Is the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight? Global Zero says yes. If you are unfamiliar with the Doomsday Clock, it marks how close humanity is to the start of nuclear war. This week, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved the infamous Doomsday Clock 30 seconds closer to midnight, marking the increased likelihood of global catastrophe. The Doomsday Clock now stands at 2-and-a-half minutes to midnight. This is the closest the world has been to the brink, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, since the United States and the Soviet Union tested hydrogen bombs in 1953.
In reaction to the Bulletin’s decision, Derek Johnson, the executive director of the international Global Zero movement for the elimination of nuclear weapons, issued this statement:
“The decision to move the Doomsday Clock is alarming, but not surprising. This is due in part to rising geopolitical tensions and the enormous nuclear modernization programs that are pending in many nuclear-armed countries, including the United States.”Johnson continues “A single modern nuclear weapon has more destructive force than all of the bombs detonated in World War II combined. There are 15,000 of these weapons in the world today, and 95% of them are now under the absolute control of two authoritarian nationalists. Today’s decision to move the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight makes it crystal clear this is no time to ‘wait and see.’ We must act urgently to roll back the Clock and reduce the risk of nuclear catastrophe. And the only way to completely eliminate that risk is to eliminate the weapons globally.”
As an immediate next step, Global Zero recently endorsed the Restricting the First Use of Nuclear Weapons Act (H.R. 669), which requires a Congressional declaration of war prior to launching nuclear weapons except in response to an incoming nuclear attack. The legislation would limit the ability to start a nuclear war on a leader of the free world’s own initiative, which the current system allows.
A petition to #RollBackTheClock and support the bill was launched today. Earlier this year, Global Zero co-founder and former nuclear launch officer Dr. Bruce Blair published a startling piece in POLITICO outlining various nuclear scenarios facing now-President Trump and highlighting the inherent danger of U.S. reliance on a “red button” nuclear system primed for first-strike and rapid-launch.