The apocalyptic Doomsday Clock could be inching one minute closer to midnight on Thursday, and Donald Trump is said to be playing a role in the potential for a negative time change. The fabled Doomsday Clock is managed and controlled by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and it was created to represent a metaphorical “countdown” to the end of the world, with midnight representing a possible or even likely “global catastrophe” that could spell the end of the world as we know it.
— Nick Whigham (@NWWhigham) January 26, 2017
As The New York Post reports, while Donald Trump could alter the Doomsday Clock, he is not the only factor in the decision to potentially inch humanity one metaphorical minute closer to the end. According to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which has announced a Thursday news conference to discuss the fate of the Doomsday Clock’s minute hand, nationalism, climate issues, and other factors have prompted the potential change.
“Factors influencing the 2017 deliberations regarding any adjustment that may be made to the Doomsday Clock include: a rise in strident nationalism worldwide, President Donald Trump’s comments on nuclear arms and climate issues, a darkening global security landscape that is colored by increasingly sophisticated technology, and a growing disregard for scientific expertise.”
During Thursday’s internationally broadcast news conference at 10:00 a.m. EST, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists will announce whether or not to move the Doomsday Clock minute hand one minute closer to the dreaded midnight apocalypse.
As USA Today reports, the Doomsday Clock was at three minutes to midnight (11:57 p.m.) when Donald Trump was elected and when he was sworn in. In fact, the foreboding portent of doom has been at the same time for the last two years, which was the last time a change was made to the clock’s minute hand. The current “time” reflected on the Doomsday Clock is the latest or closest to midnight since the Cold War in 1984.
— BulletinOfTheAtomic (@BulletinAtomic) January 25, 2017
The closest to midnight the Doomsday Clock has ever gotten has been two minutes to midnight, and that arguably horrific milestone took place during the testing of the hydrogen bomb in 1953.
If the team of scientists who manage the Doomsday Clock do decide to move it forward one minute tomorrow morning in response to the presidency of Donald Trump, it will put the world as close to an apocalypse in 2017 as it was in 1953, essentially putting civilization in a tie with its decades-earlier self for close proximity to the potential end of the world.
— Frank Phillips (@fsphill) January 25, 2017
— David Sugar (@gnutelephony) January 25, 2017
@atlasobscura Let's hope they install a 4-year snooze button.
— Ink Puddle Pat (@InkPuddle) January 25, 2017
@DRUDGE_REPORT Oh No! Maybe if we watch enough Hollywood movies and pray to the almighty climate-change czars, we can fix it!
— 《》 Jerry Guns 《》 (@jerryguns88) January 25, 2017
The announcement regarding the Doomsday Clock and Donald Trump will be made from the National Press Club in Washington D.C. on Thursday morning. If you are interested in watching the Doomsday Clock decision, it will also be livestreamed here at 10:00 a.m. EST.
The scientists who determine the position of the Doomsday Clock minute hand at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists also get input from a board of learned sponsors who weigh in on the decision to leave the clock alone or move it forward. Included among those Doomsday Clock sponsors are 15 Nobel Laureates.
Tomorrow, scientists will update the Doomsday Clock, as they have since 1947. This year they have a lot to consider. https://t.co/6EVev9PLzw
— Atlas Obscura (@atlasobscura) January 25, 2017
The clock was originally created in 1947 by a group of scientists associated with the Top Secret Manhattan Project, which was the research and development behind the United State’s efforts to build the atomic bomb. Two years prior to the launch of the Doomsday Clock, the nonprofit group Bulletin was created as the foundation of the apocalypse-monitoring efforts.
While the group behind the Doomsday Clock has cited Donald Trump as a potential reason to move the minute hand to its latest time since 1953, the move to announce a potential change to the clock’s minute hand is nothing new; the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists makes such an announcement annually.
[Featured Image by Alex Brandon/AP Images]