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Espada y Escudo

Espada y Escudo

The Student News Site of Vel Phillips Memorial

Doomsday Clock Update: It’s Still 90 Seconds To Midnight

Doomsday Clock Update: Its Still 90 Seconds To Midnight

On January 23rd, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced that the Doomsday Clock will remain at 90 seconds to midnight in 2024, the closest the Clock has ever been. The Bulletin attributed this to a number of factors.

The obvious is the ever-looming threat of nuclear weapons in Russia’s war in Ukraine, in addition to the increasing levels of investment in nuclear weaponry across the globe which present the risk of a nuclear arms race.

The Bulletin also factored in the climate crisis. 2023 was the hottest year on record, and while steps are being made to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it’s looking like they will be too little, too late. Pledges made to improve by 2030 don’t change the simple fact that to halt further warming, we need to go carbon neutral now. The world is already knocking on the door of a 1.5 degree Celsius increase of pre-industrial temperatures—the limit agreed upon by the Paris climate agreement—and it’s only going to get warmer from there.

AI was also highlighted in the Bulletin’s announcement. Although AI is most publicly used to plagiarize badly and fast, there are real concerns about its use in spreading disinformation, creating of bioweapons, and controlling lethal weaponry. 

The Bulletin calls for greater regulation of these technologies as soon as possible to avoid disaster and mitigate the damage already done. They also implore for both individuals and nations to work together in this time of peril, as the greatest threats facing humanity cannot be resolved by any singular nation. It’s 90 seconds to midnight. Either the world works together, or the world ends together. It’s up to us to decide.

To read the Bulletin’s statement, visit https://thebulletin.org/doomsday-clock/current-time/.

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