Donald Trump could be about to trigger the apocalypse, elite Doomsday Clock scientists conclude

It is the first time the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has ever made a decision based on the words of one person

Andrew Griffin
Thursday 26 January 2017 16:38
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US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump dance during the Armed Services Ball on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC
US President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump dance during the Armed Services Ball on January 20, 2017 in Washington, DC

Donald Trump has pushed the world to the brink of oblivion, according to many of the world's most elite scientists.

The new President's "unsettling" and "ill-considered" statements on nuclear weapons and climate change led the scientists to move the Doomsday Clock forward, indicating that the world is just two-and-a-half minutes from complete destruction.

It is the first time that the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists – which includes many of the world's brightest minds and 15 Nobel laureates – have ever made their decision on teh clock on the basis of the words of just one person.

“Over the course of 2016, the global security landscape darkened as the international community failed to come effectively to grips with humanity’s most pressing existential threats, nuclear weapons and climate change," the Bulletin's Science and Security Board noted in its statement. "This already-threatening world situation was the backdrop for a rise in strident nationalism worldwide in 2016, including in a US presidential campaign during which the eventual victor, Donald Trump, made disturbing comments about the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons and expressed disbelief in the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change.

"The board’s decision to move the clock less than a full minute — something it has never before done — reflects a simple reality: As this statement is issued, Donald Trump has been the US president only a matter of days …

Despite that, the new President has indicated potentially world-ending positions on the world's biggest problems, the Bulletin wrote.

“Just the same, words matter, and President Trump has had plenty to say over the last year," the same statement read. "Both his statements and his actions as President-elect have broken with historical precedent in unsettling ways. He has made ill-considered comments about expanding the US nuclear arsenal. He has shown a troubling propensity to discount or outright reject expert advice related to international security, including the conclusions of intelligence experts.

"And his nominees to head the Energy Department, and the Environmental Protection Agency dispute the basics of climate science. In short, even though he has just now taken office, the president’s intemperate statements, lack of openness to expert advice, and questionable cabinet nominations have already made a bad international security situation worse.”

The board also noted a number of other threats to the world, including the chance of nuclear warfare posed by countries including North Korea, India and Pakistan, and the continuing danger posed by climate change. But on all of those important issues, Mr Trump's statements had only served to make things worse, the board wrote.

Lawrence Krauss, who chairs the Bulletin's board of sponsors, said that world leaders needed to take note of the facts about the danger that the world is in.

"In 2016, world leaders not only failed to deal adequately with those threats; they actually increased the risk of nuclear war and unchecked climate change through a variety of provocative statements and actions, including careless rhetoric about the use of nuclear weapons and the wanton defiance of scientific evidence," Professor Krauss said. "To step further back from the brink will require leaders of vision and restraint. President Trump and President Putin can choose to act together as statesmen, or as petulant children, risking our future. We call upon all people to speak out and send a loud message to your leaders so that they do not needlessly threaten your future, and the future of your children.”

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