Trump instrumental in Doomsday acceleration
The Doomsday Clock – the symbolic device invented by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (BPA) at the dawn of the atomic age to indicate apocalyptic imminence – has been moved forward by half a minute. For the last two years, its minute hand has rested at three minutes to midnight, amid steady climate change and nuclear concerns.
Enter POTUS, whose recent ascendancy, scientists believe, has ramped up the world’s vulnerability to apocalypse by half a metaphorical minute – the first time the minute hand has been moved by less than a full sixty seconds. The Bulletin’s Science and Security Board, the body responsible for resetting the clock each year, released the gloomy statement earlier this week, drily entitled “It is two and a half minutes to midnight.”
Its reasoning was similarly unembellished: “The board’s decision to move the clock less than a full minute reflects a simple reality: As this statement is issued, Donald Trump has been the US president only a matter of days,” indicating the prescience of the move. Underlying this was “a rise in strident nationalism worldwide in 2016, including in a US presidential campaign during which the eventual victor, Donald Trump, made disturbing comments about the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons and expressed disbelief in the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change.”
It comes as no surprise that the BPA should clash with Trump. The recent statistics on climate change prompted an emphatic response from the body: “The continued warming of the world measured in 2016 underscores one clear fact: Nothing is fundamentally amiss with the scientific understanding of climate physics.” Meanwhile, everything seems to be amiss with Mr Trump’s understanding of climate physics.
The document goes on to cite an abundant array of reasons for concern, including Trump’s “intemperate statements, lack of openness to expert advice, and questionable cabinet nominations”, concluding that, yeah, “The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon.”
In a sobering warning, the BPA issued something of a rallying cry for the greater good of the planet, advising that “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.”
In the meantime, recent quashing of the EPA’s information output sadly affirms to us that, yes, the days when Trump’s most ill-advised undertaking was this Sex and the City cameo are sadly – and perilously – behind him.