Scientists: 'Doomsday Clock' now at three minutes to midnight - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Scientists: 'Doomsday Clock' now at three minutes to midnight

Posted: Updated:
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the Doomsday clock closer to midnight on Thursday The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the Doomsday clock closer to midnight on Thursday
KHQ.com - In the Terminator movies, the beginning of the end is when SkyNet becomes self-aware and launches an attack against humans. It is known as Judgement Day, and if you listen to James Cameron and Arnold Schwarzenegger, it already happened on August 29, 1997. 

But if you think we're in the clear because it already happened, don't get too comfortable yet. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which is actually made up of a board that includes 17 Nobel prize laureates, says that complete planetary destruction is near. On Thursday they moved the "Doomsday Clock" to three minutes to midnight. The group says rising threats from unchecked climate change and nuclear weapons have created the biggest existential crisis for humanity since the Cold War. 

Civilization hasn't been more imperiled since the 1950s, according to the group. 

The clock was first set in 1947 and was established by Manhattan Project scientists, who coincidentally built the world's first atomic bomb. The idea behind it was to create a visible symbol to help the public understand the threats humans pose to themselves. Since 1947, the clock has been adjusted 18 times. The safest period since then has been from 1991 to 1994, when the clock was 17 minutes from midnight. The last time it peaked to where it stands now, was during the Cold War tensions of the 1980s. The last time it was adjusted was in 2012, when it was five minutes from midnight. 

So how do we roll back the clock and avoid catastrophe? Protect John Conner? Surprisingly, no. 

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists said we must:

  • Cap greenhouse gas emissions at levels that would keep global warming below 2C (3.6F) 
  • Dramatically cut spending on nuclear weapons modernization 
  • Reinvigorate the nuclear disarmament process 
  • Deal with the problem of nuclear waste

  • KHQ Online Poll

  • Do you think the Doomsday Clock should be closer to or farther from midnight?

  • Thank you for participating in our poll. Here are the results so far:

    Closer
    53%
    66 votes
    Farther
    47%
    59 votes
  • Scientists: 'Doomsday Clock' now at three minutes to midnight
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Spokane man intervenes in terrifying case of road rage

    Spokane man intervenes in terrifying case of road rage

    Thursday, September 21 2017 2:23 AM EDT2017-09-21 06:23:54 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A terrifying case of road rage could have gotten much worse if it hadn't been for a total stranger. The man went from a spectator to a participant in a matter of seconds. Once James Williams saw there were kids involved in this potentially dangerous situation, the former Marine Corps. medic said he had to do whatever he could do to help.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A terrifying case of road rage could have gotten much worse if it hadn't been for a total stranger. The man went from a spectator to a participant in a matter of seconds. Once James Williams saw there were kids involved in this potentially dangerous situation, the former Marine Corps. medic said he had to do whatever he could do to help.

    >>
  • Family, friends remember artist killed in I-90 crash

    Family, friends remember artist killed in I-90 crash

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 11:13 PM EDT2017-09-21 03:13:49 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - When Ryan Foster received the tragic news about losing his sister in a crash on Interstate 90, he couldn’t believe it. He was all the way back east in Jersey City, New Jersey, and got on a plane as fast as he could "Just shock, disbelief. I mean there's still a great deal of it, but at this point it's just about remembering her," said Ryan. 24-year-old Michaelanne Foster is being remembered as a talented artist and a loving and caring sister.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - When Ryan Foster received the tragic news about losing his sister in a crash on Interstate 90, he couldn’t believe it. He was all the way back east in Jersey City, New Jersey, and got on a plane as fast as he could "Just shock, disbelief. I mean there's still a great deal of it, but at this point it's just about remembering her," said Ryan. 24-year-old Michaelanne Foster is being remembered as a talented artist and a loving and caring sister.

    >>
  • Spokane home trashed after squatters take over

    Spokane home trashed after squatters take over

    Wednesday, September 20 2017 9:34 PM EDT2017-09-21 01:34:36 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A home was completely trashed after the owner says squatters took over. “They've been destroying the house,” says Gene Thomsen. “They've ripped walls apart, floors, everywhere.” Everywhere you look, there’s some form of garbage. One room has garbage piled almost to the ceiling. Gene has also been finding needles all over his house.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - A home was completely trashed after the owner says squatters took over. “They've been destroying the house,” says Gene Thomsen. “They've ripped walls apart, floors, everywhere.” Everywhere you look, there’s some form of garbage. One room has garbage piled almost to the ceiling. Gene has also been finding needles all over his house.

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Frida, the hero dog, hard at work rescuing people after earthquake in Mexico

    Frida, the hero dog, hard at work rescuing people after earthquake in Mexico

    Thursday, September 21 2017 12:04 PM EDT2017-09-21 16:04:25 GMT

    MEXICO CITY - With dozens of saves already under her belt (collar?), Frida the Labrador Retriever is hard at work in Mexico trying to save people trapped in debris following a devastating earthquake this week.  A 7.1 earthquake has already killed nearly 250 people and injured more than 2,000 in Mexico. Search crews are using all possible means to search for survivors, including dogs like Frida. 

    >>

    MEXICO CITY - With dozens of saves already under her belt (collar?), Frida the Labrador Retriever is hard at work in Mexico trying to save people trapped in debris following a devastating earthquake this week.  A 7.1 earthquake has already killed nearly 250 people and injured more than 2,000 in Mexico. Search crews are using all possible means to search for survivors, including dogs like Frida. 

    >>
  • Bodily fluids found in soap dispensers at Detroit airport

    Bodily fluids found in soap dispensers at Detroit airport

    Thursday, September 21 2017 10:48 AM EDT2017-09-21 14:48:50 GMT

    DETROIT - Crews at Detroit metro airport are pulling out soap dispensers in the bathrooms after what they call an "unusual substance" was found in the soap at several locations. The exact substance has not been definitely identified because no testing has been done, although officials say they're fairly certain what the substance was. 

    >>

    DETROIT - Crews at Detroit metro airport are pulling out soap dispensers in the bathrooms after what they call an "unusual substance" was found in the soap at several locations. The exact substance has not been definitely identified because no testing has been done, although officials say they're fairly certain what the substance was. 

    >>
  • Washington farm opening Huskies vs. Cougars corn maze

    Washington farm opening Huskies vs. Cougars corn maze

    Thursday, September 21 2017 10:06 AM EDT2017-09-21 14:06:44 GMT

    KHQ.COM - Fall is pretty much here which means it time to pull out the sweaters, bake a loaf of pumpkin bread, carve pumpkins and of course... get lost in a corn maze! This year one Washington farm has created a corn maze that's playing into one of the states biggest rivalries: Huskies Vs. Cougars. Farm Fresh Produce is located in Buckley, Washington and has carved out the logos for both schools in their corn field.

    >>

    KHQ.COM - Fall is pretty much here which means it time to pull out the sweaters, bake a loaf of pumpkin bread, carve pumpkins and of course... get lost in a corn maze! This year one Washington farm has created a corn maze that's playing into one of the states biggest rivalries: Huskies Vs. Cougars. Farm Fresh Produce is located in Buckley, Washington and has carved out the logos for both schools in their corn field.

    >>