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Pattaya Daily News

18 January 2007 :: 16:01:50 pm 31092

Doomsday Clock Stands At Five To Midnight

Yesterday, the Doomsday Clock which indicates the current annihilation threat level to the planet was moved forward 2 minutes from 7 minutes to 5 minutes to midnight. This is the first time since 7/11 2002 that an adjustment has been made, representing the 18th change since it was inaugurated.
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The change is largely a reaction to:

1. the increased nuclear threat posed by Iran, North Korea, the U.S. “bunker buster” nuclear bombs, the continued presence of 26,000 American and Russian nuclear weapons, plus the nuclear arsenals of the UK, France, Israel, China and inadequate security for nuclear materials, especially the potential of maverick terrorist groups acquiring “suitcase nuclear devices”.

2. the current increased threat to human habitats posed by climatic change, particularly global warming. The consequences from global warming include melting of the polar icecaps and resultant higher sea levels that will threaten coastal regions, increasingly severe storms and wildfires.

“We foresee great peril if governments and societies do not take action now to render nuclear weapons obsolete and to prevent further climate change,” theoretical physicist Stephen Hawking of the University of Cambridge, a member of the bulletin’s board of sponsors, told reporters in London.

The Doomsday Clock was the creation of a group of concerned scientists, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. The bulletin, founded in 1945 by University of Chicago nuclear scientists, is now largely in the hands of some of the world’s most prominent scientists. The clock itself was created in 1947 to represent the increasing global threat posed by nuclear weapons. It was ramped up following the development of the H. bomb and their testing by the US and USSR in 1953 when it stood at two minutes to midnight, and it was at its most relaxed at the fall of the Berlin Wall and the end of the Cold War in 1991 standing at 17 minutes to midnight.

The planetary threat is now considerably exacerbated by global warming. Physicist Lawrence Krauss of Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, USA warned that if mankind fails to act swiftly on global warming, “there’s a great possibility that the Earth in the year 2100 will only dimly resemble our planet today — and as it has existed over the past 500,000 years.”

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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