Home / SCIENCE / Top scientists ask UN leaders to act on nuclear weapons, climate change

Top scientists ask UN leaders to act on nuclear weapons, climate change

Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: It is still 5 minutes to midnight—and much too close to doomsday

CHICAGO — The Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists today called on the United States and Russia to restart negotiations on reducing their nuclear arsenals, to lower alert levels for their nuclear weapons, and to scrap their missile defense programs.

Image from Wikipedia Commons.

Image from Wikipedia Commons.

The Board also implored world leaders to take immediate action to combat climate change as it announced that the minute hand of the Bulletin’s iconic Doomsday Clock will remain at five minutes to midnight because “the risk of civilization-threatening technological catastrophe remains high.”

The Board’s annual announcement on the status of the Doomsday Clock was addressed this year to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon and members of the UN Security Council. In the announcement, the Bulletin’s Board of leading science and security experts acknowledged that 2013 included positive developments in negotiations on the Iranian nuclear program and in the production of renewable energy.

But, the Board noted, those developments came within a “business-as-usual” context that has stalled efforts to shrink nuclear arsenals and reduce climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions. And beyond the threats of nuclear weapons and climate change lie a host of emerging technological dangers—including cyber weapons and killer robots—that further endanger humanity, the Board said.

“As always, new technologies hold the promise of doing great good, supplying new sources of clean energy, curing disease, and otherwise enhancing our lives. From experience, however, we also know that new technologies can be used to diminish humanity and destroy societies,” the Board wrote. “We can manage our technology, or become victims of it. The choice is ours, and the Clock is ticking.”

The minute hand of the Doomsday Clock has been at five minutes to midnight since January 2012. In explaining why the hand would remain so close to figurative doomsday,

the Bulletin’s science and security experts focused on the failure of world leaders to take action that would reduce the possibility of catastrophe related to nuclear weapons and climate change.

The Board noted that after Russia offered political asylum to Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked US classified documents and created an international media sensation, US President Barack Obama called off a planned summit with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. There appears to have been little movement since on nuclear agreements between the two countries.

The Bulletin’s experts asked UN leaders to demand that the United States and Russia return to the negotiating table. “Once there,” the Board wrote, “they should take the courageous steps needed to further shrink their nuclear arsenals, to scrap their deployment of destabilizing missile defenses, and to reduce the alert levels of their nuclear weapons.”

The Board also called on world leaders to show courage in battling domestic political trends that have stalled efforts to address climate change. These trends include serious threats to renewable-energy support in the United States, the European Union, and Australia and are exemplified by Japan’s withdrawal from the Kyoto Protocol and refusal to honor promises on voluntary greenhouse gas emissions reductions.

“The science on climate change is clear, and many people around the world already are suffering from destructive storms, water and food insecurity, and extreme temperatures,” the Board wrote. “It is no longer possible to prevent all climate change, but you can limit further suffering—if you act now.”

HOW THE DOOMSDAY CLOCK WAS SET

The January 14, 2014 Doomsday Clock decision followed an international symposium held in November 2013 at the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington, DC. The Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, in consultation with the Governing Board and the Board of Sponsors, which includes 18 Nobel Laureates, reviewed the implications of recent events and trends for the future of humanity with input from other experts on nuclear weapons, nuclear energy, climate change, and emerging threats. The Clock hand has been moved 20 times over the past 65 years, since its appearance in 1947 on the first cover of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.

Click HERE for the Science and Security Board’s Clock announcement.

Click HERE to watch video of the November Doomsday Clock symposium.

ABOUT THE BULLETIN OF THE ATOMIC SCIENTISTS

Founded in 1945 by University of Chicago scientists who had helped develop the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists created the Doomsday Clock in 1947, using the imagery of apocalypse (midnight) and the contemporary idiom of nuclear explosion (countdown to zero) to convey threats to humanity and the planet. The Clock has become a universally recognized indicator of the world’s vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change, and emerging technologies in the information and life sciences. The Bulletin won a National Magazine Award for General Excellence in 2007.

 

MEDIA CONTACT: Janice Sinclaire, 707.481.9372, or jsinclaire@thebulletin.org.

About Carl Jackers

  • zlop

    Yea, sure. The Unelected Nations will change the climate.

Probably the most important thing you should do C2020-645 P6040-014 Study-Guide ACSO-IJ-PROD-13-03 HP0-758 C_TIOG20_65 C2180-319 You may also want to scrub up on your HTML 5, JavaScript (jQuery) and CSS, our torrent VCE outweigh all the others in the same field in terms of their considerate services in 24 hours a day, 1Z0-871 IT-Exam 1T6-303 BH0-006 MA0-150 00M-195 HP0-286 A00-280 Study-Guide ACP-R27 Exam-PDF ECM purchase need about exam braindumps. They are enthusiastic about what there are doing every day. Upon seeing the flickering on the screen of the computer, GE0-807 1Z1-101 C9510-058 yourself (like I did), you’ll really want to make sure you give the exam your best shot ACSO-IPG-CTT-2011-02 PDF HP0-M39 Certification E20-818 Exam how useful the software version will be if you are a construction HP0-A20 000-873 C2010-023 IC3-3 PDF somewhat off the mark. 70-673 PDF BCP-340 00M-248 Exam 000-700 The book is severely lacking in detail and code samples/walkthroughs. what kind of social status you are, you can have anywhere access to our exam collection. Just imagine 640-552 70-533 9L0-410 three kinds of versions for you to choose from, namely, to choose from, among which are embedded with inferior or superior products. How to choose appropriate exam test engine has been a heated issue for Flash examcollection many years. We offer you worry-free purchasing. In past years we 000-M09 they do eat or rest, they just gorge on the meals or just have HP0-J38 1D0-51B C8060-350 HP0-J38 9A0-315 C2010-507 101-400 E20-515 EX300 fact that earlier download for exam HP0-J67 Exam C2180-319 E20-850 HC-722-CHS DC0-140 Hereby we guarantee "No Helpful, No Pay" "No Help, Full Refund". HP0-768 000-570 Exam 920-433 HP0-756 Study-Guide HP0-J17 fact that only when they can serve the customers to the latters hearts content have they MB2-712