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'Doomsday Clock' Now Two Minutes To Midnight, What Now?

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The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists just announced that the so-called Doomsday Clock is just two symbolic minutes away from Doomsday. The "clock" doesn't really tell the coming of Doomsday, and neither is it set in stone, so what's next for humanity? Is there still a chance to rewind the clock?

'It Is Two Minutes To Midnight'

Being told that it is two minutes away from midnight doesn't sound too intimidating unless one realizes that the clock telling the "time" is the Doomsday Clock. This doesn't mean that humanity only has two minutes to say goodbye to loved ones because the clock doesn't actually tell how close humanity is to Doomsday. Instead, it tells a symbolic time that signifies how close humanity is to serious threat and danger.

It is understandable why the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists chose to place humanity this close to midnight. With blatant nuclear threats via Twitter, misuse of technology, and the threat of climate change, there is an air of uncertainty around the future of humanity. In fact, two minutes to midnight is the closest that humanity has ever been to a so-called Doomsday. The only other time that the clock has been this close to midnight was at the height of the Cold War in 1953.

Nuclear Threat, Misuse Of Technology, And Climate Change

Is humanity really this close to an impending disaster? According to the statement released by the organization, addressed to world leaders and all citizens of the world, world leaders failed to act effectively in response to threats of climate change and nuclear war, especially with the progress of North Korea's nuclear program. Generally, 2017 proved to be a difficult year for understanding and negotiations, as evidenced by the threats in the Korean Peninsula, in South China Sea, and with regard to the conflicting relationship between the United States and Russia.

With regard to climate change, though it is not an immediate threat, global response to its threats, as well as efforts to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in 2017 were seen as insufficient. In fact, in the past year, as the United States backed away as the leader in fighting climate change, various parts of the world fully experienced climate change-related disasters, as many suffered from destructive hurricanes while others suffered from heat waves and wildfires, which caused many deaths and illnesses.

Apart from the threat of nuclear war and climate change, another looming problem that has been causing discord in the past year is said to be the misuse of technology, particularly when it comes to abusing technology to hack the internet of things and to spread disinformation.

Rewind The Clock

Fortunately, as dire as the situation seems right now, there are ways to "turn back time" especially since most of humanity's problems are of its own making. This can be done by taking common sense steps to prevent threat instead of provoking, ignoring, or denying them. In fact, the clock has been turned many times before. For instance, in 1988, the clock was six minutes to midnight, but by the year 1990, soon after the collapse of the Berlin Wall, the clock turned back to 10 minutes before midnight.

"Humankind has invented the implements of apocalypse; so can it invent the methods of controlling and eventually eliminating them," it says in the official statement, also stating that both world leaders and citizens can act to make the world a safer and saner place.

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