KIRO NEWSRADIO OPINION

Gee Scott on updated Doomsday Clock: ‘We’re close to the end’

Jan 25, 2023, 3:12 PM

doomsday clock...

The Doomsday Clock has moved closer to midnight. (Getty Images)

(Getty Images)

A group of Atomic Scientists say we are “at a time of unprecedented danger” after moving the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight.

The Science and Security Board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has moved the hands of the Doomsday Clock forward. The clock is the group’s estimate until the end of the world as we know it.

“We are close,” said Gee on Wednesday’s edition of The Gee & Ursula Show on KIRO Newsradio. “I don’t like to think it or say it, but we could be within 100 years.”

Scientists moved the minute hand to 90 seconds before midnight mainly because of “the mounting dangers of the war in Ukraine.”

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“There are eight billion people on the planet,” Gee said. “I’m saying it’s not going down to zero, but I think we’re getting really close.”

The new Doomsday Clock time was also influenced by “continuing threats posed by the climate crisis and the breakdown of global norms and institutions needed to mitigate risks associated with advancing technologies and biological threats such as COVID-19.”

 

“Considering where the news is, considering what’s going on with Ukraine and Russia, you keep hearing about North Korea, considering what we just had coming out of the pandemic, I think we’re pretty close,” Gee explained.

Ursula took a more optimistic view. “I think it depends on what you define as destroying the world. What do we define as making the world uninhabitable for humanity?

“I don’t think we’re ever going to reach that. And I hope we never reach that.”

The clock is set with the support of 10 Nobel Laureates. Previously, the Doomsday Clock had been set at 100 seconds to midnight since 2020.

“You have a lot of problems, like what’s going on with our climate. That’s legit,” Gee said. “I’m not an expert in that topic. But I mean, let’s be real. There are some bad weapons out there.”

“For sure, we are doing things to ruin the environment,” Ursula exclaimed. “But (the end of the world) will obviously not be in my lifetime, my kids’ lifetime, their kids’ lifetime, it’s not going to be anything like that. But will things change to the point where life isn’t good? I hope not.”‘

“Look, I hope I’m wrong. I want better for our next generation. Right?” Gee said. “I don’t want to be right. Now I see y’all going to be mad at me because I sound like I’m glass half empty, and I don’t mean to be that way.”

Mary Robinson, Chair of The Elders and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, said:

The Doomsday Clock is sounding an alarm for the whole of humanity. We are on the brink of a precipice. But our leaders are not acting at sufficient speed or scale to secure a peaceful and liveable planet. From cutting carbon emissions to strengthening arms control treaties and investing in pandemic preparedness, we know what needs to be done. The science is clear, but the political will is lacking. This must change in 2023 if we are to avert catastrophe. We are facing multiple, existential crises. Leaders need a crisis mindset.”

Listen to Gee Scott and Ursula Reutin weekday mornings from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

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