Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Doomsday Clock is Still Broken

Have you heard of the "Doomsday Clock" or have you heard that it is "Seven Minutes to Midnight" in the middle of the day? If so, you should know that we are talking about nuclear annihilation, or at least we used to be talking about that.

It is now "Five Minutes to Midnight."

Anyone who grew up during the Cold War felt that nuclear war could be around the corner. Starting on June 1947, nearly two years after Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Doomsday Clock appears on "Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists" with the time of "Seven Minutes to Midnight," but I think it looks like "Eight Minutes to Midnight." This clock through the years was meant to depict the tensions among countries and how close we were to nuclear war. Young ones may not appreciate the sense of doom we used to feel.
In 2007 the Doomsday Clock broke. "Climate Change" became a factor in figuring how close we are to Midnight. The Doomsday Clock now concerns itself with nuclear threat, climate change, and biosecurity.

You can roll your eyes and complain that the Doomsday Clock has been politicized, but it has always represented politics. It has represented the politics of nations that could obliterate the world, or at least start the onslaught. Now it contains BS politics.

On the overview page under "climate change" for how the Doomsday Clock time is determined, we find :
The most authoritative scientific group on the issue, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), suggests that warming on the order of 2-10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next 100 years is a distinct possibility if the industrialized world doesn't curb its carbon dioxide emissions habit. Effects could include wide-ranging, dramatic changes. One drastic result: a 3- to 34-inch rise in sea level, leading to more coastal erosion, increased flooding during storms, and, in some regions such as the Indus River Delta in Bangladesh and the Mississippi River Delta in the United States, permanent inundation.
The new banner of "Climate Change" is being used, but they are still talking about "Global Warming." Also note that the predicted rise in sea level is 3 to 34 inches. Really? A few inches or a yard? In other words, they do not know. If the estimates vary that wildly, might the sea level go down instead?

The overview also mentions these conclusions are based on readings taken since the 1950's. Really? Because in the 1970's when I was a kid growing up in Michigan I had the BeJezus scared out of me over the fear that the next ice age was coming. Cold means death, not warmth.

It is now "Five Minutes to Midnight." Why? Read it here or listen to it here. Carbon emissions are part of the reason. However, Alexandra Petri might have some better reasons for the clock turning.
If you want to relive what you thought what was around the corner during the Cold War, or you are to young to understand, see "Miracle Mile." That is what the Doomsday Clock used to represent.

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