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Thread: Five Minutes to Midnight

  1. #1
    Administrator CatInASuit's avatar
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    Default Five Minutes to Midnight

    The Doomsday clock which is supposed to track the likelihood of a global catastrophe has been move up by one minute from six to five minutes to midnight. This is in response to the lack of progress in nuclear disarmament and the attitude shown by governments towards climate change.

    Is this really fair?

    Although nuclear disarmament has not progressed much, it has not exactly been the drive of most countries to create large arsenals despite their best efforts. And those countries which do have them are trying not to the technology out anyway. The only major worries are North Korea and Iran, one of which has a new leader and the other of which has Israel just waiting for an excuse.

    Surely the effect of the Arab Spring, which bought hope of democracy to parts of Northern Africa would have moved the clock back?

    Perhaps the election of a hawkish POTUS, the opening up of China should affect it or the collapse of the EU, should they occur will have an impact?

    What world events do you see should have an impact on the Doomsday Clock?
    In the land of the blind, the one-arm man is king.

  2. #2
    Member Elendil's Heir's avatar
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    It does seem odd to move it up now. Even during the Cuban Missile Crisis in Oct. 1962 it was at seven minutes to midnight: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doomsday_clock. The odds of nuclear war are lower now than they've been for several years, I'd say. Iran's weapons program is struggling; India and Pakistan are relatively at peace; the U.S., Russia and China are extremely unlikely to start lobbing nukes at each other any time in the foreseeable future; Western Europe is peaceful and practically demilitarized, compared to past history; and Libya, Iraq, South Africa and Brazil have all cancelled their nuclear weapons programs (for various reasons, obviously).

    A change on any of those fronts might justify a change in the clock, though.

  3. #3
    Oliphaunt Rube E. Tewesday's avatar
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    It reminded people that there's a Doomsday Clock, something I hadn't thought about in years. That's probably the reason for the change.

  4. #4
    Oliphaunt
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    Yeah, um, who is in charge of the 'Doomsday Clock', and why should I give creedence to their opinions??

    Looking at the wiki page, they added a minute only a couple of years ago, so now we're back where we were in 2007.

    I'm going to start panicking about that any second now. DOOM.
    Last edited by Orual; 11 Jan 2012 at 04:11 PM. Reason: HOW CAN I SPELL WITH ALL THE DOOM.

  5. #5
    The Queen Zuul's avatar
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    Doom doom doom doom doom doom doom doom doomy doomy doom doom doom...

    Dangit, Orual.
    So now they are just dirt-covered English people in fur pelts with credit cards.

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    Member Elendil's Heir's avatar
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    All of a sudden I want to run off to the mountains....


  7. #7
    Elen síla lumenn' omentielvo What Exit?'s avatar
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    Maybe we should organize a crew to break into Atomic Scientists offices and set the clock back on our own.

    At this point I think Global Climate Change is a bigger threat to humanity and that is going to take decades to cause its damage. (Bigger storms and massive loss of coastal areas). The Nuclear threat is real but a far cry from the worst years of the Cold War.

  8. #8
    Porosity Caster parzival's avatar
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    I think at this point the likelihood of some sort of Nuclear attack has grown stronger in the last few years. Pakistan, North Korea, or Iran seem to all be potential sources of danger.

    But the likelihood of global destruction on a 20th-Century scale seems lower than ever, since it seems doubtful that any exchange would be large enough to compare. I think the single index, which was something of a uniting factor during the Cold War, isn't as useful. Even the grouping listed above isn't balanced. Pakistan is least likely to use them but actually has enough to be dangerous, while the other two are further away but seem a bit more crazy.

    What does some worrisome is if there is eventually a device that really has the capability to cause a global catastrophe, that could be made easily. We'll probably all be dead when that happens anyway.

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