On Thursday January 23rd, 2020 the Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the hands of the symbolic Doomsday Clock 20 seconds closer to midnight, the closest they have ever been. In their statement Closer than ever: It is 100 seconds to midnight we read,”Humanity continues to face two simultaneous existential dangers—nuclear war and climate change—that are compounded by a threat multiplier, cyber-enabled information warfare, that undercuts society’s ability to respond. The international security situation is dire, not just because these threats exist, but because world leaders have allowed the international political infrastructure for managing them to erode.” It is a message that Science for Peace would endorse.
For the first time in over 30 years no nuclear disarmament negotiations are underway or planned. The US has withdrawn from the deal under which Iran agreed not to develop nuclear weapons, talks with North Korea to disarm have been futile, both the US and Russia have abandoned the hard- won Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty is in jeopardy and the outlook for the 2020 Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty is tenuous. We are witnessing the death of nuclear arms control. Add to this the escalating effects of global warming and the appalling neglect of governments to even acknowledge, let alone address the crisis, and we have a world that faces an ominous future. It is more important than ever that we at Science for Peace continue our research, public education and activism in the face of these existential threats. The future of human civilization is at stake.