Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Three Minutes 'Til Doomsday

                The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists says Earth is now closer to human-caused doomsday than it has been in more than 30 years because of global warming and the modernization of nuclear weaponry. In fact, the group, founded by the creators of the atomic bomb, moved their famous “Doomsday Clock” ahead two minutes on January 22nd, stating that the world is now three minutes from a catastrophic midnight rather than five minutes. So, apparently, 23 hours and 57 minutes are all shot-to-hell and only three minutes are left of this figurative day the Earth has to live. The Bulletin’s executive director, Kennette Benedict, said “This is about doomsday; this is about the end of civilization as we know it.”
                And I thought the NFL’s “Deflategate” scandal was depressing.
                Don’t start smoking unfiltered cigarettes, drinking hard liquor straight from the bottle and bathing with your toaster just yet, however. The 20 scientists on the board are, in essence, an advocacy group. While they claim to consider climate change and the proliferation/modernization of nuclear weapons “equal but undeniable” threats to humanity’s continued existence, logically I would question both their analysis  and their conclusion(s). The last time they had Earth  this close to doomsday was 30-some years ago. So, in that sense, time has virtually stood still for 30-some years now. And, back then, it would’ve been global cooling that would have petrified them in addition to a nuclear holocaust.
                Maybe we haven’t yet mastered the mysteries of time. Maybe 30-some years is too short a window to matter in the cosmic big-picture. What if we looked further back, and also at other than ‘human-caused’ doomsday possibilities?
                ‘Objectively’, where would they have put the clock in the Dark ages? During the Civil War? World Wars I and II? In fairness, shouldn’t we grant the dinosaurs their own clock? Where was it at when the asteroids or comet(s) hit and they became extinct?

                And… I’d like my own damn clock. I’d see things a bit differently, perhaps. I would’ve moved the clock back a couple of hours when Reagan was elected. And, with Obama’s election, I’d have had the minute hand moving ahead…with the speed of a wind-turbine’s blades in a hurricane.

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