January 9th, 2010 11:41 EST
The Doomsday Clock: Is Mankind Close to Extinction?
Since 1947 the board of directors for the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists at the University of Chicago has updated a symbolic clock representative of how close our species is to annihilation. The end of our species is represented by how many minutes are left until midnight.
The factors which determine our nearness to global destruction are; nuclear arms, climate change and pollution, and technological threats to mankind.
The closest to doomsday the clock has ever been was in 1949 when the US and Russia both tested nuclear weapons and only within in nine months of each other`s test "the clock read two minutes to midnight.
As of 2007, the clock has been set at five minutes to midnight. The reasons for the current pressure are the growing threat of nuclear arms in Iran and South Korea, 26,000 remaining nukes in the US and Russia and more and more evidence for global climate change. Five minutes seems a bit modest. In my opinion this estimate is not weighting the threat of global climate change adequately.
Current environmental scientists predict that global temperatures over the next 100 years could rise by up to 11.5 degrees Fahrenheit, and oceans could rise by up to 1.3 meters due to glacial melting. This means that if drastic changes do not occur soon, the human race has assured destruction.
Over the next century, if damage to earth continues at this rate, there will be catastrophic and wildly uncontrollable natural disasters as the earth suffers from such.
I do not believe the doomsday clock reads correctly. I think we are still at two minutes to midnight and we`ve been there since 1949. The clock appears to read to deeply into human emotion and opinion between world leaders. The mere fact that nuclear annihilation, climate destruction, and technological mayhem are all possibilities means to me that the end of our race is a threat at any time.