The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!
Doomsday Clock 2019: World Still 2 Minutes From Armageddon
The Doomsday Clock is still set at two minutes to midnight due to a lack of progress on nuclear weapons and climate change, as well as growing concerns of "information warfare," the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced Thursday, describing this bleak time as "the new abnormal."
Midnight is "the symbolic point of annihilation," the non-profit Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists said. Last year, the clock was also set two minutes to Armageddon, the closest it's been since 1953 in the height of the Cold War.
"The 'new abnormal' that we describe, and that the world now inhabits, is unsustainable and extremely dangerous," according to the 2019 Doomsday Clock statement.
Former California Gov. Jerry Brown, the executive chair of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, and former Secretary of Defense William Perry, the chair of the organization's board of sponsors, helped unveil the Doomsday Clock in Washington, DC Thursday.
"Humanity faces two dire and simultaneous existential threats: nuclear weapons and climate change. The longer world leaders and citizens thoughtlessly inhabit this abnormal reality, the more likely it is that we will experience the unthinkable," Brown said in a press release.
Perry added, "Brash leaders, intense diplomatic disputes, and regional instabilities combine to create an international context in which nuclear dangers are all too real."
Since its inception in 1947, the Doomsday Clock was set at seven minutes to midnight. The minute hand ticked the farthest away in 1991 when the clock was 17 minutes to midnight, due to the end of the Cold War. But in recent years, we seem to be striking much closer to doom.
In 2017, the clock ticked forward two and a half minutes to midnight mostly because of President Donald Trump. The nuclear danger of a Trump presidency, combined with his and his administration's climate denialism, heightened the risk of a global catastrophe, the group warned then.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists included a number of recommendations on how to rewind the clock.
On the climate front, the group called on U.S. citizens to demand that their government to acknowledge and act on global warming and for President Trump to revisit his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate agreement.
Countries were also urged to "act promptly and redouble efforts" to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in line with their Paris pledges.
"The world security situation can be improved, if leaders seek change and citizens demand it," the Bulletin's statement continues. "It is 2 minutes to midnight, but there is no reason the Doomsday Clock cannot move away from catastrophe. It has done so in the past, because wise leaders acted—under pressure from informed and engaged citizens around the world."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
The Parties to CITES agreed to list giraffes on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) today at the World Wildlife Conference or CoP18 in Geneva. Such protections will ensure that all giraffe parts trade were legally acquired and not sourced from the poached giraffes trade and will require countries to make non-detriment findings before allowing giraffe exports. The listing will also enable the collection of international trade data for giraffes that might justify greater protections at both CITES and other venues in the future.
The WHO stressed that more research is needed on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion. luchschen / iStock / Getty Images Plus
The UN's health agency on Thursday said that microplastics contained in drinking water posed a "low" risk at their current levels.
However, the World Health Organization (WHO) — in its first report on the potential health risks of microplastic ingestion — also stressed more research was needed to reassure consumers.
'This is a Sick Statement': Brazil’s Bolsonaro, Under Pressure for Anti-Environmental Policies, Blames NGOs for Record Amazon Fires
'Work Together' or 'Destroy it': Goldman Prize Winner Francia Márquez on World's Second Deadliest Country For Environmental Activists
In April 2018, Afro-Colombian activist Francia Márquez won the prestigious Goldman Environmental Prize, thanks to her work to retake her community's ancestral territories from illegal gold mining. However, her international recognition comes at a very risky price.
By Stuart Braun
A year after activist Greta Thunberg first stood in the rain outside the Swedish parliament with her now iconic "Skolstrejk för klimatet" — school strike for the climate — placard, the movement she spawned has set the tone for environmental protest action around the world.
Toy maker Hasbro wants to play in the eco-packaging game. The board game giant will ditch its plastic packaging by 2022. The move means that games like Monopoly, Scrabble and Operation will no longer have shrink wrap, window sheets, plastic bags or elastic bands, as the Associated Press reported.