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‘Doomsday clock’ still at five to midnight, scientists warn via RT

The doomsday clock – a theoretical device that purports to tell us how close we are to a nuclear apocalypse – has frozen at five minutes to midnight, unchanged from last year. Physicists tell the head of the UN there is little reason to move it back.

The visual metaphor has held its appeal for more than 60 years now. The hands of time are moved in accordance with the analyses of a special board of scientists who ponder international threats, especially those having to do with nuclear armaments.

While a team of physicists writing to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon noted some positive developments in 2013 – including successful talks on Iran’s nuclear program, and the fact that overall there has been a reduction in nuclear armaments worldwide – they decided there was still little hope for jubilation:

“As always, new technologies hold the promise of doing great good, supplying new sources of clean energy, curing disease, and otherwise enhancing our lives. From experience, however, we also know that new technologies can be used to diminish humanity and destroy societies,” wrote the scientists on the board.

“We can manage our technology, or become victims of it. The choice is ours, and the Clock is ticking,” they added.

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The group thought that the Fukushima catastrophe would wake the world up to the necessities of moving away from nuclear energy, but complained that only Germany and Switzerland really made huge strides, while countries like the United Kingdom are discussing the construction of new nuclear facilities yet.

The group is also unhappy with the progress the UN has made in the field of climate sustainability and negotiations on policies in that area. The threat of global warming, they say, is still real. After all, since 2007, they claim the clock reflects not only nuclear catastrophe, but also climate change.

The physicists also wrote that, while there have been leaps in the development and spread of new technologies, the world is not growing fast enough to catch up to them and control them. Amongst them are breakthroughs in the fields of biology and cybernetic technologies – such as drones.

They believe that new bodies must be set up for dealing with all emerging technologies.

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