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Thursday
Jan262017

It is now 2.5 minutes to midnight. Words matter when Trump speaks of nuclear weapons, climate.

Thank you to Scott Stapf of the Hastings Group's Tweet, calling attention to the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' (BAS) historic announcement regarding its iconic Dooms Day Clock -- by setting the Clock at two and a half minutes to midnight, BAS has pegged the current danger to people and the planet -- from nuclear weapons, climate change, and other technological threats such as cyber attacks -- at the same level as 1953, when the U.S. and U.S.S.R. first began exchanging hydrogen bomb test blasts, in the earliest days of the Cold War nuclear arms race.

Watch the BAS press conference, held today at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

Note that one BAS speaker pointed to cyber attacks impacting the grid -- and highlighting the potentially catastrophic risks to nuclear power plants as a case in point (atomic reactors, and their high-level radioactive waste storage pools, depend on the electric grid for its primary source of electricity to run safety and cooling systems), another BAS speaker gave nuclear power as a hopeful example of positive technological development that could make the world a better place. Beyond Nuclear very much disagrees with the latter assertion, of course.

The Washington Post has reported on this story. Two of the BAS speakers at the press conference above, Lawrence M. Krauss and David Titley, have published an op-ed at the New York Times entitled "Thanks to Trump, the Doomsday Clock Advances toward Midnight."

(There are those who think the BAS Doomsday Clock is too optimistic. See the film Thirty Seconds to Midnight -- The Final Wake Up Call, posted online at YouTube. It features Dr. Helen Caldicott, Beyond Nuclear's founding president.) More.