In news that should absolutely-not-panic-anyone-because-holy-shit-we’re-about-to-die, scientists have just revealed that we’re officially the closest to the end of the world that we’ve ever been before, which is just peachy news.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists — essentially a group of international scientists that tell us how fucked we are on a scale of 1 to 10 — has officially set its Doomsday Clock at 90 seconds to midnight, the closest the clock has ever been to midnight (and global catastrophe) since it was established back in 1947.
“We are living in a time of unprecedented danger, and the Doomsday Clock time reflects that reality,” Rachel Bronson, the president and CEO of the Bulletin said.
“Ninety seconds to midnight is the closest the clock has ever been set to midnight, and it’s a decision our experts do not take lightly.”
The clock has been moved forward from 100 seconds to midnight, where it’s stood for the last three years, largely due to the dangers rising because of the war in Ukraine.
But there’s a plethora of shitfires that have influenced the decision.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has led to an increased risk of nuclear escalation (and they say women are emotional).
The Doomsday Clock statement explains that “Russia’s war on Ukraine has raised profound questions about how states interact, eroding norms of international conduct that underpin successful responses to a variety of global risks.”
They continue explaining that Russia’s “thinly veiled threats to use nuclear weapons” act as a reminder of how quickly this shit can escalate.
“The possibility that the conflict could spin out of anyone’s control remains high.”
The Bulletin then go on to sledge Russia even more, stating that bringing their war to the Chernobyl and Zaporizhzhia nuclear reactor sites essentially violated international protocols and is a very, very, very bad idea. If ya’ll can’t follow simple nuclear warfare rules, then we’re fucked, essentially.
As the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned back in August, we’ve officially entered “a time of nuclear danger not seen since the height of the Cold War.” Brb, moving to Tassie.
But that’s not the only reason why the world is ending, babes!
We’re already grappling with a potentially humanity-ending climate crisis. Because of the war and the world’s dependency on Russian oil and gas, countries have been forced to expand their own investment in natural gas instead of, y’know, focusing on green investments that will probably save the world and everyone in it.
In addition, the world’s reaction to biological threats like Covid, and how badly we shat the bed when it came to cooperating on global health strategies have also influenced their decision to move the clock closer to global catastrophe.
“Devastating events like the COVID-19 pandemic can no longer be considered rare, once-a-century occurrences,” Suzet McKinney of The Bulletin said. “However, disease-induced disaster can be avoided if countries around the world cooperate on global health strategies.”
A shortlist of just some of the other reasons why we’re more screwed than ever, according to The Bulletin, is as follows:
The last remaining nuclear weapons treaty between Russia and the United States is about to expire. China’s expansion of nuclear weapons. North Korea has upped their missile testing (a classic, tbh).
Carbon dioxide emissions from burning fossil fuels hit a record high in 2022. Extreme weather events continue to ravage the globe, including Pakistan, who faced a “monsoon on steroids” last year.
Shall I continue?
Covid is no longer a once-a-century occurrence and we’re woefully unprepared for another viral outbreak (which, make no mistake, will happen sooner or later). Lab accidents are occurring far too often, threatening biosecurity safety. Biological threats and biological warfare are now much more likely thanks to the Russian invasion.
Then, of course, you’ve got your standard disinformation that’s continuing unabated and some good old cyber warfare.
God, it’s good to be alive.
“Three years ago, I helped unveil the Doomsday Clock when its hands were last moved. Today they are even closer to midnight, showing how much more perilous our world has become in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, extreme weather events and Russia’s outrageous war on Ukraine,” Ban Ki-moon, Deputy Chair of The Elders and former Secretary-General of the United Nations said.
“Leaders did not heed the Doomsday Clock’s warnings in 2020. We all continue to pay the price. In 2023 it is vital for all our sakes that they act.”
Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, continued:
“The Doomsday Clock is sounding an alarm for the whole of humanity. We are on the brink of a precipice. But our leaders are not acting at sufficient speed or scale to secure a peaceful and liveable planet. From cutting carbon emissions to strengthening arms control treaties and investing in pandemic preparedness, we know what needs to be done.
“The science is clear, but the political will is lacking. This must change in 2023 if we are to avert catastrophe. We are facing multiple, existential crises. Leaders need a crisis mindset.”
So there you have it, folks. Our lives lay in the hands of greedy, money-hungry politicians who have a weird obsession with fleets of nuclear submarines, who have refused to act on climate change warnings for decades (despite being very, very aware that the world is melting), and who failed to secure enough doses to vaccinate the country against a killer virus.
If you don’t mind, I’ll be hiding away in my room, playing Fallout, and brushing up on my nuclear survival skills. Godspeed.