Oh noes! Doomsday clock 1 minute closer to midnight thanks to global warming, other concerns

From the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, where worry about climate change gets equal time alongside their original mission; nuclear holocaust, apparently they haven’t noticed that the Fukashima incident is over and no lives were lost and that there been no statistically significant warming in the past 10+ years.

In the first press release (they have two for some reason), they have this to say:

Allison Macfarlane, chair, BAS Science and Security Board, member, Blue Ribbon Commission on American’s Nuclear Future, and associate professor, George Mason University, said: 

“The global community may be near a point of no return in efforts to prevent catastrophe from changes in Earth’s atmosphere.  The International Energy Agency projects that, unless societies begin building alternatives to carbon-emitting energy technologies over the next five years, the world is doomed to a warmer climate, harsher weather, droughts, famine, water scarcity, rising sea levels, loss of island nations, and increasing ocean acidification.  Since fossil-fuel burning power plants and infrastructure built in 2012-2020 will produce energy—and emissions—for 40 to 50 years, the actions taken in the next few years will set us on a path that will be impossible to redirect.  Even if policy leaders decide in the future to reduce reliance on carbon-emitting technologies, it will be too late.”

Here’s the other press release:

Doomsday Clock moves to five minutes to midnight

10 January 2012It is five minutes to midnight. Two years ago, it appeared that world leaders might address the truly global threats that we face. In many cases, that trend has not continued or been reversed. For that reason, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists is moving the clock hand one minute closer to midnight, back to its time in 2007.

Nuclear disarmament

Despite the promise of a new spirit of international cooperation, and reductions in tensions between the United States and Russia, the Science and Security Board believes that the path toward a world free of nuclear weapons is not at all clear, and leadership is failing.  The ratification in December 2010 of the New START treaty between Russia and the United States reversed the previous drift in US-Russia nuclear relations.  However, failure to act on the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty by leaders in the United States, China, Iran, India, Pakistan, Egypt, Israel, and North Korea and on a treaty to cut off production of nuclear weapons material continues to leave the world at risk from continued development of nuclear weapons.  The world still has approximately 19,500 nuclear weapons, enough power to destroy the Earth’s inhabitants several times over.   The Nuclear Security Summit of 2010 shone a spotlight on securing all nuclear fissile material, but few actions have been taken.  The result is that it is still possible for radical groups to acquire and use highly enriched uranium and plutonium to wreak havoc in nuclear attacks.

Obstacles to a world free of nuclear weapons remain.  Among these are disagreements between the United States and Russia about the utility and purposes of missile defense, as well as insufficient transparency, planning, and cooperation among the nine nuclear weapons states to support a continuing drawdown.  The resulting distrust leads nearly all nuclear weapons states to hedge their bets by modernizing their nuclear arsenals.  While governments claim they are only ensuring the safety of their warheads through replacement of bomb components and launch systems, as the deliberate process of arms reduction proceeds, such developments appear to other states to be signs of substantial military build-ups.

The Science and Security Board also reviewed progress in meeting the challenges of nuclear weapons proliferation.  Ambiguity about Iran’s nuclear power program continues to be the most prominent example of this unsolved problem — centrifuges can enrich uranium for both civilian power plants and military weapons.  It remains to be seen how many additional countries will pursue nuclear power, but without solutions to the dual-use problem and without incentives sufficient to resist military applications, the world is playing with the explosive potential of a million suns and a fire that will not go out.

The potential for nuclear weapons use in regional conflicts in the Middle East, Northeast Asia, and particularly in South Asia is also alarming.  Ongoing efforts to ease tensions, deal with extremism and terrorist acts, and reduce the role of nuclear weapons in international relations have had only halting success.  Yet we believe that international diplomatic pressure as well as burgeoning citizen action will help political leaders to see the folly of continuing to rely on nuclear weapons for national security.

Nuclear energy

In light of over 60 years of improving reactor designs and developing nuclear fission for safer power production, it is disheartening that the world has suffered another calamitous accident. Given this history, the Fukushima disaster raised significant questions that the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’ Science and Security Board believe must be addressed.  Safer nuclear reactor designs need to be developed and built, and more stringent oversight, training, and attention are needed to prevent future disasters.  A major question to be addressed is:  How can complex systems like nuclear power stations be made less susceptible to accidents and errors in judgment?

Climate change

In fact, the global community may be near a point of no return in efforts to prevent catastrophe from changes in Earth’s atmosphere.  The International Energy Agency projects that, unless societies begin building alternatives to carbon-emitting energy technologies over the next five years, the world is doomed to a warmer climate, harsher weather, droughts, famine, water scarcity, rising sea levels, loss of island nations, and increasing ocean acidification.  Since fossil-fuel burning power plants and infrastructure built in 2012-2020 will produce energy — and emissions — for 40 to 50 years, the actions taken in the next few years will set us on a path that will be impossible to redirect.  Even if policy leaders decide in the future to reduce reliance on carbon-emitting technologies, it will be too late.

Among the existing alternatives for producing base-load electricity with low carbon dioxide emissions is nuclear power.  Russia, China, India, and South Korea will likely continue to construct plants, enrich fuel, and shape the global nuclear power industry.

Countries that had earlier signaled interest in building nuclear power capacity, such as Vietnam, United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and others, are still intent on acquiring civilian nuclear reactors for electricity despite the Fukushima disaster.  However, a number of countries have renounced nuclear power, including Germany, Italy, and Switzerland.  In Japan, only eight of 54 power plants currently operate because prefecture governors, responding to people’s opposition to nuclear power, have not allowed reactors back online.  In the United States, increased costs of additional safety measures may make nuclear power too expensive to be a realistic alternative to natural gas and other fossil fuels.

The hopeful news is that alternatives to burning coal, oil, and uranium for energy continue to show promise.  Solar and photovoltaic technologies are seeing reductions in price, wind turbines are being adopted for commercial electricity, and energy conservation and efficiency are becoming accepted as sources for industrial production and residential use.  Many of these developments are taking place at municipal and local levels in countries around the world.  In Haiti, for example, a nonprofit group is distributing solar-powered light bulbs to the poor.  In Germany, a smart electrical grid is shifting solar-generated power to cloudy regions and wind power to becalmed areas.  And in California, government is placing caps on carbon emissions that industry will meet. While not perfect, these technologies and practices hold substantial promise.

Yet, we are very concerned that the pace of change may not be adequate and that the transformation that seems to be on its way will not take place in time to meet the hardships that large-scale disruption of the climate portends. As we see it, the major challenge at the heart of humanity’s survival in the 21st century is how to meet energy needs for economic growth in developing and industrial countries without further damaging the climate, without exposing people to loss of health and community, and without risking further spread of nuclear weapons.

The challenges to rid the world of nuclear weapons, harness nuclear power, and meet the nearly inexorable climate disruptions from global warming are complex and interconnected.  In the face of such complex problems, it is difficult to see where the capacity lies to address these challenges.  The political processes in place seem wholly inadequate to meet the challenges to human existence that we confront.

As such, the Science and Security Board is heartened by the Arab Spring, the Occupy movements, political protests in Russia, and by the actions of ordinary citizens in Japan as they call for fair treatment and attention to their needs. Whether meeting the challenges of nuclear power, or mitigating the suffering from human-caused global warming, or preventing catastrophic nuclear conflict in a volatile world, the power of people is essential. For this reason, we ask other scientists and experts to join us in engaging ordinary citizens. Together, we can present the most significant questions to policymakers and industry leaders.  Most important, we can demand answers and action.  As the first atomic scientists of the Bulletin recognized in 1948, the burden of disseminating information about the social and economic “implications of nuclear energy and other new scientific developments rests with the intelligent citizens of the world; the intense and continuing cooperation of the scientists is assured.”

Few of the Bulletin‘s recommendations of 2010 have been taken up; they still require urgent attention if we are to avert catastrophe from nuclear weapons and global warming.  At a minimum these include:

  • Ratification by the United States and China of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty and progress on a Fissile Material Cutoff Treaty;
  • Implementing multinational management of the civilian nuclear energy fuel cycle with strict standards for safety, security, and nonproliferation of nuclear weapons, including eliminating reprocessing for plutonium separation;
  • Strengthening the International Atomic Energy Agency’s capacity to oversee nuclear materials, technology development, and its transfer;
  • Adopting and fulfilling climate change agreements to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through tax incentives, harmonized domestic regulation and practice;
  • Transforming the coal power sector of the world economy to retire older plants and to require in new plants the capture and storage of the CO2 they produce;
  • Vastly increasing public and private investments in alternatives to carbon emitting energy sources, such as solar and wind, and in technologies for energy storage, and sharing the results worldwide.

The Clock is ticking.

-Science and Security Board, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists


Meanwhile, back at the reality ranch, not much to get excited over:

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January 10, 2012 1:26 pm

Iran leap frogging towards nuclear weapons…the clock goes “yawn…”
10+ years of flat or declining temperature…the clock says “We’re doomed!!!”
Well in this case the idiocy is definitely “worse than we thought.”

January 10, 2012 1:28 pm

But Anthony, Climate Change HAS affected humankind’s future. Just not in the way they are implying.
It is the economic and energy fragility that have been bought on in many countries, by the implementation of moronic, ill-considered responses to the Climate Change scare that gives great concern for the future.

January 10, 2012 1:28 pm

This whole tacky PR stunt was a sad farce when they started in in the cold war.
Trying to represent the risk of nuclear armageddon by an analogue display was just dumb.
It was something that would either happen or not, depending on completely unpredictable events (Cuban missiles?) and the idea of a bunch of dithering profs working out the odds was always a joke.
Mow it’s just a stale joke.

January 10, 2012 1:31 pm

“The global community may be near a point of no return in efforts to prevent catastrophe from changes in Earth’s atmosphere.
The problem with that statement is that it relies on a stupid public. We know with 100% certainty that the statement above can not possibly be true. We can look in the historical record and see that it isn’t true. I am constantly amazed by how gullible our public is to allow people to make statements like that.

Sean Peake
January 10, 2012 1:35 pm

Has the clock ever gone backwards? I suggest we move the time zone.

Pull My Finger
January 10, 2012 1:35 pm

Blah, blah,
blah, blatty, blah, blah.
bleep, bleep,
bleat, bleat, bleat

Frank K.
January 10, 2012 1:36 pm

“As such, the Science and Security Board is heartened by the Arab Spring, the Occupy movements…
This is all I need to know about these hard left wing elites…
Let us all know when the BAS goes off-the-grid with their wind turbines and solar panels…[heh]

tim in vermont
January 10, 2012 1:38 pm

Global warming is nothing a good nuclear war won’t cure. Carl Sagan said so.

January 10, 2012 1:47 pm

@ Sevarian,
This is the only article that I have seen in the bulletin that gave it some credibility,
However, I feel that they have become more of a political organization than a scientific one as of late.

Nomen Nescio
January 10, 2012 1:48 pm

The Doomsday clock would seem to indicate the Mayan date of 21 December is in fact wrong. Because, when we go on daylight savings time, the clock will switch to 55 minutes after TEOTWAWKI, and that happens in the spring! Oh No!!!

January 10, 2012 1:51 pm

The International Energy Agency projects that, unless societies begin building alternatives to carbon-emitting energy technologies over the next five years, the world is doomed to a warmer climate, harsher weather, droughts, famine, water scarcity, rising sea levels, loss of island nations, and increasing ocean acidification.
Probably the most hopeful thing about all of this drivel, is the notion that in as few as five years from now, we will be in a position to tell them that: “By your own admission, it is too late. So kindly STFU.”
Of course, that hope will never prove out, because (as with the itinerant preacher spouting the threat of hellfire as he thumps his Bible on the street corner) doomsday never actually arrives with these clowns. It always sits just close enough to serve as an excuse for demanding action on the part of others, far enough away that it can’t be examined closely, while never so far away as to be of no concern.
How many “tipping points” have we sailed by on our way to being inexorably threatened by the current one?

Owen in Georgia
January 10, 2012 1:54 pm

These folks were never about science so there is no talking sense to them. I wish the press would just ignore them, but alas excrement sells more papers than truth.

January 10, 2012 1:54 pm

People love to waste their time on Alarmism. It is just another part of the Entertainment Industry. It has nothing to do with Science. It is just about making money like the rest of the Entertainment Industry. In Roman Times it was Bread and Circuses. Now it is AGW and the Domsday Clock

Ben Wilson
January 10, 2012 1:56 pm

I wonder if they really have any actual “atomic scientists” in their organization. . . .

January 10, 2012 2:04 pm

By a complete coincidence, I just began to receive lots of “personal e-mail” from this “The Bulletin dot ORG”. Is that a coincidence? It always says I could be interested etc. Does someone experience the same thing?
The imminent doomsday is a concern for the near future and it always will. 😉

George E. Smith;
January 10, 2012 2:11 pm

Izzat five years we have to implement a fix. Is it possible we may only have four years, or maybe its six. well lemme see that is really 2.89 to 8.66 years isn’t it given the obligatory 3:1 fudge factor.
Dang, I may have to make some other plans for my old age.
So we have the enemies of the atom telling us we are caught between a rock and a hard place.
Do all those chaps have bipolar disorder ?

Robert M
January 10, 2012 2:14 pm

You know, if we had just listened to James Hansen 20 years ago Most of New York City and other low lying cites would not have been inundated and we would not be burying our 4.5 billion dead and trying to care for the remaining 50 million climate refugees… Oh, wait.

January 10, 2012 2:14 pm

Give ’em a piece of your mind here:

Steve (Paris)
January 10, 2012 2:15 pm

We are all going to be marmalised!

January 10, 2012 2:16 pm

Now we could do it with conventional weapons, but that could take years and cost millions of lives. No, I think we have to go all out. I think that this situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody’s part!

January 10, 2012 2:19 pm

re: Nomen N: TEOTWAWKI ???
If you’re going to be that way about it, here’s the song by R.E.M. (tongue firmly in cheek) Enjoy. Cheers –

January 10, 2012 2:21 pm

I would reserve judgement on mortality from Fukushima for another 10 – 20 years. The environmental and social damage (uprooting families from their homes) is colossal and ongoing

January 10, 2012 2:25 pm

Oh No:
Then these guys got it wrong then. 2012 is Climate Doom Year afterall. 🙂
Nothing bad will happen to the Earth in 2012,’ says NASA on its website in the reassuring tones of a parent dealing with a frightened toddler.
‘Our planet has been getting along just fine more than four billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012.’
Ready for Doomsday: Buying asteroid-proof bunkers, killing their pets and planning mass suicide, the families convinced this ancient calendar predicts the world will end in 2012

January 10, 2012 2:40 pm

Were they funded by the Soviet communists like the U.K. CND were?

January 10, 2012 2:41 pm

Let’s see how many pieces they can get out of that last five minutes….
….in the next several hundred years

January 10, 2012 2:44 pm

Stop debating whatever the Union for Concerned Chicken Little is saying. Seriously, why give them any credibility at all.
Concerned means troubled or anxious. Right?
So if you have a few anxious and troubled scientists together in a room what do you do? I know, we find some more troubled and anxious scientists…get them all in a big room and UNIONIZE them…cause that always makes things better right?
No wait it get better…We have a ‘union’ of freaked out…sorry… ‘concerned’ anxious and troubled scientists…in a big room…and we tell them…”If you guys don’t run out and look up and see that the sky is falling…you guys won’t have jobs…and everything you worked so hard your whole life…everything you believe in…will disappear.”
So anyway, why does anybody listen the these guys anymore? I mean go back and look at what they were saying in the 60’s…or the 70’s…or the 80’s…anybody want to ‘peer review’ the crap they were saying back then?
Don’t debate them. Print up some of the crap they have been spewing for decades..ask your congressmanwomanperson if they support it or not. Ask them if they take any campaign contributions from the people associated with Chicken Little. If you want to become an ‘Extremist’ like Grover Nordquist and try to get every politician to sign a pledge not to support their causes, you might have some luck…and make a bunch of enemies…which is great, because it means that you stood up for something…or something like that…I think…
(I am not making ANY judgement on Grovers tactics or beliefs…just saying it is an option, don’t go debating him.)

January 10, 2012 2:55 pm

Its always the same message, its a guy with a sandwich board wanderin around with the words “repent!” and “the wages of sin is death” codswallop written all over it.
Anything to scare people into accepting the new green marxism.
Alarmism to get a rise but they messed up, they shouted “heylp” Its the woolerf!” (remember that show anyone?) too many times and now people are just so weary of it all, so sick of it….death would be a blessed relief from all their doom laden junkscience proclamations.
We are truly bored of it all.

January 10, 2012 3:06 pm

I would reserve judgement on mortality from Fukushima for another 10 – 20 years. The environmental and social damage (uprooting families from their homes) is colossal and ongoing

No more or less colossal than those who lived in entire cities completely wiped off the map due to the tsunamis. In other words, the people of Fukushima have it no worse than people of dozens of other towns all over Northern Japan. Please stop catastrophising. Nobody died from Fukushima’s nuclear incident and nobody is likely to die, either.

Disko Troop
January 10, 2012 3:09 pm

Could Kenji Watts join the science and security board of the concerned atomic scientists? They do appear to be barking mad.

January 10, 2012 3:17 pm

Wow these people are now advocates of ACC. I guess nuclear holocaust is a 20th century problem now. Is there no end to this eco-marxist gravey train?

January 10, 2012 3:18 pm

Didn’t the move it back two years ago because Obama was going to heal the planet?
So…how’s that SCOAMF thing workin’ for ya?

Nick Shaw
January 10, 2012 3:18 pm

“the Science and Security Board is heartened by the Arab Spring, the Occupy movements, political protests in Russia”!
Are they actually members of CAIR or are we being punked?
The ONLY thing that might advance their ridiculous clock is the aforementioned Arab Spring, in my humble opinion!

Lee L.
January 10, 2012 3:21 pm

@ Onion
>I would reserve judgement on mortality from Fukushima for another 10 – 20 years. The >environmental and social damage (uprooting families from their homes) is colossal and ongoing
Yes indeed Onion. Reserving judgement is a fair comment. At the same time we should also bear in mind, by comparison, that they in 1945 let off a naked Uranium bomb right over Hiroshima and a bigger Plutonium(Most poisonous substance in existence!!! {wink}) bomb over Nagasaki.
A mere 60 or so years later, the population of Hiroshima is now about 1.2 million while Nagasaki supports more than half a million lives.

January 10, 2012 3:25 pm

So the world is doomed to more extreme weather. I suggest we all move to Adelaide. Why? Well although it had the hottest start to the year in over 120 Years (i.e. 1st to 3rd of January), the truth is that extreme heatwaves are no more frequent that they were in the 1890s, 1910s and 1930s.
See Joanna Nova http://joannenova.com.au/2012/01/ian-hill-there-have-only-been-78-other-heatwaves-like-that-in-adelaide-51-were-hotter/
On my own blog have put up a couple of graphs that help emphasize the data trends.
Like with other reports of extreme whether, when it comes as a choice between looking at the long-term data or the sensationalism of the Sky News (owners of Fox News in the USA), which way do you the serious scientists go?

January 10, 2012 3:25 pm

Feedback just sent to “Bulletin of Atomic Scientists”
I hope you are being misquoted in a recent article which says that you think the minute hand is now ‘5 minutes to midnight’ because of clean atomic energy and some poor computer models drummed up by the IPCC. I am an average person, with an average amount of time on my hands, and I can work out that what has been quoted is just flat out scaremongering. I will of course expect a retraction from someone of import. If there is no retraction then you can join the list of ‘Chicken Littles’ around the globe.
Thank you.
And please, don’t count me as a member of your organisation just because I have contacted you online.

DonB in VA
January 10, 2012 3:29 pm

The global warning team may be near the point of no return in their efforts to shakedown the world’s taxpayers for more money.

January 10, 2012 3:35 pm

Ben Wilson says:
January 10, 2012 at 1:56 pm

I wonder if they really have any actual “atomic scientists” in their organization. . . .

I wonder if anyone has told these “scientists” that they themselves are made of atoms.

January 10, 2012 3:45 pm

The only global community that’s near a point of no return in their efforts to prevent catastrophic irrelevancy is the CAGW crowd. Someday they’ll realize the changes in Earth’s atmosphere are beneficial. Or not–it really won’t matter.

January 10, 2012 3:46 pm

There are some individuals who are cooling the reactors at Fukushima who deserve our recognition and thanks. “Like all disasters, the Japanese earthquake and tsunami brings forth its toll of both tragedy and heroism. Among the latter is the daily trek of 180 workers to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, who continue to work 50-hour shifts in their efforts to cool the wrecked reactors. The men are voluntarily exposing themselves to extreme levels of radiation knowing that it is likely to seriously damage their health. But why? Why don’t they run away? A recent study by a group of US researchers provides new clues to the origin of human kindness.” Johnjoe McFadden at the Guardian

January 10, 2012 3:54 pm

Shouldn’t they be using a thermometer for the climate change part of this BS? Maybe one of those old fashioned glass rectal types. 😉

January 10, 2012 3:59 pm

An analog representation – how quaint.
And having to explain that it’s 11:55 PM, and not 11:55 AM shows how out-of-touch they are with the rest of the world.
If they really wanted to show how serious they are, they should use a Mickey Mouse watch.

January 10, 2012 4:01 pm

Right on, Crosspatch. The horror was the 20,000 dead from the tsunami. That would be Nature doing the mass-killing. My revulsion is from considering that because Nature caused these deaths, these apocalypto-philiac “scientists” think those sad deaths are no big deal, and instead are only concerned about the few potential deaths from irradiation from the power plant.
If it is not about “Mankind is Evil!”, they are not concerned.

January 10, 2012 4:01 pm

And we’re seriously overdue for a Y2K.

January 10, 2012 4:03 pm

January 10, 2012 at 3:06 pm
But in 10 – 20 years, enough “data” can be concoct^H^H^H^H^Hllected to “show” (with the use of models of course) that the Fukushima incident resulted in the deaths of millions.
BTW, you ought to research how the number of deaths from Hiroshima was “calculated”

January 10, 2012 4:13 pm

Sounds like a great science fiction novel! When can I buy it?
But seriously. Do they really think we’re this stupid to continue buying their scare tactics? They’re playing the old game “Cry Wolf”.

Greg Cavanagh
January 10, 2012 4:15 pm

As I was reading the article, I kept wondering why they were still concerned about Russia? There are many more places in the world where martyrdom is acceptable, and who also have nuclear weapons (or trying to develop them).
They do seem to be a long way behind current events.

January 10, 2012 4:20 pm

The BAS is clearly the IPCC of the previous generation. “If we don’t throw our civilization under the bus RIGHT NOW we’re all going to DIE.”
Despite the B*S prognostications, rational and irrational governments around the world (with an oops for the US) have refrained from the use of nuclear weapons for their intended purpose. Likewise, despite IPCC prognostications, rational and otherwise governments (with an oops for Austrailia, despite the possession of excellent citizens David Evans and Jo Nova among others) are studiously avoiding any policy with “climate” in the title. China didn’t just rain on the Durban parade, they pi**ed on it, just as they are pi**ing on the EU airline fuel tax.
In the end, governments do represent the interests of their populations. Seldom do these interests include self-immolation. The mobs are indeed wise.

Peter Miller
January 10, 2012 4:23 pm

Anyone know the bloated salary levels (inc. expense allowances) of the members of the Science and Security Board?
Anyone know any useful function that they do?
Anyone know the connection between nuclear weapons/energy technology and ‘climate science’ as it is practiced today?
Somehow the concept of “Crying Wolf” seems to be very appropriate here.

January 10, 2012 4:51 pm

Lets play cut and past shall we…
If you don’t want to read what I cut and pasted …and my comments, just note: James Hansen is on the Board that sets the clock…and their ain’t many atomic scientist either, but there are some.
Today’s challenges
When we moved the hand of the Clock from 7 to 5 minutes to midnight in January 2007, the Bulletin’s Board of Directors warned about two major sources of potential catastrophe: the perils of 27,000 nuclear weapons in the world, 2,000 of them ready to launch in minutes, and the destruction of human habitats from climate change.
The Board of directors huh…well they must be scientist…right? I am sure some of them are probably of the Atomic variety…
Governing Board
Michael Bierut
A partner at the renown design firm Pentagram
Robert Finkel
Finkel is the president of Prism Capital
Lee Francis (Vice-Chair)
An internist and CEO at Erie Family Health
Austin Hirsch (Secretary & Treasurer)
Hirsch is a partner at Reed Smith
Satish Nandapurkar
Nandapurkar most recently served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Chicago Climate Exchange Inc.
William Revelle (Chair)
An American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow, Revelle directs the personality program in the Department of Psychology at Northwestern University
Lowell Sachnoff
Sachnoff is a lawyer at Reed Smith
Joan Shapiro
A banker with community investment expertise, Shapiro is a pioneer in socially responsible investing
Joan Winstein
Winstein is CEO of Loan Strategies, Inc., a bank consulting practice
Maybe it was the Science and SECURITY Board…and remember the atomic scientists all need good security in case the sky falls on them or something…
Science and Security Board
Lynn Eden
Eden’s Whole World on Fire: Organizations, Knowledge, and Nuclear Weapons Devastation won the American Sociological Association’s 2004 Robert K. Merton award for best book in science and technology studies.
Alexander Glaser
A member of the research staff at Princeton
James Hansen
Hansen is director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies (oh NASA…that makes total sense…just in case the ‘Mars Attacks…is it getting HOT in here Senator?)
Tony Haymet
Haymet is director of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. He is also the dean of the Graduate School of Marine Sciences at the University of San Diego. Additionally, he is co-founder and current vice chair of CleanTECH San Diego, a business organization devoted to solving the climate change problem.
Edward “Rocky” Kolb
The Arthur Holly Compton Distinguished Service Professor of Astronomy & Astrophysics
Lawrence Korb (Vice-Chair)
The author of The Fall and Rise of the Pentagon, Korb is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress (Now what was it…hmm…oh yeah…Joltin Joe Romm is also one of them Senor Fellas…)
Lawrence Krauss
In addition to writing the best-seller, The Physics of Star Trek, Krauss has written six other books ( begin sarc now…Fermi and Flinstones, Oppenheimers Insights into Flash Gordon, The Holy Grail; One Mans Quest Another Mann’s Favorite Movie…)
Leon Lederman
An internationally renowned high-energy physicist, Lederman is director emeritus of Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Illinois
Allison Macfarlane (Chair)
An associate professor of environmental science and policy at George Mason
Thomas R. Pickering
The co-chair of the International Crisis Group (hello…. the sky is falling…it’s a crisis Chicken Little…but which came first…the chicken little or the egg?)
Ramamurti “Doug” Rajaraman
Rajaraman is an emeritus professor of physics at Jawaharlal Nehru University
M. V. Ramana
A physicist, Ramana is senior fellow at the Centre for Interdisciplinary Studies in Environment and Development in Bangalore, India.
Thomas Rosenbaum
An expert on the quantum mechanical nature of materials
Robert Rosner
Rosner is the William E. Wrather Distinguished Service Professor in the departments of Astronomy and Astrophysics and Physics at the University of Chicago
Jennifer Sims
Sims is Director of Intelligence Studies and a Visiting Professor in the Security Studies Program at Georgetown
Robert Socolow
Socolow is the codirector of Princeton University’s Carbon Mitigation Initiative

January 10, 2012 5:00 pm

Gloom, despair, and agony on me
Deep, dark depression, excessive misery
If it weren’t for bad luck, I’d have no luck at all
Gloom, despair, and agony on me

January 10, 2012 5:08 pm

Onion says:
January 10, 2012 at 2:21 pm
I would reserve judgement on mortality from Fukushima for another 10 – 20 years. The environmental and social damage (uprooting families from their homes) is colossal and ongoing
Are you referring to the tsunami? 20,000 + dead? Drowned? Lost? Gone?
Families? Try entire cities.

Mark and two Cats
January 10, 2012 5:10 pm

Lee L. said:
January 10, 2012 at 3:21 pm
A mere 60 or so years later, the population of Hiroshima is now about 1.2 million while Nagasaki supports more than half a million lives.
A year after the blasts, both sites were back to ~background radiation.

Pamela Gray
January 10, 2012 5:17 pm

After a nice warm glass of sherry, I am just tipsy enough to see that slight trend as being flat as a pancake….and highly open to suggestions.

Frank K.
January 10, 2012 5:20 pm

For Immediate release…
“The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists” is formally changing it’s name to reflect it’s new progressive mission. From today, it will be known as the Federation of Atomic Intellectuals and Leftists (F.A.I.L.). F.A.I.L. will begin by replacing it’s famous clock with Gensing Tea leaves. According to F.A.I.L., the world is currently five tea leaves from doom. And, as explained by F.A.I.L. senior representative Jimmy Moonglow, ‘Like…when the tea leaves run out…whoa…it’s over, man!’ ”
“F.A.I.L. will also seek an alliance with #Occupy Wall Street, a group to be known as #OccupyFail. Their work will consist of making unreasonable demands of people and businesses they don’t know and smelling funny.”
End press release.

January 10, 2012 5:39 pm

Allison Macfarlane is a professor at a university?

Dr. Macfarlane is currently an Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University … She received her PhD in geology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1992. …she was a Social Science Research Council-MacArthur Foundation fellow in International Peace and Security.. In 2006 MIT Press published her book, “Uncertainty Underground: Yucca Mountain and the Nation’s High-Level Nuclear Waste”, which explores the unresolved technical issues for nuclear waste disposal at Yucca Mountain, Nevada.

So she’s as much a nuclear expert as am I.
And according to the bio., she hasn’t done much actual geology.
In academia, one can be an expert without any real-world experience in the chosen field of applied science.

January 10, 2012 5:48 pm

DonB in VA …
I wish that I were in VA. Then I would make time to visit George Mason University in Fairfax VA and stand in front of the department laughing loudly while pointing at Professor Macfarlane.
But such wouldn’t mock her nearly as much as her own words.

January 10, 2012 5:48 pm

I sent them the following message:
We’ve been minutes away from Doomsday for decades now. How often do you have to be 100% flat wrong before you realize you’re just neo-Malthusian publicity hounds?
And now you’ve added the runaway global warming nonsense to your scare stories! Harold Camping must be on your advisory board.
Just FYI, the world is laughing at you: http://tiny.cc/efu37

But I doubt they’ll publish it.

January 10, 2012 5:52 pm

OT: Katherine Hayhoe is in the news in Canada… the Globe and Mail owned by Thomson Reuters is presenting the poor Canadian climate scientist as a victim…
And she even got words for you bloggers:
““There’s a well-organized campaign, primarily in the United States but also in other countries, including Canada and Australia, of bloggers, of people in the media, of basically professional climate deniers whose main goal is to abuse, to harass and to threaten anybody who stands up and says climate change is real – especially anybody who’s trying to take that message to audiences that are more traditionally skeptical of this issue.”
And this gem:
“Dr. Hayhoe says she had never met people who didn’t believe in climate change until she moved to the U.S. and began her public work.”
She must have lived in Suzuki’s basement. But since her latest preaching book is acknowledging desmogblog… LOL
“Dr. Hayhoe’s learned of the decision from the media.
“Nice to hear that Gingrich is tossing my #climate chapter in the trash. 100+ unpaid hrs I [could have] spent playing w my baby,” she wrote on”
It still would have been unpaid I suppose…

January 10, 2012 5:54 pm

They havent seen the iceage paper yet. Roll it back 9000 years.

January 10, 2012 6:05 pm

Fukishima is over? I don’t think so. We’ll be cleaning up that mess for quite some time to come.
Iran a nuclear threat? Yea they might someday actually have the blasting caps like India and Pakistan but no mention of Israel with the big thermonuclear capability.
Pity they didn’t give the LFTR technology away in the 1960’s & 70’s then all these countries would have to make their bombs the old fashioned way.
Climate change? A threat maybe in either direction but nobody can prove we will go into another ice age (likely) or get much warmer (unlikely).
I leave you with a classic. Sorry if metal isn’t your cup of tea. Good work out tune!

Mike the convict
January 10, 2012 6:07 pm

And like every stopped clock on the planet it is itself 100% correct for 1 minute every day.
Hmm I wonder why they didn’t use military time as in 23:55. Probably because 90% of the planet wouldn’t know what it means.
It is about time the ‘scientists’ and media started talking about Destroying Humankind and not destroying the planet via something as lame as a temprature increase or an increase in an inert gas. We are just fleas inhabiting a larger dog/world, I mean its not like I can buy a really good quality sledge hammer and break the planet apart now can I?

January 10, 2012 6:07 pm

January 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm
“A more wretched hive of scum and villony …”

January 10, 2012 6:14 pm

The clock used to run on Stalin Standard Time. It went backwards whenever the US gave way to Soviet demands, and moved forward whenever the US stood firm. Now that Stalin has morphed into Margaret Mead (not a very difficult PaintShop transition; slightly blonder mustache would do the job) the clock runs on Gaia Standard Time.

January 10, 2012 6:21 pm

The Doomsday people lost a whole lot of viewers when Soviet Russia collpased. This is a pathetic plea for attention. Disgraceful….

King of Cool
January 10, 2012 6:50 pm

We don’t need Atomic scientists to tell us. Private Frazer told us decades ago:

Wur doomed, entombed and marooned – och aye!

D Caldwell
January 10, 2012 6:52 pm

Yawn…… stretch…… Going to the fridge for a brewski…. Changing the channel….

January 10, 2012 6:52 pm

Not that I want to get into (and I won’t) or start a partisan bickering contest, but when I saw the story earlier today I went and looked at all of the changes to the Doomsday Clock position.
On 1947 the Doomsday Clock was established with a setting of seven minutes before midnight.
Over the course of the last 65 years the net change in the Clock time during Republican administrations has been 12 minutes away from midnight. The net change in the Clock time during Democrat administrations has been 14 minutes toward midnight.
In other words, without Republicans the Democrats would have moved us to total anihilation twice over since the Doomsday Clock was established.

January 10, 2012 7:04 pm

In my gloomier moods I think we are closer each time they put up another bird-shredder.

January 10, 2012 7:14 pm

Amazing thing is, according to their timeline, in 2007, they added climate change (and -1 min, making it 5 till midnight).
In 2010, with “…worldwide cooperation to reduce nuclear arsenals and limit effect of climate change…”, they moved back a minute (6 till midnight).
Now, 2 years later, they took that minute back.
Since 1947, the total movement has been from 7 till to 5 till. Two minutes in the past 65 years.
Tempus fugit, indeed…

Mike Wryley
January 10, 2012 7:16 pm

One definition of atomic, “very small, infinitessimal”

Amino Acids in Meteorites
January 10, 2012 7:27 pm

Oh sheesh, we’re still all going to die from global warming.

random non-scientist in the USA
January 10, 2012 7:27 pm

Well it looks like a typical clock soooo….it’s right twice a day? Using minute intervals, that’s an accuracy rate of .139%, see consistancy is GOOD.

January 10, 2012 7:50 pm

Now I see why no nuke plants being built in north America, if this shows the level of atomic skill.

Crispin in Waterloo
January 10, 2012 8:00 pm

Feedback to “Bulletin”
“I was surprised by the stridency in your recent message against all forms of nuclear power. If the Fukushima plant was a CANDU reactor there would have been no problem at all. Japan bought 1970’s crap American reactors designed to be expensive and complicated using fuel that costs a fortune to prepare, secure and supply. The result was inevitable.
Surely your organisation of Atomic scientists are the ones who would be the most aware that non-Uranium nuclear power poses none of the proliferation problems related to bombs and long storage solutions.
Similarly the strident statements about the world being 5 years from inevitable climate disaster from human emissions of CO2 leaves the reasonably-read public bewildered. Do Atomic scientists not keep up with events? Not a single prediction of impending doom (flooding, climate refugees, billions dead etc) have been manifested after three decades of impending doom. The influence of CO2 is being grossly overstated and the role of galactic cosmic ray-induced low cloud cover underestimated. Surely Atomic scientists are aware of the role of ionizing cosmic radiation in the formation of cloud condensation nuclei. After all, the effects of radiation is their field of study. Please read a little more broadly.
The assessments of the position of the clock hands are valueable and should reflect reality and the justification should be based on science, not what is difficult to see as other than just scare-mongering. The world faces real threats from atomic weapons. That threat is best addressed by providing alternative nuclear power designs that are uselss for creating weapons. Is not the Atomic scientist the one to take the lead on this? Why is the promotion of virtually limitless energy from Thorium left to non-scientists and scientists from non-atomic sectors? Why don’t you lead your own field of enterprise?
Instead I read in your message promotion of the stupidest, most uneconomical technolgy ever proposed which is CCS – a boondoggle as bad as the deliberate choice of U238 as the most expensive fuel system available for US power plants. Yes it creates vast incomes for a few corporations, but it is not really a solution, is it? There is hardly any Uranium on this planet anyway. Peak Uranium: 2035.
Atomic scientists, please sharpen your pencils and start applying your minds to the safe generation of power on a global scale. It is literally your job to do so. And move the clock hands back an hour.”

January 10, 2012 8:01 pm

…Huh? Isn’t it about 20 after by now?

January 10, 2012 8:06 pm

More hype. Just like the article at National Geographic (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2012/01/120106-harp-seals-global-warming-sea-ice-science-environment/?source=hp_dl1_news_seals20120110) about poor baby seals being killed by Global Warming.

January 10, 2012 8:25 pm

Add that one to the “end of the world” in December 2012 crazy theories!
We are all doomed in 2012!…….
They would say that anyway, wouldn’t they…global warming CO2 scare
means more nuclear power needed, and that is what their jobs are on about.

Douglas DC
January 10, 2012 8:58 pm

“Happiness is a warm fast breeder.”-T-shirt from an old Nuke engineer I knew.
My worry; Iran. North Korea, Pakistan.Syria.

January 10, 2012 9:46 pm

Jump on the band wagon.
■Adopting and fulfilling climate change agreements to reduce carbon dioxide emissions through tax incentives, harmonized domestic regulation and practice;
■Transforming the coal power sector of the world economy to retire older plants and to require in new plants the capture and storage of the CO2 they produce;
■Vastly increasing public and private investments in alternatives to carbon emitting energy sources, such as solar and wind, and in technologies for energy storage, and sharing the results worldwide.
Why not just call it like it is and save credibility. Nuclear power is a viable energy resource. Leave the bullsh*t out.

January 10, 2012 9:52 pm

Yeah that was the original angle I looked into and found and amazing correlation with the political winds of the day.
(now my rant)
But don’t look specifically for a left /right election bias…dig deeper…
Most of the ‘predicted’ or assumed changes we flat wrong and most of the other changes were defacto changes. I need to dig a bit further and try to explain this concisely, but check out a few examples:
1960 and 1963 plus 10 minutes; their justification? From good old Wiki…
“In response to a perception of increased scientific cooperation and public understanding of the dangers of nuclear weapon. … a series of coordinated, worldwide scientific observations between nations allied with both the United States and Soviet Union- between years 1957 and 1958 and Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs …”
The reality…we had The Bay of Pigs, Cuban Missile Crisis (hello atomic science guys…Sputnik was all about throw weight…not some warm fuzzy Pigwash hope and change crap) and the start of the US involvement in Vietnam…which of course had been going on pretty much since Uncle Joe didn’t have to worry about his neighbors to the West. (Historically correct term avoided to prevent idiots from proving it.)
1988, 1990 and 1991 plus 14 points. Why? Communism failed. Did they predict it? Orwell did. Do they credit the Pope, Reagan or Thatcher (shout out to Brian Mulroney, eh!) whose policies contributed? Or if you by into the Levi’s and Rock and Roll Theory even better as it was even MORE predictable right?
But did they? Nope, they added minutes after the fact.

Reply to  Andrew
January 10, 2012 10:02 pm

How long is the backlash period? How long after policy is enacted is a change felt?
I feel like our four-year political cycle often causes for overlap and mis-appropriation of blame concerning such affairs. Samesies happens when we’re all blaming each other for spending too much money, the effects of policy changes are rarely felt right away. Right?
If I’m totally wrong, can you explain? Are such time lapses taken into consideration? Does policy have an immediate affect? Or do actions and events speak louder than legalistic words, meaning: is something like launching Sputnik going to affect the clock faster than signing a nuclear arms agreement with someone, and thus the clock is affected in real time?
Honest questions, go easy on me.

January 10, 2012 9:54 pm

You can’t help bad luck.
Watermelons do not use RS (real science) they use BS (bureaucratic science)
Even down here in New Zealand our government is pushing the AGW scam, and we have a National Party in power (National = Republican…Right Wing).
To blame a trace gas in the atmosphere (CO2…Plant Food) is beyond stupid, it is downright idiotic,
as in mad daft dumb barmy batty crazy dotty inane inept nutty potty silly absurd simple stupid and

January 10, 2012 9:57 pm

Mike Wryley says:
January 10, 2012 at 7:16 pm
One definition of atomic, “very small, infinitessimal”
Yeah I always liked ‘quantum leap’…metaphorically speaking…having never actually been able to leap that far…

January 10, 2012 10:00 pm

The world still has approximately 19,500 nuclear weapons, enough power to destroy the Earth’s inhabitants several times over.

That is a piece of “conventional wisdom” or “urban myth” that I don’t believe is true. I don’t believe even a full on nuclear war would destroy the Earth’s inhabitants. It would likely do severe damage to a lot of area, but it wouldn’t destroy everyone on the planet once, let alone “several times over”. That statement is complete and utter nonsense.
Everything that organization has to say from that point forward is pure bunk. What was amazing from Hiroshima and Nagasaki were the number of SURVIVORS. Many of those weapons are smaller tactical nuclear warheads. We were playing a football game at Ground Zero in Hiroshima on New Year’s Day (Atomic Bowl) in Hiroshima in 1946. Don’t get me wrong, they certainly would be destructive, but particularly in modern cities built to modern building codes, there would be much less destruction from most of these weapons than people have been led to believe. The worst case damage would likely be due to the increase in environmental strontium-90 which is still found in soils today from open air testing in the 1950’s and 1960’s. The notion that it would kill everyone on the planet, though, is pure fantasy.

January 10, 2012 10:07 pm

@Crispin in Waterloo
Excellent points. I agree with you, but they have no interest in debating you. No different than the debates with Hansen et al…Mann is there an echo in here?
My point is we can’t debate them. Warm fuzzy lies defeat cold hard fact unfortunately in many public debates.

January 10, 2012 10:17 pm

crosspatch says:
January 10, 2012 at 10:00 pm
The world still has approximately 19,500 nuclear weapons, enough power to destroy the Earth’s inhabitants several times over.
“That is a piece of “conventional wisdom” or “urban myth” that I don’t believe is true.”
It is as true as: One guy can impregnate every woman in the world.
Maybe the “Love Guru” can when he Returns from Almora.

January 10, 2012 10:29 pm

Great questions. Very intuitive in my opinion, which is worth a lot to me. However, I am too tired to answer you in a serious manner tonight. But I am working on something that I think will maybe tie up some lose ends. Maybe tomorrow if this thread still has life or I will find at your Happy hippie place, lol.

Reply to  Andrew
January 10, 2012 11:36 pm

thank you, not only for getting back to me, but for considering me “insightful.”
get back to me when you have time, i’d love to know your answers. maybe i’ll poke around the interwebs for some research on the matter. and do come over to my happy hippie place, it’s rather charming. tmrw’s post will have a couple LOLs =)

January 11, 2012 12:19 am

Wow, one minute closer to doomsday because of lack of action on reducing CO2 emissions. Let these inane, moronic, educated imbeciles; remove 190 ppm CO2 from the air and it is midnight now. (I mean true doomsday, with millions dead and war all over the world) Instantly all crops produce 10% to 15% less food, or we have to plant 10% to 15% more food and find 10% to 15% more water.

jason lawrie
January 11, 2012 1:15 am

I have nothing of value to contribute, but I do need to vent my spleen.
I am sick and tired of being held to ransom by tax-funded ‘experts’ of dubiuos credentials (thanks ‘Andrew’) who demand that I hand over my freedom to choose, and a large wad of cash…or I and my loved ones will die!
I doubt I will ever see, face to face, any of the folk who signed off on this press release. But if I did they would suffer the wrath of my finger wagging rant. Yet every week or so I receive another death threat via the MSM, because of another bogus weather related catastrophe…. unless I pay now!
I can forgive the ‘Atomic Scientists’ their silly clock, and the hooplah involved. But I cannot forgive the cavalier way they bestow doom upon us all. That makes it personal!

Mr Green Genes
January 11, 2012 1:16 am

“… the world is doomed to a warmer climate, harsher weather, droughts, famine, water scarcity, rising sea levels, loss of island nations, and increasing ocean acidification.”
What happened to conquest, war, famine and death? Or plagues of frogs? Or plagues of boils? Honestly, these people aren’t trying. With a bit of thought, they could have really gone over the top.

Geoff Sherrington
January 11, 2012 3:20 am

Andrew says: January 10, 2012 at 4:51 pm members of Board of Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
Right at the the bottom (and assuming he’s still there) Robert Socolow
Socolow is the codirector of Princeton University’s Carbon Mitigation Initiative
He keeps interesting company on the Deutsch Bank Climate Change Advisory Board, set up in 2008 and in their Annual report with these members:
Members of the Climate Change Advisory Board
Lord Browne, Managing Director and Managing Partner (Europe), Riverstone
Holdings LLC and former CEO of BP
John Coomber, Member of the Board of Directors, Swiss Re and Chairman, The
Climate Group
Fabio Feldmann, CEO, Fabio Feldmann Consultores and former Executive
Secretary, Brazilian Forum on Climate Change
Amory B. Lovins, Chairman and Chief Sientist, Rocky Mountain Institute
Lord Oxburgh, Member of the Advisory Board, Climate Change Capital and Former
Chairman of Shell
Dr. R. K. Pachauri, Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
Professor Hans Joachim Schellnhuber, CBE, Founding Director of Potsdam
Institut for Climate Impact Research
Professor Robert Socolow, Co-Director, The Carbon Mitigation Initiative and
Professor, Princeton University
Professor Klaus Töpfer, Former Minister for Environment, Germany
Professor Hongren Zhang, Former President, International Union of Geological
Science and former Vice Minister of Geology and Mineral Resources, China

David A. Evans
January 11, 2012 4:40 am

The simple answer to all this is to stop educating idiots beyond their capacity to understand!

Coach Springer
January 11, 2012 6:20 am

The most scientificist of scientists believe … . Great logic there – starting with the word “believe.” Abandoning science in the name of science to serve Mann.

January 11, 2012 6:43 am

The DOOMSDAY CROCK is at midnight, doomsday media 2012 is in full swing.

January 11, 2012 6:46 am

It is appropriate they should have a fictional clock for fictional problems.
And they are a bit full of themselves by pretending to save the world as their cause. The article was no more than support for a one world government redistributing the wealth as they see fit with no regard for commerce and free enterprise.

Scottish Sceptic
January 11, 2012 7:07 am

They seem to have forgotten that the “midnight” of nuclear weapons was what they called “nuclear winter”.
If global warming were to happen sometime, then it would only lessen the effects of nuclear winter.
Or perhaps their crazy logic is now that because there are so few nuclear weapons, there is no longer the weapons to bring about the nuclear weapons to force the massive cooling which is all that will save us from the dire consequences of getting a bit warmer and earlier spring flowers.
In other words, their real concern is that there are now too few nuclear weapons … to make anyone pay them any attention at all!

January 11, 2012 8:35 am

This stupid clock was always a ludicrous way to display what some people assumed was a risk about something or other.
Frankly, I’m amazed that anyone could care less what this so-called “Doomsday” clock says.

Brian H
January 11, 2012 8:57 am

Crispin in Waterloo says:
January 10, 2012 at 8:00 pm

As a fellow Canuck, who grew up in the AECL bedroom town of Deep River, Ont.,I have some sympathy with your rant. But you need to proof a bit better before hitting ‘Send’. I twitched as I read

“1970’s — 1970s
your organisation of Atomic scientists are — is
billions dead etc) — dead, etc.)
the role of ionizing cosmic radiation in the formation of cloud condensation nuclei. [A wee dig about cloud chambers would have gone down well here!]
are valueable — valuable
that are uselss — useless
Peak Uranium: 2035. — “Peak anything” predictions have the same performance record as the other dooms you list that failed to materialize.

Anyhow, you may be able to un-lax sometime this winter or spring. If the next couple of research steps at the LPPhysics.com project are successful, scientific break-even using an a-neutronic fusion process (the opposite of LENR, more like VHENR!), in a tiny widely deployable waste-free ~5MW generator, will be achieved, and thus establish that unlimited (peak-free) electric power is within immediate grasp. Every ‘renewable’ (and eventually conventional, as deployment accelerates) power source will be economic roadkill (think 5-50X cost ratios) within 5 yrs. .
I wonder what the BAS members will do for a living then …

January 11, 2012 9:27 am

Notice that every single reinforced concrete structure survived pretty much intact. The reason why Nagasaki and Hiroshima *looked* as bad as they did was because most of the construction was fairly flimsy wooden structures. You will see nearly identical damage in Tokyo from conventional incendiary bombing:
This is a very important issue that people should think about as more third world despotic governments gain access to nuclear weapons. The likelihood of there being such a weapon used will probably increase. What has to stop is the irrational hysteria that is spread about them and an irrational fear of radiation that is borne out of ignorance. What has also astonished scientists has been the fact that so many survivors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki lived normal life expectancies after. There were no greater incidence of cancers among long term survivors than the rest of the population. In other words, if you didn’t get so much radiation that it killed you early, you probably would likely lead a normal life. A Hiroshima size weapon detonated in a major city today would likely see the majority of the buildings survive. Flying glass would likely kill more people than the actual bomb itself. It would be the resulting panic from fear of radiation that would do more damage to the population than the bomb itself. Heck, you could immobilize an entire US metro area today by releasing a completely harmless amount of radiation but enough to show up on radiation monitors just out of shear panic. We had people taking iodine pills in the US from completely harmless (but detectible) amounts of radioactive iodine from Fukushima. The fear of radiation and the surrounding panic would be a more potent weapon than the radiation itself.

Mr Green Genes
January 11, 2012 10:50 am

According to Johnny Guitar Watson, it was 3 hours past midnight in 1956, so isn’t 5 minutes to midnight an improvement?

Nomen Nescio
January 11, 2012 11:16 am

And I feel fine.

michael hart
January 11, 2012 1:37 pm

I don’t know. One day it’s “five years”. The next it’s “five minutes”. Wish these people could make their minds up.

January 11, 2012 3:22 pm

Blurb accompanying photo in Matt Gurney Article
[i]Instantaneous local warming is hard to miss, or deny[/i]
[Note: Use angle brackets instead of square brackets to get the result you want. ~dbs, mod.]

January 11, 2012 3:44 pm

Blurb accompanying photo in Matt Gurney Article
Instantaneous local warming is hard to miss, or deny

January 11, 2012 4:03 pm

Mr Green Genes says:
“January 11, 2012 at 10:50 am
According to Johnny Guitar Watson, it was 3 hours past midnight in 1956, so isn’t 5 minutes to midnight an improvement?”
And all the Eric Clapton fans scream in horror the next time Slowhand begins to play “After Midnight”…

Luke of the D
January 11, 2012 5:49 pm

My favorite bit is this: “In Haiti, for example, a nonprofit group is distributing solar-powered light bulbs to the poor.” Solar light bulbs… think about that for a minute.
And then this gem: “In Germany, a smart electrical grid is shifting solar-generated power to cloudy regions and wind power to becalmed areas.” Re-read that and really think about what they are saying… that is perhaps one the funnier things I’ve read in a while.

Andy Clark
January 11, 2012 7:58 pm

Anthony, your site is great, and I’ve learned immensely from it; the exposure of climate science fraud is greatly thanks to you, and I really can’t express my appreciation sufficiently.
So I hate to say that I think you’re wrong in stating that the “Fukushima incident is over.”
For one thing, tens of thousands of people still cannot go home, and the epidemiological consequences of radiation exposure of thousands more may not be known for years (or never, if interests supporting nuclear power get their way).
Sometimes it’s hard to separate fact from rumor; a New Year’s surge in radioactive cesium fallout may or may not have been caused by temporary exposure of the fuel rods in the No. 4 reactor’s spent fuel pool. However, it is undisputed that the structural integrity of the No. 4 reactor building was seriously compromised by the March 11 earthquake, and although TEPCO has shored up the building, there is no guarantee that it would withstand any possible future aftershock. Building collapse (or even severe cracking of the fuel pool) would expose those spent rods to air, with all that that implies. (While writing this, a M5.8 quake just off the Fukushima coast. No news from TEPCO on damage, but you can bet that everyone in Tokyo who hasn’t deliberately tuned out is anxiously awaiting word.)
Since the MSM is for the most part studiously ignoring this hazard, I recommend looking at information posted on the “ex-skf” and “Fukushima Diary” blogs. They may not always be right, but at least they make a conscientious attempt to inform.
Thanks again, and keep up the good work.

January 13, 2012 12:51 pm

But how did they do that before the invention of the clock?

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