“Leaders and citizens of the world! This is your wake-up call: 100 seconds to midnight,” was the warning scientists gave Wednesday morning when they announced that the 2021 Doomsday Clock — a visual representation of the perceived threats facing the planet — was holding at a record close to the apocalypse.
In 2020, the hands of the clock moved from two minutes to midnight by 100 seconds, the closest time to symbolic doom. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists shows that the hands remain in the same place this year as in the past – the authors called the COVID-19 pandemic “an extremely alarming signal.”
“The pandemic showed how unprepared and unwilling countries and the international system are to deal properly with global emergencies. In this time of real crisis, governments have too often abdicated responsibility, ignored scientific advice, failed to cooperate and communicate effectively, and consequently failed to protect the health and well-being of their citizens,” the organization said.
The organization said that neglecting science and spreading conspiracy theories, often by political figures and party leaders, will only continue to undermine the ability to protect people from future threats.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a nonprofit organization, was founded in the 1940s by Albert Einstein and scientists at the University of Chicago after the development of atomic weapons. Over the past decade, the Doomsday Clock has been slowly approaching midnight, symbolizing the growing risk of apocalypse and the end of civilization.