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."
The clock is now two minutes to midnight based on the predictions of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a non-profit organization that informs the public about threats to its survival due to nuclear threats, emerging technologies and climate change.
The following is an transcript of a recent public interview at the University of Arizona with linguist and political commentator Noam Chomsky by Dr. David N. Gibbs.
David Gibbs: The main issue on everyone's minds is the inauguration of Donald Trump as president. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has emphasized the extreme danger that Trump poses, due to the augmented risk of nuclear war and uncontrolled climate change. After inauguration, the Bulletin's metaphoric clock has been repositioned at two and a half minutes to midnight, with "midnight" signifying catastrophe. Do you agree with the Bulletin regarding the alleged dangers posed by the Trump presidency?
By Deirdre Fulton
At the National Press Club in Washington, DC on Thursday morning, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Science and Security Board moved the hands of the iconic clock 30 seconds closer to "midnight" or the end of the world.
For the first time in the 70-year history of the clock, "the board has decided to act, in part, based on the words of a single person: Donald Trump, the new President of the United States," according to a press statement.
"As we marked the 70th anniversary of the Doomsday Clock, this year's Clock deliberations felt more urgent than usual," said Rachel Bronson, executive director and publisher of the bulletin. "In addition to the existential threats posed by nuclear weapons and climate change, new global realities emerged, as trusted sources of information came under attack, fake news was on the rise and words were used by a President-elect of the United States in cavalier and often reckless ways to address the twin threats of nuclear weapons and climate change."
A further statement from the full board noted that the development comes even as Trump had only held office for a few days.
"Just the same, words matter and President Trump has had plenty to say over the last year," it read. "Both his statements and his actions as President-elect have broken with historical precedent in unsettling ways. He has made ill-considered comments about expanding the U.S. nuclear arsenal. He has shown a troubling propensity to discount or outright reject expert advice related to international security, including the conclusions of intelligence experts. And his nominees to head the Energy Department and the Environmental Protection Agency dispute the basics of climate science. In short, even though he has just now taken office, the president's intemperate statements, lack of openness to expert advice and questionable cabinet nominations have already made a bad international security situation worse."
Watch Thursday's announcement:
Reposted with permission from our media associate Common Dreams.