Like any good gimmick, the so-called Doomsday Clock, an invention of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, is meant to grab your attention. No, scientists have not discovered a way to accurately measure our distance in time from the end of the world. What they have done is convened a distinguished group that includes Nobel laureates who size up potentially catastrophic issues facing the world, such as the spread of nuclear weapons. Today they felt they had sufficient reason to issue another warning. The clock was reset to 11:55pm.
In 2007, the group moved the clock up one minute after international leaders failed to take meaningful action on climate change in Copenhagen. Today they sited continued climate change inaction, as well as concerns that countries such as Iran will acquire nuclear capabilities.
But don't go and give away all your earthly possessions just yet. We can still turn back time. That's what happened in 1991, for instance, when the the United States and the Soviet Union signed the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START), which bought the human race 17 precious minutes.
What can we do today to ensure a future for our children?
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