Doomsday Clock Adjusted for Global Warming

The Doomsday Clock, a symbol that was created by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists in 1947, was moved Tuesday to five minutes before midnight, indicating the need for increased awareness about nuclear dangers and climate change.

The group’s decision was made based on an insufficient amount of policy developed to deter contributing factors, which include climate change and nuclear dangers.

The group evidenced the International Energy Agency which projected that, “unless societies begin building alternatives to carbon-emitting energy technologies over the next five years, the world is doomed to a warmer climate, harsher weather, droughts, famine, water scarcity, rising sea levels, loss of island nations, and increasing ocean acidification."

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Many have challenged whether global warming is an issue at all, some of those being Christian organizations that deny evidence that supports significant climate shifts and human contribution.

Dr. Roy Spencer, climatologist and principal research scientist at the University of Alabama, speaking at a December, United Nations-sponsored climate change conference in Copenhagen, agreed that CO2, a greenhouse gas, is increasing in the atmosphere and that it is largely due to human activities. However, he argued that the impact is very small.

He said, “Most of the warming that we have seen in the last 50 to 100 years is mostly natural.”

Katherine Hayhoe, a Christian climatologist would disagree. “It is high time that we Christians remove our heads from the sand and take a good look at what's happening to the planet that God has given us,” she said. “We are all witnesses to what happens when natural disasters tear through our communities… climate change is a consequence of poor decisions that God has allowed us to make.”

Arizona State University Physics Professor Lawrence Krauss, who agreed that this is not a Christian issue but rather a global one, explained the group’s decision to adjust the clock.

"Faced with clear and present dangers of nuclear proliferation and climate change, and the need to find sustainable and safe sources of energy, world leaders are failing to change business as usual," he said. "Inaction on key issues including climate change, and rising international tensions motivate the movement of the clock."

The group also cited that clear policy has not been developed to contain issues pertaining to nuclear weapons.

"Despite the promise of a new spirit of international cooperation, and reductions in tensions between the United States and Russia, the Science and Security Board believes that the path toward a world free of nuclear weapons is not at all clear, and leadership is failing," the group said in its statement explaining the move.

The group focused its major concerns on meeting energy needs sufficient enough to sustain economic growth.

“As we see it, the major challenge at the heart of humanity's survival in the 21st century is how to meet energy needs for economic growth in developing and industrial countries without further damaging the climate, without exposing people to loss of health and community, and without risking further spread of nuclear weapons,” the group said in the statement.

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