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 Post subject: Doomsday Clock moves closer to midnight
PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 6:23 am 
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Doomsday Clock moves closer to midnight

RAPHAEL G. SATTER
Associated Press

LONDON - The world is nudging closer to nuclear or environmental apocalypse, a group of prominent scientists warned Wednesday as it pushed the hand of its symbolic Doomsday Clock closer to midnight.

The clock, which was set two minutes forward to 11:55, represents the likelihood of a global cataclysm. Its ticks have given the clock's keepers a chance to speak out on the dangers they see threatening Earth.

It was the fourth time since the Soviet collapse in 1991 that the clock ticked forward amid fears over what the scientists describe as "a second nuclear age" prompted largely by standoffs with Iran and North Korea. But urgent warnings of climate change also played a role.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which sets the clock, was founded in 1945 as a newsletter distributed among nuclear physicists concerned about nuclear war, and midnight originally symbolized a widespread nuclear conflict. The bulletin has grown into an organization focused more generally on manmade threats to human civilization.

"The dangers posed by climate change are nearly as dire as those posed by nuclear weapons," said Kennette Benedict, director of the bulletin. Stephen W. Hawking, the renowned cosmologist and mathematician, told The Associated Press that global warming has eclipsed other threats to the planet, such as terrorism.

"Terror only kills hundreds or thousands of people," Hawking said. "Global warming could kill millions. We should have a war on global warming rather than the war on terror."


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2007 6:32 am 
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I just came back on to post this story. Scary!

This is the first time it has included climate change as an explicit threat to the future of civilisation.

A less immediate threat, but included in the assessment, is the one posed by emerging life science technologies, such as synthetic biology and genetic modification.


~~~snip~~~

Both the nuclear menace and a runaway greenhouse effect were the result of technology whose control had slipped from humans' grasp, the BAS directors said. But it was also within our power to pull them back under control, they added.

"We haven't figured out how to do that yet, but the potential is within our institutions and our imaginations," said Dr Benedict.


http://www.truthout.org/issues_06/011707EA.shtml

The potential is there--providing greed doesn't get in the way...

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