The group of scientists and Nobel Laureates warned the world over the threats of nuclear weapons and climate change, also citing President Donald Trump as an influence in their decision. File Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI | License Photo
Jan. 26 (UPI) -- The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists on Thursday said the Doomsday Clock is now 30 seconds closer to midnight, or the end of the world, partly because of President Donald Trump.
The clock is now 2 1/2 minutes to midnight, the closest since the nuclear arms race during the Cold War. The decision to move the clock nearer to the world's demise was made by the Science and Security Board with the consultation of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Board of Sponsors, which includes 15 Nobel laureates.
"For the first time in the 70-year history of the Doomsday Clock, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Science and Security Board has moved the hands of the iconic clock 30 seconds closer to midnight," the Chicago-based organization said in a statement. "In another first, the board has decided to act, in part, based on the words of a single person: Donald Trump, the new president of the United States."
Rachel Bronson, the organization's executive director, said this year's deliberations over the Doomsday Clock "felt more urgent than usual."
"In addition to the existential threats posed by nuclear weapons and climate change, new global realities emerged, as trusted sources of information came under attack, fake news was on the rise, and words were used by a president-elect of the United States in cavalier and often reckless ways to address the twin threats of nuclear weapons and climate change," Bronson said in a statement.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists was founded in 1945 by scientists at the University of Chicago who helped build the first atomic bombs. They created the clock in 1947.
The minute hand got closest to midnight in 1953, when hydrogen bomb testing by the United States and the Soviet Union led the organization to set the clock at two minutes to midnight.
"In 2017, we find the danger to be even greater, the need for action more urgent. It is 2 1/2 minutes to midnight, the clock is ticking, global danger looms. Wise public officials should act immediately, guiding humanity away from the brink. If they do not, wise citizens must step forward and lead the way," the organization added.