At Doom’s Doorstep

The history of the world’s death clock and the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists 2022 statement.


Elijah Schmidt

World extinction is near, so what can we do to prevent it?

The end of the world, a fascinating concept that many have tried to pinpoint. But this year is looking to be full of doom and gloom, at least according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. 

The Bulletin was founded in 1945 following the Manhattan Project by the scientists that created the first atomic bomb. This bulletin was originally created to educate the public on nuclear threats. But since that time it has added the “Doomsday Clock”, the clock symbolizes how close we are to nuclear and climate armageddon. The scientists of the bulletin update the clock each year based upon climate change and nuclear factors. This clock has served as a marker for how well humanity is caring for the earth for many years. 

The clock was set to 100 seconds to midnight back in 2020 and has remained there since. This was because humanity had not done enough to prove the validity in moving the hands backwards. To compare the clock has once been far away from midnight, for example at the end of the Cold War the clock was set to 17 minutes. So humanity has come a long way in only thirty years, and it is not looking much better. 

The Bulletin while listing ways we have improved also must address issues that have worsened. One of the major points made was regarding “The Nuclear Tightrope”. These concerns are mainly about China, this is because they are building ICBM Silos and this is causing tension between the USA and China currently. Also the insurrection at the US Capitol was a reason that the clock stayed where it was. As such instability causes concerns internationally. 

But the Bulletin gave practical ways to fix these problems. The United States should persuade its allies to not continue nuclear expansion and ease tensions. Not only that but the USA needs to continue to try and not only ease tensions internationally but also fix problems nationally, regarding the January 6 insurrection. 

Overall the growing tensions in the world have not moved the clock in anyway, but there are ways that the United States can move the clock back. It is our duty as a world superpower to lead the way in global issues and save our world.