The hands of the Doomsday Clock have been sent back one minute. The alarm is now set to go boom! in six, and not five, minutes. Time enough for one more beer.
It used to be 300 short seconds until The End, but the good people of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (BAS) have looked out upon the world and, lo, they have found it less quarrelsome. They see “encouraging progress” in both “key threat areas”: nuclear weapons … and climate change?
Yes, climate change.
The BAS has three boards: A majority of scientists (like top physicists Steven Weinberg, Stephen Hawking, and Freeman Dyson) sit on the external Board of Sponsors; the Science and Security Board, which also has a good share of whitecoats; and the Governing Board — which has at most one scientist (Seth Grae, who runs a company to dispose plutonium). The other Governing Board members are similar in makeup to Jay Harris, the publisher of the far-left Mother Jones.
Here are some members of the Science and Security Board whose backgrounds are not in nuclear weapons or diplomacy (there are 19 members in all):
- James Hansen: He was once seen in an English courtroom advocating vandals be set free because they committed their crimes in the name of the environment. He amusingly called coal transports “death trains.” In Germany.
- Stephen Schneider: This man has taken a keen interest in climate change. Thirty years ago he was sure mankind was ushering in the next ice age. Now he is certain we are causing devastating global warming.
- Robert Socolow: He heads up Princeton’s Carbon Mitigation Initiative. They’re always seeking donations, if you can spare them.
- Lawrence Krauss: An involved guy, he often writes for New Scientist magazine. (Incidentally, at its founding, the “New” was one of the more popular euphemisms for “communist.”) Krauss strikes me as someone who wants to be where the action is.
- Tony Haymet: He is the co-founder and current vice chair of CleanTECH San Diego, a business organization devoted to solving the climate change “problem.”
I have contacted the BAS (and their PR firm) but I have been unable to discover who decides how the clock is set back (or forward). Is there a vote among board members? If so, which board? Are clock-changing proposals presented to the sponsors prepared by the Governing or Science Board? I don’t know the answers.
In any case, the Doomsday Clock has gone back in time. The BAS says that by “shifting the hand back from midnight by only one additional minute, we emphasize how much needs to be accomplished, while at the same time recognizing signs of collaboration among” the world’s leading nations “on nuclear security and on climate stabilization.”
The BAS is proud of our current president, calling him “more pragmatic.”
They gush that he uses a “problem-solving approach” to solving problems.