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Doomsday Clock stuck near midnight due to climate change and nuclear war via the Guardian

 The symbolic countdown to humanity’s end remained stuck at three minutes to the brink of the apocalypse for a second year in a row on Tuesday

The Doomsday Clock, the symbolic countdown to humanity’s end, remained stuck on the brink of the apocalypse for a second year on Tuesday, because of the continued existential threats posed by nuclear war and climate change.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the group which created the clock in 1947, said it was keeping the clock hands set at three minutes to midnight – the closest the clock has come to destruction since the throes of the cold war in 1984.

[…]

The scientists noted that the 11.57pm setting was one of the worst since the clock’s inception. In 1991, when the threat of nuclear annihilation receded with the end of the cold war, the clock stood at 17 minutes to midnight.

Barack Obama’s election was another occasion for the scientists to lower the danger setting, based on his campaign promise to abolish nuclear weapons.

With the Iranian nuclear agreement reached last year, the Obama administration made important progress in lowering tensions. But the Bulletin said US domestic political constraints had blocked Obama from doing more.

In addition, the scientists said such progress was undermined by high tensions between the US and Russia that are reminiscent of the cold war. The US, India, China and Russia were spending $350bn modernising their nuclear arsenals, and North Korea remained a nuclear risk.

In many ways, the world was a more dangerous place since the end of the cold war, said Shultz, who served as Ronald Reagan’s secretary of state in the 1980s during the height of the superpower rivalry between the US and former Soviet Union.

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