DOOMSDAY CLOCK; TWO AND A HALF MINUTES LEFT TO DISASTER




 

İlknur Şebnem Öztemel – TDO - Scientists reset the symbolic ‘’ Doomsday Clock’’ of Chicago based Bulletin of Atomic Scientists agency, established in 1947. Now it is ‘’Two and a half minutes left to midnight’’, closest time to midnight, in 64 years due to increasing threat of nuclear weapons, climate change, Donald Trump's election victory and rising tensions in international politics. It was closest to midnight as ‘’ Two minutes left ‘’ in 1953 because the nuclear arms race between the United States and the Soviet Union has been started, during the Korean War. The doomsday clock is widely viewed as an indicator of the world's vulnerability to disaster.

Most recently, the clock was readjusted in 2015 as ‘’three minutes left to midnight’’ because both USA and Russia have embarked on massive programs to modernize their nuclear triads, regarding ongoing political crisis in Syria and Ukraine. It was reported that "The clock ticks now at just three minutes to midnight because international leaders are failing to perform their most important duty which is ensuring and preserving the health and vitality of human civilization."

Lawrence Krauss, a theoretical physicist, said Trump and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin carried a large share of the blame for the heightened threat and resettlement of the clock in 2017.

This was the first week of Donald Trump in the office. In this week, he told in an interview that he would absolutely establish safe zones in Syria, for refugees fleeing violence in the country. Moreover, he called for a 20 per cent tax on imports from Mexico to pay for the wall. Furthermore, it is asserted that Trump would impose a 30-day suspension of the entry of immigrants from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. Moreover, new administration demand countries to provide adequate information about their nationals living in US. Unless they do so within 60 days, their citizens may be blocked from entering the United States.

Besides, Trump has suggested South Korea and Japan could acquire nuclear weapons to compete with North Korea and also raised doubts about the future of a multilateral nuclear pact with Iran before. Additionally, we are all aware of his protectionist economy policies, his indifference about carbon dioxide emissions and climate change.

On the other hand, Russian President Vladimir Putin is determinant to strengthen his country; He used Russia’s natural resources for gaining economic power and used European Union’s energy dependency for political power. Also, Russia’s influence over the Middle East and Mediterranean has been increased. Recently, it has been declared that the Russian naval base in Syria will be modernized and enlarged. Putin tries to achieve main foreign policy objectives of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great. Meanwhile he did not underestimate the force of science and information technology. Today, Russia has significant cyber attack capability. For instance; The U.S. intelligence agencies claimed that Russia intervened in the presidential election to help Donald Trump.

Even in its closest time to ‘’midnight’’, fortunately we did not see the doomsday. Let’s hope, the clock stops and not go further.