This is a short one today, brought to you by space.com:
In a sign of pessimism about humanity’s future, scientists today set the hands of the infamous “Doomsday Clock” forward one minute from [its previous setting of six minutes] two years ago.
The clock is a symbol of the threat of humanity’s imminent destruction from nuclear or biological weapons, climate change and other human-caused disasters. In making their deliberations about how to update the clock’s time, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists focused on the current state of nuclear arsenals around the globe, disastrous events such as the Fukushima nuclear meltdown, and biosecurity issues such as the creation of an airborne H5N1 flu strain.
“The world still has approximately over 20,000 deployed nuclear weapons with enough power to destroy the world’s inhabitants many times over,” said Lawrence Krauss, an Arizona State University professor and the co-chair of the BAS Board of Sponsors. “We also have the prospect of nuclear weapons being used by terrorist non-state actors.”
Likewise, talks on climate change have resulted in little progress, the panel found. In fact, politics seemed to trump science in discussions over the last two years, said Robert Socolow, a Princeton professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and a member of the Bulletin’s Science and Security board.
No comment on the impending end of the Mayan Calendar, pole reversals, etc. since it looks like we have plenty of real things to worry about.