We here at Internettop40.com love lists and statistics, but you all know that! We also love life and the world and America since that is where we currently reside. Now the name of the “Doomsday Clock” in itself is depressing. But honestly if you were a nuclear scientist you would probably be depressed too, but in reality life is what you make of it and if your religious well then thank god or whoever you like to thank and then go out and do one good & positive thing a day for the rest of your life and be glad you are alive. Then check out the next list with a grain of salt, not that everything in it is not true, but just remember there is more to life than CLOCKS!! ttyl
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists changes its format from a newsletter to a magazine. Its first cover features a clock, both conceptualized and designed by artist Martyl Langsdorf. At the time, Langsdorf designed it because “it seemed the right time on the page … it suited my eye.” This purely aesthetic design later becomes known as the “Doomsday Clock,” one of the most recognizable and lasting icons in popular culture to convey the urgency of nuclear danger. For decades to come, the Clock’s hands move based upon whether events push humanity closer to or further from nuclear apocalypse. The Clock later includes dangers posed by climate change and other existential threats.
The Doomsday Clock’s minute hand moves for the first time upon news of the Soviet atomic bomb test. Bulletin editor Eugene Rabinowitch, a leading scientist in the movement for international control of atomic energy, consults his colleagues before changing the minute hand on the cover design from 7 minutes to midnight to 3 minutes to midnight. Known for his broad and active network of independent scientists and his ability to capture the prevailing wisdom about world politics and the nuclear arms race, Rabinowitch is responsible for every movement of the minute hand until his death in 1973.
Over the opposition of many nuclear scientists, the United States decides to pursue the hydrogen bomb, a weapon far more powerful than any atomic bomb. In October 1952, the United States tests its first thermonuclear device, obliterating a Pacific Ocean islet in the process. Nine months later, the Soviets test an H-bomb of their own. “The hands of the Clock of Doom have moved again,” the Bulletin announces. “Only a few more swings of the pendulum, and, from Moscow to Chicago, atomic explosions will strike midnight for Western civilization.”
Political actions belied the superpowers’ tough talk of “massive retaliation.” For the first time, the United States and the Soviet Union seek to avoid direct confrontation in regional conflicts such as the 1956 Egyptian-Israeli dispute. Joint projects to build trust and dialogue between third parties also help quell hostilities. Scientists initiate many of these measures: They help establish the International Geophysical Year, a series of coordinated, worldwide scientific events intended to raise public awareness, and the Pugwash Conferences, where Soviet and American scientists can interact.
<p>Within 10 days, the most acute crisis of the Cold War is resolved through discussions on Soviet missiles in Cuba. But founding editor Eugene Rabinowitch and the <em>Bulletin</em> community do not move the hands of the Clock. They view the events of the Cuban Missile Crisis as indicators of longer-term trends, understanding the successful resolution of the crisis and the creation of a dedicated communication channel between Washington and Moscow to be positive steps leading toward the first significant arms-control agreement between the superpowers. </p>
After the near-catastrophe of the Cuban Missile Crisis a year before and a decade of almost non-stop nuclear tests, the United States and the Soviet Union sign the Partial Test Ban Treaty, which ends all atmospheric nuclear testing. The treaty does nothing to outlaw underground testing, but it represents the first instance of concrete progress in at least slowing the arms race. It also signals awareness between the two countries that they must work together in order to prevent nuclear annihilation.
After the Cuban Missile Crisis and before the escalation of the United States’ role in Vietnam, US public opinion broadly supports the Cold War and the country's nuclear policies. Against this backdrop, satire is an effective tool for questioning the conventional wisdom about nuclear weapons. Stanley Kubrick’s film Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb uses the darkest of black comedy, a remarkable three-role performance by Peter Sellers, and the specter of a Soviet “doomsday device” to take issue with the arms race between the superpowers.
While the superpowers wage the Cold War, much hotter wars rage in Asia. United States involvement in Vietnam intensifies, India and Pakistan battle over Kashmir in 1965, and Israel and its Arab neighbors renew hostilities in 1967. Worse yet, France and China develop nuclear weapons in order to assert themselves as global players. This combination of conventional warfare and nuclear proliferation causes the Bulletin’s editors to move the Clock’s minute hand toward midnight. The Bulletin recognizes the possibility that these regional conflicts could flare into wider wars with the potential use of nuclear weapons.
Nearly all of the world’s nations come together to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. The deal is simple: States with nuclear weapons vow to help the treaty’s other signatories develop nuclear power if they promise not to produce weapons. The nuclear weapon states also pledge to abolish their own arsenals when political conditions allow for it. Israel, India, and Pakistan refuse to sign, but the Bulletin remains cautiously optimistic: “The great powers have made the first step. They must proceed without delay to the next one—the dismantling, gradually, of their own oversized military establishments.”
After more than 20 years vying for arms, the United States and Soviet Union sign two treaties that attempt to curb the race for nuclear superiority in favor of rough parity between the superpowers. The Strategic Arms Limitation Treaty (SALT) limits the number of ballistic missile launchers either country can possess. The Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty seeks to stop a race for weapons designed to shoot down an adversary’s incoming nuclear missiles. SALT leaves the two countries with thousands of warheads pointed at each other, and the United States eventually withdraws from the ABM Treaty.
South Asia gets the bomb, as India tests its first nuclear device. Any gains in previous arms control agreements seem like a mirage. The United States and Soviet Union appear to be modernizing their nuclear forces, not reducing them. Thanks to the deployment of multiple independently targetable reentry vehicles (MIRV), both countries can now load their intercontinental ballistic missiles with more nuclear warheads than before.
American mystery writer Helen McCloy (also known as Helen Clarkson) publishes her novel The Impostor. She employs the Doomsday Clock as a plot device in the story of a woman named Marina, who recovers consciousness after a car crash to find herself in a psychiatric clinic and who becomes a pawn in someone else's sinister game.
Thirty-five years into the nuclear era, cultural references to the Doomsday Clock and nuclear peril abound. The Clash releases Sandinista, a triple album that includes “The Call Up”, a song that references the Doomsday Clock with the line, “It’s 55 minutes past 11.” Meanwhile in the political sphere, the superpowers cling to nuclear weapons to the Bulletin’s dismay: “The Soviet Union and United States have been behaving like what may best be described as ‘nucleoholics’—drunks who continue to insist that the drink being consumed is positively ‘the last one,’ but who can always find a good excuse for ‘just one more round.’”
The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and the 1980 election of Ronald Reagan in the United States both serve to harden the US nuclear posture. Before leaving office in January 1981, President Jimmy Carter pulls the United States from the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow and considers ways in which the United States can win, rather than avert, a nuclear war. Reagan intensifies the hawkish posturing by scrapping any talk of arms control and proposing that the best way to end the Cold War is for the United States to win.
The Who's album “It's Hard” taps into early 1980s nuclear anxiety. The song “Why Did I Fall for That?” mentions the Doomsday Clock specifically: “Four minutes to midnight on a sunny day, maybe if we smile the clock'll fade away, maybe we can force the hands to just reverse.” Another song, “I've Known No War,” also expresses the fears and hopes for peace of those who came of age during the Cold War decades. Meanwhile, the board game Trivial Pursuit becomes a cultural phenomenon. Later editions include this question: “What clock was created to adorn The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists?”
As US-Soviet relations reach their iciest point in decades, dialogue between the two superpowers virtually stops. “Every channel of communication has been constricted or shut down; every form of contact has been attenuated or cut off. And arms control negotiations have been reduced to a species of propaganda,” the Bulletin informs readers. The United States threatens to provoke a new arms race by seeking a space-based anti-ballistic missile system
British heavy metal band Iron Maiden releases the song “Two Minutes to Midnight.” It rises to number 11 on the UK singles chart. Contrary to popular belief, it doesn't mention either 1980s Cold War tensions or the Cuban Missile Crisis, but was instead inspired by hydrogen bomb tests in the 1950's.
The fall of the Berlin Wall in late 1989 symbolically ends the Cold War. Between 1989 and 1991, one Eastern European country after another overthrows its Soviet-backed government, while Soviet General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev repudiates his predecessors’ policies and refuses to intervene. These revolutions end the post-World War II ideological division of Europe and significantly diminish the risk of all-out nuclear war. “Forty-four years after Winston Churchill’s ‘Iron Curtain’ speech, the myth of monolithic communism has been shattered for all to see,” the Bulletin writes.
The Bulletin’s board of directors vigorously debates how far back from midnight the Doomsday Clock’s hands should be moved now that the Soviet Union has broken apart and the Cold War has ended. The time they choose—17 minutes to midnight—requires the minute hand to be moved to a position outside the portion of the Clock depicted on the original design. The change symbolizes the euphoria many feel for surviving 45 years without a nuclear exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union.
With the Cold War officially over, the United States and Russia begin making deep cuts to their nuclear arsenals. US President George H.W. Bush and Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev sign the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. Known as START, the agreement greatly reduces the number of strategic nuclear weapons deployed by the two countries. Better still, a series of unilateral initiatives take most of the missiles and bombers in both countries off hair-trigger alert. The Bulletin declares: “The illusion that tens of thousands of nuclear weapons are a guarantor of national security has been stripped away.”
The year begins ominously when the Russian military mistakes a US-Norwegian scientific rocket for a nuclear missile and Russian President Boris Yeltsin must decide whether to launch a nuclear attack on the United States. That incident helps bolster the case made by US hard-liners that a resurgent Russia could be as much a threat as the Soviet Union. Hopes diminish for a large post-Cold War peace dividend, and more than 40,000 nuclear weapons remain worldwide. Concerns arise that terrorists could exploit poorly secured nuclear facilities within the former Soviet Union.
Fourteen years after joining the ranks of countries with nuclear weapons, India carries out a series of nuclear tests that catch US intelligence off guard. The tests provoke worldwide outrage, and tensions heighten when Pakistan holds its own tests only three weeks later. The Bulletin calls the tests “a symptom of the failure of the international community to fully commit itself to control the spread of nuclear weapons.” Russia and the United States continue to serve as poor examples to the rest of the world, with a combined total of more than 7,000 weapons aimed at each other and ready to launch within 15 minutes.
Concerns regarding a nuclear terrorist attack underscore the enormous amount of unsecured — and sometimes unaccounted for — weapon-grade nuclear materials located throughout the world. Meanwhile, the United States expresses a desire to design new nuclear weapons, with an emphasis on those able to destroy hardened and deeply buried targets. It also rejects a series of arms control treaties and announces it will withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty
After the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the United States expresses increasing concerns about nuclear weapons falling into the hands of non-state actors. A top concern is the enormous amount of unsecured—and sometimes unaccounted for—weapon-grade nuclear materials throughout the world. The United States expresses a desire to design new nuclear weapons, especially ones that can destroy hardened and deeply buried targets. It also rejects a series of arms control treaties and announces that it will withdraw from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty that it had signed with the Soviet Union in 1972.
After reviewing humanity’s vulnerability to other threats as potentially deadly as nuclear weapons, the Bulletin’s board determines that the Doomsday Clock should also include other existential threats outside nuclear catastrophe: specifically, the Earth-threatening dangers posed by climate change and rapid developments in the life sciences and other emerging technologies. Against this backdrop, US band Smashing Pumpkins release their song “Doomsday Clock”, which later appears in professional wrestling, monster truck competitions, and a trailer for the film The Incredible Hulk.
The world stands at the brink of a second nuclear age. The United States and Russia remain ready to stage a nuclear attack within minutes, North Korea conducts a nuclear test, and many in the international community worry that Iran plans to acquire the Bomb. Climate change also presents a dire challenge to humanity. Damage to ecosystems is already taking place; flooding, destructive storms, increased drought, and polar ice melt are causing loss of life and property.
Nearly 20 years after the end of the Cold War, the Doomsday Clock remains a potent symbol of civilization’s vulnerability and the anxiety of life in a world full of nuclear weapons. In director Zack Snyder’s film adaptation of Alan Moore’s Watchmen, the clock remains an ominous, recurring presence, even though the film changes many of the novel’s other details and plot points.
Just before the start of the year, a breakthrough occurs at the United Nations climate change conference in Copenhagen. Both developing and industrialized countries agree to take responsibility for carbon emissions and to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius. Washington and Moscow enter talks for a follow-on agreement to START and plan negotiations aimed at further cuts in the US and Russian nuclear arsenals. The Bulletin writes, “We are poised to bend the arc of history toward a world free of nuclear weapons.”
We are poised to bend the arc of history toward a world free of nuclear weapons" is the Bulletin's assessment. Talks between Washington and Moscow for a follow-on agreement to the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty are nearly complete, and more negotiations for further reductions in the U.S. and Russian nuclear arsenal are already planned. The dangers posed by climate change are growing, but there are pockets of progress. Most notably, at Copenhagen, the developing and industrialized countries agree to take responsibility for carbon emissions and to limit global temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius.
Ridding the world of nuclear weapons, harnessing nuclear power, and managing the profound disruptions caused by climate change are complex and interconnected endeavors that the world's political processes have not fostered. The rhetoric of would-be nuclear provocateurs such as North Korea's Kim Jong-un underlines the potential for nuclear war in Northeast Asia; the nuclear situation in the Middle East and South Asia remains tense. Safer nuclear reactors with better oversight and training could help prevent power plant disasters, but technology-based approaches to managing climate change may not prevent widespread hardship.
"Last year, the Science and Security Board moved the Doomsday Clock forward to three minutes to midnight, noting: 'The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon.' That probability has not been reduced. The Clock ticks. Global danger looms. Wise leaders should act—immediately." See the full statement from the Science and Security Board on the 2016 time of the Doomsday Clock.
For the last two years, the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock stayed set at three minutes before the hour, the closest it had been to midnight since the early 1980s. In its two most recent annual announcements on the Clock, the Science and Security Board warned: “The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon.” In 2017, we find the danger to be even greater, the need for action more urgent. It is two and a half minutes to midnight, the Clock is ticking, global danger looms. Wise public officials should act immediately, guiding humanity away from the brink. If they do not, wise citizens must step forward and lead the way. See the full statement from the Science and Security Board on the 2017 time of the Doomsday Clock.
The failure of world leaders to address the largest threats to humanity’s future is lamentable—but that failure can be reversed. It is two minutes to midnight, but the Doomsday Clock has ticked away from midnight in the past, and during the next year, the world can again move it further from apocalypse. The warning the Science and Security Board now sends is clear, the danger obvious and imminent. The opportunity to reduce the danger is equally clear. The world has seen the threat posed by the misuse of information technology and witnessed the vulnerability of democracies to disinformation. But there is a flip side to the abuse of social media. Leaders react when citizens insist they do so, and citizens around the world can use the power of the internet to improve the long-term prospects of their children and grandchildren. They can insist on facts, and discount nonsense. They can demand action to reduce the existential threat of nuclear war and unchecked climate change. They can seize the opportunity to make a safer and saner world. See the full statement from the Science and Security Board on the 2018 time of the Doomsday Clock.
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