Letter to the Editor: Tick Tock


Andrew Volkers

Tick tock. On Thursday, January 25, the “2018 Doomsday Clock Statement” was released. The Doomsday Clock is used to symbolically measure how close the human race is to a self-induced apocalypse. If the clock strikes midnight, the apocalypse is inevitable or already occurring. The Doomsday Clock was created in 1947 by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. They release the report based on nuclear and climate change threats. The clock was originally set to seven minutes until midnight, in the genesis of the Cold War. It crept to two minutes until midnight in 1953 after Russia and the United States both successfully tested the Hydrogen Bomb. Due to the flux of civilization, the clock is also allowed to move forwards or backward. In 1991, after many fluctuations, the time was seventeen minutes to midnight, the farthest away from the apocalypse we have been since the creation of the Doomsday Clock.

This year’s report put the clock two minutes to midnight, the closest since the events of 1953. The report, which can be found at thebulletin.org, states, “To call the world nuclear situation dire is to understate the danger—and its immediacy,”. Increased tensions in the South China Sea, the Korean Peninsula, the Middle East, and the clash between Russia and the United states have brought us to the brink. As we saw last week in Hawaii, there can be no forewarning to the end of the world. It is on the people of the world to push back against leaders and call for disarmament. Americans have to ask the government, what benefit comes out of their imperialist agenda?

The grim nuclear outlook is made worse by the threat of climate change and the rapid intensification of climate events. 2017 marked wildfires in the west, hurricanes in the Caribbean, death inducing heat waves in Asia, Australia, and elsewhere, and the third consecutive year in which the ice caps shrunk at record levels. These events show that not only are we losing the race against climate change, but we are being beaten badly. Planet Earth cannot endure many more 2017s, it is imperative that change is sought out. If we continue on this path, we will be ushering in  midnight from bunkers, wastelands, and shallow graves.



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