Two Minutes to Midnight
Updated: Mar 10, 2019
- By Teressa Berton, Social Media Coordinator -
Many people speculate that the world is coming at any moment, or that the end is nigh, and we are all going to destroy ourselves. According the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists end may truly be closer than we may have expected. Each year, the group determines how close we are to nuclear holocaust by setting the time on the Doomsday Clock, normally measured in minutes until midnight, or the end of life as we know it. This year, the Bulletin chose to move the clock thirty seconds forward. They cited the heightened tension between North Korea and its various enemies, a lack of reaction to the changing climate and a disregard for scientific expertise by political leaders — even calling out Donald Trump by name — as some of the reasons for the 30 ticks forward from the previous year, putting the clock back to the closest it has been to midnight since 1953.
It can be disheartening to consider that even after 64 years of the Doomsday Clock moving back and forth, between two minutes till midnight in 1953 and a whopping seventeen minutes in 1991, it has been moved back to two minutes until midnight. However, despite this seemingly grim conclusion, the human race has made indeed progress. We have seen an significant decrease in global poverty, with 3.6% of world population rising above the global extreme line. Diseases such as polio and the measles are nearing complete eradication. Infant mortality is down internationally, and life expectancies are longer. Increasingly, people across the planet have more access to healthcare and education resources than ever before. In 2017, the general quality of living for humanity as a whole was higher than ever before.
It can be easy to see what is going on in the world and feel the groups like the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists must be right. We must be pushing ourselves the brink.. Yet by choosing to look at the sparks of light around us, we may be able to see through the darkness of midnight to a brighter future.