The world may have avoided the apocalypse on December 21, 2012, but the end may still be near. The Doomsday Clock is currently sitting at five minutes to midnight to symbolize how close humanity has come to destroying the world.
The doomsday clock started in 1947 as a way to warn against nuclear weapons. Midnight represents humanity’s destruction, and the hands of the clock represent the degree of danger. In 1947, the clock was set to 11:53. In 1953, it was set to 11:57 as tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union continued to build.
The earliest the Doomsday Clock has ever been set, according to Fox News, was in 1991 when the clock was set at 17 minutes till midnight. Recently, the Doomsday Clock has been stuck at about 5 til mainly due to the dangers of climate change.
This year a group of scientists wrote President Obama a letter as they set the clock.
The letter reads:
“2012 was the hottest year on record in the contiguous United States, marked by devastating drought and brutal storms. These extreme events are exactly what climate models predict for an atmosphere laden with greenhouse gases.”
The Doomsday Clock may be set dangerously close to midnight but Robert Socolow, the chair of the board that determines the clock’s position, said that there was still hope.
Socolow told Live Science:
“We have as much hope for Obama’s second term in office as we did in 2010, when we moved back the hand of the Clock after his first year in office. This is the year for U.S. leadership in slowing climate change and setting a path toward a world without nuclear weapons.”
What do you think about the Doomsday Clock?