Doomsday Clock remains perilously close to midnight January 25, 2024
On January 23, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced that the iconic “Doomsday Clock” would remain this year at 90 seconds to midnight, the closest the clock has ever been to midnight since its introduction in 1947. On hand for the announcement, special presenter Bill Nye said “We could be facing catastrophe unless we better manage the technologies we’ve created. It’s time to act.”
In the 2024 Doomsday Clock Statement, the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board explained the clock is stuck at 90 seconds to midnight for another year “because humanity continues to face an unprecedented level of danger. Our decision should not be taken as a sign that the international security situation has eased. Instead, leaders and citizens around the world should take this statement as a stark warning and respond urgently, as if today were the most dangerous moment in modern history. Because it may well be.” The statement goes on to outline “the many dimensions of nuclear threat,” “an ominous climate change outlook,” “evolving biological threats” and “the dangers of AI.” The statement urges three leading powers, the United States, Russia and China, to “pull the world back from the brink of catastrophe. They should do so, with clarity and courage, and without delay.”
Many PSR activists — who are keeping a wary eye on the war-torn world with its global inequities, extreme weather events, increasing militarism, climate-related strife, nuclear threats and counter-threats — felt that the Bulletin should have moved the clock even closer to midnight. But Bob Dodge, MD, co-chair of PSR Committee to Abolish Nuclear Weapons and President of PSR-LA, took the attitude of “don’t mourn, organize” in his Common Dreams op-ed.
“In our democracy, we have the ability to speak out and demand that our elected officials act on our behalf and for all of humanity. We must resist the status quo and push for a world and future that can be– a world free of nuclear weapons that allows us to direct all of our attention to sustaining our planet for future generations.”
See a sampling of social media commentary about the clock.