Doomsday Clock and Armageddon: Is there a correlation?

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    As the clock has been moved forward, many are wondering if there is a correlation between Doomsday Clock and Armageddon. Here is an overview of the Doomsday Clock

    The Doomsday Clock was created by scientists at the dawn of nuclear age in the 1940s. When the United States built the first atomic bomb, they were used to destroy Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. Within two years the catastrophe made the realization sink in that how close we are to destructing our own planet, if the destructive forces created by the hand so f man are not reigned in immediately.

    The Doomsday clock then came into being in these two years and scientists have since kept its hands moving towards or away from 12 – doomsday – as the situations of the world call for.

    The 12 hour on the clock stands for the figurative midnight when the world will face its last catastrophic destruction. Now that the hands are just five minutes from 12, we can easily perceive how close the imminent destruction has come to us, and at our own hands.

    After the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the countries of the world joined the race of nuclear armament. Within two decades, Britain, the Soviet Union, China, and France had also established nuclear weapon programs. Since then, Israel, India, Pakistan, and North Korea have built nuclear weapons as well. Nuclear energy became more a threat than the excellent energy source it was meant to be.

    As per the data collected by the International Panel on Fissile Materials, substantial quantities of highly enriched uranium (the raw material for nuclear bomb) remain in more than 40 non-weapon states. This statistic, besides the one that states how many countries are in the nuclear race, augurs very bad for world environment and peace.

    Jayantha Dhanapala, a member of the BAS Board of Sponsors and a former UN undersecretary-general for disarmament affairs, also added that countries like US, China, Iran, India, Pakistan, Egypt and Israel have failed to act on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and North Korea’s failure to cut off production of nuclear weapons material “continues to leave the world at risk from continued development of nuclear weapons.” Mohammed ElBaradei, the IAEA director general, further estimates that another 20 to 30 countries right now do have the capability or are actively pursuing to have the capability of owning nuclear arsenal. This ominously hints at the dawn of a second nuclear age.

    This is the age when carbon dioxide emission has reached its highest point in the last 650,000 years. These unwanted gases envelope the earth and keep the sun’s heat from leaving the atmosphere. This raised temperature is fast melting ice and triggering a number of ecological changes that have triggered a vicious cycle of further raising global temperature. The situation is so bad that even if all carbon-dioxide emissions were stopped immediately, the amount already present in the atmosphere will linger for centuries and will continue to raise adversely affect earth’s atmosphere for hundreds of years to come.

    Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) suggests that global warming at the rate of even 2-10 degrees Fahrenheit over the next 100 years is a very imminent threat unless the industrialized world curbs its carbon dioxide emissions habit. In other case, the effects would be wide ranging and catastrophic.

    Besides global warming, development in genetics and biology are another source of worry, despite the host of good news these development have brought. A better understanding of genetic and physiological systems has brought in many solutions to human health problems. On the other hand, the same development have increased the possibility of individuals or non-state actors to create dangerous known or novel pathogens.

    These potential dangers have prompted scientists to take urgent measures to develop self-governing mechanisms to prevent misuse.