PSR Statement on the 2023 Doomsday Clock Announcement January 24, 2023

Doomsday Clock at 90 Seconds to Midnight

CONTACT: Isabella Javidan, ijavidan@psr.org, 612-812-3231

​​Today, the Doomsday Clock stands at 90 seconds to midnight. The United States’ inaction and the collective failure of the global North to abolish nuclear weapons or adequately address climate change has led us to this moment. This announcement by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moving the Clock closer to midnight reminds us that we cannot prepare for nuclear war, we must prevent it.

Scientific studies demonstrate that a small fraction of the world’s nuclear arsenals—if detonated on cities—would have planetary impacts on the climate, agriculture and global health. The Doomsday Clock is a stark reminder that we must interrupt our denial and confront reality. It is supremely unhealthy to continue to maintain and modernize a vast nuclear arsenal that will lead to catastrophic global famine if  ever unleashed. 

PSR’s prescription: the United States must begin the process of pursuing a verifiable agreement among all nuclear-armed countries to totally eliminate their nuclear arsenals in compliance with international law. 

Even without a war, the mere production and maintenance of nuclear weapons causes devastating illness and environmental pollution. The impacts are most often felt by women and children, who are disproportionately impacted by radiation exposure, and Black, brown, and Indigenous communities that are treated as dumping grounds for radioactive pollution

As noted in the Bulletin’s announcement today, climate change is among the greatest health threats facing humanity in the 21st century. While worldwide patterns of temperature, precipitation and weather events change, the delicate balance of climate and life is disrupted, with serious impacts on food and agriculture, water sources, and health. People of color, and poor and working class communities will continue to face the worst harms of climate change, nuclear testing and proliferation unless we demand change.

The Doomsday Clock is warning us of the peril if we continue along the current path. If we wish to turn the clock back, we must begin right now. 

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