Predicting the end of the world is a tricky business. A growing business, too. Not all doomsday clocks – and there’s a bunch out there these days – are in sync. For many folks wrestling with world events, the hard part is choosing who and what to believe.
For big bang purists, there is the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which has adjusted its symbolic clock annually since 1947. At the start of 2020, we were 100 seconds away from annihilation, closer than ever before, according to the Bulletin.
“We face a true emergency, an absolutely unacceptable state of world affairs that has eliminated any margin for error,” said Rachel Bronson, president/CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, in what now looks like an extreme understatement.
The 2020 Bulletin’s Doomsday Clock, which reflected 2019 happenings, emphasized nuclear destruction and climate change. COVID-19 wasn’t on the radar.
Want to know where we are now?
On Jan. 27, the world can watch the 2021 Doomsday Clock announcement live via Zoom at 10 a.m. EST.
The news conference will include multiple speakers, including Bronson, California's former governor Jerry Brown, Hidehiko Yuzaki, governor of Hiroshima Prefecture, and Gro Harlem Brundtland, Norway’s former prime minister and former head of the World Health Organization.
» For more about the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, read the nonprofit’s 75th anniversary issue. Photos via Bulletin for the Atomic Scientists.
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