You might have never heard of it before, but for the last 75 years, the doomsday clock has measured how close humanity is to destroying the world. In the early days, the focus was exclusively meant to highlight the threat of a nuclear exchange.
However, in 2007, Bulletin, the company behind the clock, decided to include climate change as a factor. The clock is updated annually and has been set to 100 seconds to midnight.
This is mainly due to the threat climate change poses to the planet and the world is failing to meet its promises.
How Accurate Is The Doomsday Clock?
The clock is not intended to be an accurate measurement of time with verifiable evidence.
In fact, for the last few decades, it has been dangerously close to the doom scenario. Thus, it can sometimes diminish the impact it will have.
Instead, the true purpose is to spark conversation about the major issues that are leading the world towards destruction. And as we are well aware at this point, getting people talking about an issue and building up a certain sentiment is a sure-fire way to get politicians to act.
In fact, the creators even say that the clock will never actually reach the doomsday scenario. Because at that point, humanity would no longer exist.
What Are the Results of the Clock?
The clock displays in a format like so: x time until midnight. Where x is a number and time is in terms of minutes or seconds.
If you take a look through the doomsday clock’s timeline, you’ll not only see what the clock was set to for that year but also be able to view a full report on why the clock was where it was.
In the case of this year, “100 seconds to midnight” is tied for the closest to doom with 2020 and 2021. And yes, climate change is the biggest factor, followed by nuclear exchanges.
This year’s report highlighted the fact that while 2021 saw a new shift in policy from the United States, the world is still not doing enough to combat climate change.
Does the Doomsday Clock Ever Go Away From Midnight?
Yes, while doomsday is in the name, it is not all doom and gloom. Things do get better, it just takes effort.
Over the last 75 years, the clock has gone in both directions. In its first year in 1947, the clock was 7 minutes to midnight. In 1991, it reached 17 minutes, which is the furthest it ever was from midnight.
However, in the last two decades, climate change has pushed us in one direction: doomsday. Governments promise a lot, but virtually none of them actually deliver on climate change. While there is still time to change, there’s no denying it is unlikely.
That said, hope isn’t lost. Technological innovations can change how the world responds to climate change. Only time will tell.
Robert has been following and writing about environmental stories for years at GreenGeeks. He believes that highlighting environmentally friendly practices can help promote change in every household.