Wednesday, January 11, 2012

'Doomsday' ticks closer on nuclear, climate fears

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Global uncertainty on how to deal with the threats of nuclear weapons and climate change have forced the "Doomsday clock" one minute closer to midnight, leading international scientists said Tuesday.

"It is now five minutes to midnight," said Allison Macfarlan, chair of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, which created the Doomsday clock in 1947 as a barometer of how close the world is to an apocalyptic end.

The last decision by the group, which includes a host of Nobel Prize winning scientists, moved the clock a minute further away from midnight in 2010 on hopes of global nuclear cooperation and the election of President Barack Obama.

However, Tuesday's decision pushes the clock back to the time where it was in 2007.

"It is clear that the change that appeared to be happening at the time is not happening, not materializing," said co-chair Lawrence Krauss.

"And faced today with the clear and present dangers of nuclear proliferation, climate change and the continued challenge to find new and sustainable and safe sources of energy, business as usual reigns the norm among world leaders." Read More