Synergy Client Solutions, a client acquisitions company based in Bristol, has learnt that The Doomsday Clock has been moved one minute closer to midnight because of “inadequate progress” on nuclear and climate issues. The time on the clock is decided by The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) which, created the clock in 1947.
The BAS believe that whilst Russian-US nuclear relations have seen considerable improvement, many other countries have failed to keep their end of nuclear treaties. US, China, Iran, India, Pakistan, Egypt and Israel are accused of failing to act on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The BAS singled out North Korea as the worst offender for failing to cut off production of nuclear weapons material despite a treaty. The clock saw its last movement back in 2010 when the time was moved back one minute.
The Doomsday Clock is something that has interested Synergy Client Solutions in recent years. According to The BAS website The Doomsday Clock ‘conveys how close humanity is to catastrophic destruction – the figurative midnight – and monitors the means humankind could use to obliterate itself.’
Synergy Client Solutions has done some research into the history of the clock. The Doomsday Clock was created after the American atomic bomb attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. Within two decades Britain, the Soviet Union, China and France had nuclear weapon programmes. Since then Israel, India, Pakistan and North Korea have been added to that number. Substantial quantities of highly enriched uranium, one of the materials necessary for a bomb, exist in more than 40 non-weapon states. Though most of the nuclear concerns in recent years have focussed on Iran, the International Atomic Energy Agency estimates than between 20 and 30 countries possess the capabilities, if not the intent, to pursue the bomb.
“Interestingly” remarks the director of Synergy Client Solutions “The Doomsday Clock also focuses on climate change and biological weapons. Huge advances in genetics and biology has, unfortunately, meant that biological warfare, the release of dangerous pathogens to cause illness or death, has become a very real concern.”
Looking at The Doomsday Clock timeline shows that the threat was at its worst in 1953, 2 minutes to midnight. The United States decided to pursue the hydrogen bomb, a weapon far more powerful than any atomic bomb. In October 1952 the USA tested its first thermonuclear device, destroying a Pacific Ocean islet in the process. 1984 saw the clock move to 3 minutes to midnight but the mid-1990s were a period of relative improvements with the clock at 14 minutes to midnight.
“At Synergy Client Solutions we find the concept of The Doomsday Clock a fascinating one. From an environmental point of view there is a great deal that we can do to help. Bristol is home to the Bristol Environmental Risk Research Centre, which is at the forefront of its field in the UK. From a nuclear and biological standpoint, we rest our confidence in the world’s governments. We wonder how long it will be before the hands move again.”