Whether It’s a ‘Climate Emergency’ or Nuclear War: Doomsday Never Seems to Happen

Opinion by Anthony Watts, originally published on Townhall,com

From 1947 to today, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, keepers of the “doomsday clock”—a holdover from the atomic age and Cold War—has predicted doom by moving the hands of a prop clock closer to or further away from midnight. Midnight represents a global doom disaster in progress.

In a breathless press release on January 23, which included a cameo from former California governor and climate activist Jerry Brown, the group announced that due to “climate change,” the world is 20 seconds closer to midnight, standing at 100 seconds (1 minute 40 seconds) before midnight.


Photo by Lexey Swall Photography, courtesy of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

The scientists announced:

Civilization-ending nuclear war—whether started by design, blunder, or simple miscommunication—is a genuine possibility. Climate change that could devastate the planet is undeniably happening. And for a variety of reasons that include a corrupted and manipulated media environment, democratic governments and other institutions that should be working to address these threats have failed to rise to the challenge.

In essence, they are saying nuclear war and climate change are equivalent threats. Such a comparison is mind-bogglingly ridiculous.

Consider that climate change has no “hair trigger” like nuclear catastrophe does. Some despot or dictator who obtains a nuclear weapon is entirely different from the slow change of climate over 100 years.

Yet, these supposedly learned scientists have embraced the hype of “climate emergency” as if it was on par with a nuclear hair trigger. Lamenting the lack of action and interest in climate change, they write:

Lip service continued, with some governments now echoing many scientists’ use of the term “climate emergency.” But the policies and actions that governments proposed were hardly commensurate to an emergency. Exploration and exploitation of fossil fuels continues to grow.

Because all governments don’t sense an “emergency” and have not pulled the plug on electricity grids powered by fossil fuels, the Atomic Scientists are in despair.

They would actually like us to believe that we are presently in more danger of global apocalypse than during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Really? Ask yourself this: Do you feel like climate change may burn your town to a crisp any day now? Do we need to implement “duck and cover” exercises for school kids in case the boogeyman of climate change sweeps down and attacks a city?

The threat comparison between nuclear war and climate change is patently absurd—there’s really no other way to describe it.

Interestingly, it wasn’t until 2007 that “climate change” became a main target on the radar of the atomic scientists. That was one year after Al Gore released his widely viewed scary movie known as An Inconvenient Truth. Since then, “climate change” has been listed as a doomsday factor in each of the eight clock adjustments.

It’s almost as if they swapped one boogeyman for another. Yet, look at the history of the doomsday clock:

Click to enlarge

Comparing “climate change” to the intensity of all the other threats, it seems completely out of place and of far less magnitude and urgency. Despite 73 years of predicting doomsday proximity, it has never materialized.

So again, with such a track record, ask yourself: Do you feel more threatened by nuclear Armageddon, or the possibility that it might be a little bit warmer next year?

Anthony Watts is former television meteorologist and Senior Fellow for Environment and Climate for The Heartland Institute. He operates the most viewed website on climate in the world, WattsUpWithThat.com

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January 30, 2020 2:07 pm

Utterly ludicrous simpletons.

But they are greedy and ambitious simpletons with a socialist agenda.

They have a disease and they are determined to ensure it spreads as far as possible.

Reply to  HotScot
January 30, 2020 4:17 pm

… simpletons …

I would say they are historically illiterate. Given the recorded history during the previous warm periods during the Holocene, there is no reason to think that continued warming will cause more strife than we have already experienced. Certainly, the return to Little Ice Age temperatures won’t help either.

Reply to  commieBob
January 30, 2020 8:13 pm

AW: “Do you feel more threatened…that it might be a little bit warmer next year?”
commieBob: “there is no reason to think that continued warming…”

Just like two frogs in a saucepan. What could possibly go wrong?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Loydo
January 30, 2020 9:10 pm

We are not grogs.
The Earth is not a sauce pan.
We are not sitting in water on a hot stove.
We live on a greening planet in an ice age.
Anyone hallucinating that they are a frog in a sauce pan, might want to seek the care of a mental health professional.

Reply to  Loydo
January 30, 2020 9:51 pm

Little Loydo is back with another clueless statement.

How come warmists like you ignore the Holocene Optimism, when it was a lot warmer than it is now, yet here we are today……

Don’t you have anything beyond babble to offer?

Reply to  Sunsettommy
January 30, 2020 10:36 pm

“a lot warmer than it is now”

Do you have a source for your claim that includes “now”? Because all the information I’ve seen shows the opposite to be true.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Sunsettommy
January 30, 2020 11:50 pm

“Loydo January 30, 2020 at 10:36 pm

Because all the information I’ve seen shows the opposite to be true.”

What information have *YOU SEEN*. Care to post it, back up your posts?

Reply to  Sunsettommy
January 31, 2020 12:29 am


Here you go http://www.biocab.org/Geological_Timescale.jpg

Now wrap up.

Reply to  Sunsettommy
January 31, 2020 1:27 am

C’mon Patrick, Sunsettommy made the unsubstantiated claim, why not ask him to “back up” his post?

HotScot, yep, the sun was cooler back in the Pre-Cambrian…but I guess you knew that.

Um…in case you didn’t read it properly Sunsettommy said “Holocene” so that was what I was asking him about. But thanks for the random graph.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Sunsettommy
January 31, 2020 2:10 am

Loydo, here is a link to an article about the Holocene Climate Optimum with numerous charts showing it was indeed warmer than today.
Why do you do think it got its name?

Reply to  Sunsettommy
January 31, 2020 3:28 am

Bill, none of those charts include “today” – “now”. If you follow the links to the research they are based on, they say BP meaning before 1950, or even earlier: “This plot does not show the temperature rise of around 0.7°C that occurred over the 20th Century”. The author of that post omits to mention that. The other misleading trick is to show a single ice core graph from Greenland and claim it represents the global average.

This graph shows a collection of different reconstructions and their average:
comment image?resize=600%2C405
The same graph 12 years later:
comment image
“Today” appears to be quite a bit warmer.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Sunsettommy
January 31, 2020 4:48 am

Loydo, you obviously did not read the article I linked to or bother to read the comments on the article. In the future, please do some research before posting.

Bill Toland
Reply to  Sunsettommy
January 31, 2020 5:02 am

Loydo, the chart that you have referred to uses the utterly discredited Hockey Stick to show that today’s temperature is the hottest over the last 2000 years. This is what you base your ridiculous claim on that today is warmer than the Holocene Climate Optimum. You really do need to do some research into global warming instead of regurgitating science denying drivel from climate alarmists.

John Endicott
Reply to  Sunsettommy
January 31, 2020 5:54 am

Bill, Loydo is a alarmist troll. Asking him/her to do research before posting is a waste of time, as he/she is not interested in research or the truth, only in pushing their alarmist screed, as can be see in every post they make on this forum.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Sunsettommy
January 31, 2020 5:53 pm

“Loydo January 31, 2020 at 1:27 am

C’mon Patrick, Sunsettommy made the unsubstantiated claim, why not ask him to “back up” his post?”

That the Holocene was warmer, unsubstantiated? It’s your claim the Holocene wasn’t warmer when the evidence shows Sunsettommy to be correct.

Reply to  Loydo
January 31, 2020 1:57 am

Here’s a challenge for you, little Loydo: I want you to try growing red grapes in North Yorkshire and barley in Greenland today, as they did during the Medieval Warm Period.

Reply to  Graemethecat
January 31, 2020 3:47 am

“Potatoes, apples, strawberries, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, and carrots” all grown in Greenland today. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Greenland

North Yorkshire? Aye laddie. https://www.winebusiness.com/news/?go=getArticle&dataid=171427

Reply to  Graemethecat
January 31, 2020 4:45 am

Loydo: How many of those crops are grown under glass? The Wiki article doesn’t say.

The fields once cultivated by the Vikings are still fallow. As the article says, only about 1% of the country is currently culytivable.

Reply to  Graemethecat
January 31, 2020 5:17 am

“Chateau Largo is the brainchild of Christopher Trotter, a local chef and food writer who had a dream to start a winery in Scotland. After much research, he planted 200 hybrid grapevines, such as Siegerrebe, that could withstand a cooler climate. His first vintage was available in 2015, but deemed “undrinkable,” by some critics, due primarily to some winemaking issues. However, Trotter was pleased, because he was able to prove that winegrapes can be grown in Scotland and used to produce wine. He plans to continue in his efforts to produce a solid-quality Scottish wine.”

“The bottles had an attractive label with a warrior Scotsman on the front, but also said quite clearly that it was a “Wine of Chile.” The back label explained that the wine was bottled in the UK for St. Andrew’s Distillers. Apparently the Selkirk’s Island brand name was created in honor of a daring Scottish adventurer who was marooned on an island off the coast of Chile. Despite the fact that it really wasn’t made in Scotland, the wine still created some local pride.”

Loydo, perhaps you should read the article first.

Reply to  Graemethecat
January 31, 2020 1:03 pm

“perhaps you should read the article first.”

Grapes are being grown in Scotland and Google maps show several vineyards in Yorkshire.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Graemethecat
January 31, 2020 6:41 pm

“Loydo January 31, 2020 at 1:03 pm”

While that is true, the quality isn’t particularly good.

Reply to  Graemethecat
February 1, 2020 3:03 am

Loydo: Have you taken into consideration the fact that CO2 levels are higher today, thus promoting plant growth?

Reply to  Graemethecat
February 2, 2020 3:30 pm

Loydo, you need to understand the difference between grapes and grains and ground crops. Potatoes for example grow mostly underground and aren’t as susceptible to frosts as grapes and grains.

Really learn some history. Which would you believe; a computer model or the words and actions of the people who were really there?

Tom Foley
Reply to  Graemethecat
February 2, 2020 4:47 pm

Wine in Yorkshire: http://www.leventhorpevineyard.co.uk/

And in Australia:


Argue all you like, but when the grape harvest in South Australia is now month earlier than it was 40 years ago, something is happening.

Johann Wundersamer
Reply to  Graemethecat
February 11, 2020 5:27 am

Loydo, your Greenland Green Houses –

There’s more than 1 and it’s genuine “Green Houses”:


Reply to  Loydo
January 31, 2020 5:06 am

The frog in a saucepan metaphor is a myth. link

Curious George
Reply to  HotScot
January 30, 2020 4:57 pm

How long can we afford to feed and clothe these parasites?

Reply to  HotScot
January 30, 2020 7:13 pm

The fact that the doomday clock has been predicting doom in 5 minutes since 1947, more than 80 years, speaks for itself!!!

Frederick Michael
Reply to  HotScot
January 30, 2020 7:16 pm

Exactly. They showed their true colors when the cold war ended. They should have set the clock back to last Tuesday. Instead they moved it back a few minutes.

It’s been an obvious joke ever since.

Reply to  HotScot
January 31, 2020 12:21 am

Everyone knows that they started this to help their buddies over in the Soviet Union. I wonder how many people inside of the USSR or satellites knew what time it was? They didn’t.

Reply to  HotScot
February 2, 2020 7:50 am

Utterly ludicrous simpletons

Very first comment & all that needs said. They’ve destroyed any usefulness of “clock” by the SOP of the leftists — mindless scaremongering to the point of a serious psychosis.

January 30, 2020 2:15 pm

Well time does stop as you approach a black hole (of doom messaging).

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 30, 2020 5:48 pm

Or, if you get enough relatives together (Relativity).

January 30, 2020 2:16 pm

“Doomsday clock”. Appropriate name except even a broken clock is right twice a day.

Reply to  markl
January 30, 2020 2:54 pm

The Doomsday Clock only has to be right once. At least when that day finally comes, we won’t have to listen to: See, I told you so.

Nick Werner
Reply to  markl
January 30, 2020 9:03 pm

I think “Doomsday Crock” is more appropriate.

January 30, 2020 2:19 pm

For some reason, whenever the subject of the “Doomsday Clock” comes up I immediately think of a song called ‘The Merry Minuet’. It might be pushing 70+ years but not much has changed except for some of the names. As long as there are people the yearning for doomsday will exist.

They’re rioting in Africa
They’re starving in Spain
There’s hurricanes in Florida
And Texas needs rain

The whole world is festering with unhappy souls
The French hate the Germans, the Germans hate the Poles
Italians hate Yugoslavs, South Africans hate the Dutch
And I don’t like anybody very much!!

But we can be tranquil and thankful and proud
For man’s been endowed with a mushroom-shaped cloud
And we know for certain that some lovely day
Someone will set the spark off
And we will all be blown away!!

They’re rioting in Africa
There’s strife in Iran
What nature doesn’t so to us
Will be done by our fellow man



Bill Powers
Reply to  Max
January 30, 2020 2:34 pm

Last heard Circa 1965, performed by the Kingston Trio I believe it was the Hungry I.

Chris Hanley
Reply to  Max
January 30, 2020 3:13 pm

Michael Ozanne
Reply to  Max
January 30, 2020 3:57 pm

Reply to  Max
January 31, 2020 7:45 am

See also, “We Didn’t Start the Fire” by Billy Joel.

January 30, 2020 2:20 pm

So Putin’s deployment of hypersonic nuclear missiles did not get a mention?

That should tell you what this clock is actually used for.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 30, 2020 5:52 pm

Hypersonic nuclear missiles are nothing new. I think it was the announcement of hypersonic cruise missiles. Still not sure why those are scarier than other cruise missiles.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
January 30, 2020 6:32 pm

One thing is celar about much of Russia’s arsenal: Like most things Russian nuclear, those missiles are more of a danger to the engineers, operators, and launchers than to their target.

Rainer Bensch
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
January 31, 2020 3:35 am

Well, you can’t call them back.

January 30, 2020 2:20 pm

It will really be something to see on the day the Doomsday Clock reaches 12 o’clock with the usual line up of scientific drongos on each side of it and suddenly the Big Cuckoo flies out of it and shouts, “April Fool, April Fool”.

January 30, 2020 2:22 pm

They need a whole clock to play with just in case they feel safe next year with Bernie in the WH.
I will be in the mountains somewhere in an undisclosed location in that case…

Chris Hanley
January 30, 2020 2:23 pm

The ‘miserabists’ — and gawd don’t they look it — can’t go ‘safer’ now because CC™ is an eternal crisis, so they now employ what looks like an adaption of Zeno’s paradoxes.

Paul S
January 30, 2020 2:24 pm

It is not “climate change” that threatens our existence on earth, but rather what the greenies want to do to prevent the threat.

January 30, 2020 2:25 pm

The Mayans were more scientific than these advertisement events.

Reply to  ResourceGuy
January 30, 2020 6:36 pm

The Mayans were right more often as well.

Coeur de Lion
January 30, 2020 2:27 pm

As a Cold War warrior I recall not losiing any sleep during the Cuban missile crisis.

Wallaby Geoff
Reply to  Coeur de Lion
January 30, 2020 8:55 pm

Read One Minute To Midnight (about the Cuban Missile Crisis) you will realise you should’ve been worried!

Thomas Burk
January 30, 2020 2:28 pm

The “Bulletin” of the atomic scientists is currently edited by one John Mecklin who holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Indiana University and a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. Quite the atomic scientist! Both he and the other leftists associated with BAS, at least those who are still alive, have lived their lives in comfort and security in the United States of America thanks to our armed forces and energy industries, whom Mecklin and his ilk thumb their noses at. Ignore the ungrateful pretenders who, to use Pauli’s dismissive term, “are not even wrong”.

Dr Deanster
Reply to  Thomas Burk
January 30, 2020 3:36 pm

Psychology! That’s all you need to know.

Interestingly, suicide rates are going through the roof in the US due to the failing of Psychology to embrace reality and prescribe the proper solution to the crisis. Instead, they are out promoting leftists drivel as the solution ….. and the results speak for themselves.

Reply to  Thomas Burk
January 30, 2020 4:00 pm

..and yet they are medicating kids….kids are committing suicide…young adults are not having children….giving up because they are convinced they have no future…on and on

January 30, 2020 2:32 pm

Wow! Just looking at the ups and downs of that doomsday tracker graph, I’d say humanity has had more escapes than Houdini.

(and as it turned out, what got ol Harry in the end was a trick he hadn’t even contemplated. Humanity will probably go in a similar fashion IMO.

And as Mark Twain observed – “I’ve had many troubles in my life, but most of them never happened”. True dat!)

Michael F
January 30, 2020 2:34 pm

They only have a quarter of the clock. Have they already determined that they can’t go back any mote than 15 minutes or will ther add the other pieces and go back 1/2 an hour if necessary?

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Michael F
January 30, 2020 5:54 pm

Can you try that again in English?

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
January 31, 2020 12:35 am

Jeff Alberts

Perfectly clear to me,

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  HotScot
February 6, 2020 6:35 pm

“back any mote than 15 minutes or will ther add the other pieces and go back 1/2 an hour if necessary?”


Can you decipher the above?

January 30, 2020 2:35 pm

If you seriously don’t believe that the closest we had to midnight was October 1962, you’re a deluded fool.

Ron Long
Reply to  London247
January 30, 2020 2:59 pm

Since I´m not a deluded fool I totally agree with you, London247. The Cuban Missile Crisis could easily have resulted in a Mutually Assured Destruction exchange between Russia and the USA. It almost looks like we’re trying to sneak up on that possibility again, maybe with some fanatical terrorists thrown in for good measure. Climate Change? Not so much.

Tom Foley
Reply to  Ron Long
January 30, 2020 3:45 pm

Stopping nuclear war is like putting on the brakes in a racing car; a small number of actions can have a immediate effect – once a reduction of nuclear weapons is agreed, it can happen quickly. (Yes, this needs monitoring to make sure everyone is doing it).

Stopping climate change is like slowing down the Titanic as it steams towards the iceberg. We should have started slowing down a long time ago, now it may be too late to avoid the impact. Doesn’t help that there’s a fight going on in the wheelhouse about whether we need to or not.

The Titanic analogy is an old one, but new research makes it an ironic one for climate change. This suggests that the Titanic was going very fast because burning coal in the coal bunkers was being shovelled around the clock into the fire boxes of the engines to minimise fire danger to the ship. The captain had the choice between slowing down, and running out of coal before reaching New York (embarrassing for the great new ship full of millionaires to get stuck off-shore) or keep going fast and risk hitting an iceberg. When it did hit, the Titanic may have sunk because the vaunted internal bulkheads had been weakened by the fire, and failed. So, burning coal did it.

Reply to  Tom Foley
January 30, 2020 3:58 pm

Tom in your analogy the icebergs should be melted due to the global warming 😉

Tom Foley
Reply to  Derg
January 30, 2020 4:49 pm

Yep, they should have throw all the burning coal overboard, where it would have heated the water and melted the icebergs. But they would have run out of steam before they reached New York.

Of course the analogy was about immediate v future threats and fast v slow reactions. I should have put the irony of burning coal as a contributing factor to the Titanic sinking in a separate post.

Reply to  Tom Foley
January 30, 2020 4:31 pm

I’d love to know who came up with that theory, because it has to be one of the stupidest things I’ve ever read.
1) Fire in the bunkers was a well known risk and preventative measures were designed in. Everything from air tight doors on the bunkers to water to flood the coal bunkers.
2) The Titanic sunk because the water tight walls did not extend all the way to the upper decks. When the first three compartments were flooded, the front of the tilted down, this allowed the incoming water to flood over the top of the barriers.
3) By the time the water got anywhere close to the coal bunkers, the ship was already lost.
4) If the bunkers had gotten as hot as you believe, there would have been a steam explosion that would have blown the ship apart when the water reached those bunkers.

Reply to  Tom Foley
January 30, 2020 4:31 pm

PS: There is no climate change to stop.

Reply to  MarkW
January 30, 2020 8:57 pm

Actually, I should say that there is no man made climate change that needs to be stopped.

Ron Long
Reply to  Tom Foley
January 30, 2020 5:28 pm

Tom, try to monitor North Korea and Iran.

Reply to  Ron Long
January 30, 2020 5:02 pm

@ Ron Long. The 1962 Cuban Missile Crisis was before I was born. But I have seen the newsreels and here in 2020 it scares the bejeezus out of me.
Hey and I grew up in the UK in the 80’s with “Protect and Survive”.

Reply to  London247
January 30, 2020 3:14 pm

My thoughts exactly.

Reply to  London247
January 30, 2020 3:25 pm

Actually it was September of 1983. We were saved by Stanislov Petrov

Reply to  Goggles
January 30, 2020 5:12 pm

@Goggles, that was a near one in 1983 with “Operation Archer” in progress at the time.
Stanislavsky Petrov’s name should be remembered and a statue of him in every major capital city. As it if we’re not this mans decisions and actions the MAD would have ceased to have been a doctrine and become reality
But I still say October 1962 was closer by a second or two.

Reply to  London247
January 30, 2020 3:41 pm

There were a few other events:

Oct 5, 1960. Radar returns off the moon trigger NORAD into believing dozens of incoming ICBMs are on the way. So called “moonrise over Norway.”
Nov 9, 1979. War game tape mistakenly loaded into NORAD computer warned of sub launches. This one got jets scrambled.
Jun 3, 1980. NORAD. 2,200 inbound ICBMs. This one got everything scrambled. Cause was a faulty chip.
Sept 26, 1983. Soviet warning system 5 US ICBMs inbound. Satellite reflection off clouds.
Circa Jan 1991. There was an internal discussion following the first Gulf War by the Russians that concluded there was no way they could compete with the US based on what they just watched us do their equipment in Saddam’s military. There were no small number of people arguing loose the hounds of war as their chances of winning would never be greater.

And yet the Union of Concerned Scientists never caught any of these nor did they retroactively update their clock based on these. Nice gig if you can get it. Cheers –

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  agimarc
January 30, 2020 5:59 pm

Saddam didn’t have the best Soviet equipment. T55s, T62s, T72s, were not top of the line in 1991. I can only imagine the aircraft were of similar inadequacy.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
January 31, 2020 9:39 am

Jets weren’t all that bad. Most of them Mig-21 / Su-22. There were some Mig-25 / -29 in the mix. Wiki has 44 of them shot down. 137 escape to Iran.

Ground order of battle was more problematic, with around 4,500 tanks, 4,000 APCs, 3,000 towed and self propelled arty pieces. For some silly reason, they turned their tanks into static arty positions, dug them in so they were able to be destroyed at night. Cheers –

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  agimarc
February 6, 2020 6:33 pm

And then there’s training, the will to fight, etc. All of those seemed to be lacking.

Reply to  agimarc
January 31, 2020 3:44 am

The Doomsday Clock is “maintained” by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. The Union of Concerned Scientists is a completely different group of leftist morons.

Neither is a science based organization.

Reply to  London247
January 31, 2020 8:49 am

Agreed, London247. It is the height of lunacy to think we are currently in a larger existential threat now due to “climate change” than we were during the Cuban Missile Crisis.

January 30, 2020 2:36 pm

With so few seconds left on the clock it will now cost you two Jerry Browns and Greta to get your advocacy pitch placed on the big board. However, there will be some new slots available for more affordable ad placements when we make the move to microsecond intervals next year.

January 30, 2020 2:39 pm

“World Health Organization declares coronavirus a public health emergency of international concern”


Must be true if claimed by the WHO.

Wait a minute, didn’t the WHO say in 2015 before COP 21,

“WHO calls for urgent action to protect health from climate change – Sign the call

“The evidence is overwhelming: climate change endangers human health. Solutions exist and we need to act decisively to change this trajectory.”

Dr Margaret Chan, WHO Director-General

Climate change is the greatest threat to global health in the 21st century.”


Hmmmm, hold that Doomsday Clock.

Rob JM
Reply to  leitmotif
January 30, 2020 4:19 pm

It takes 7 days from the onset of symptoms to the onset of pneumonia which happens in 20% of cases.

There is currently 6000 pneumonia cases so there was already 30k symptomatic cases 1 week ago.

Its a good time to be young.

Bill Powers
January 30, 2020 2:41 pm

The proper name for this flim flam prop should be “The Hobgoblin Clock” The menace is du jour but the clock, like herpes, is forever.

January 30, 2020 2:54 pm

We’ve reached DEFCON 2 twice, first during the Cuban Missile Crisis and again during the Gulf War. DEFCON 3 during the Yom Kippur War which is when Israel reportedly lost a nuclear bomb.

Do I feel more safe today than during those events? Absolutely. Not even close. Is the world in more immediate danger today due to Climate Change? Not even in the same league.

January 30, 2020 3:02 pm

So they are ‘Atomic Scientists’ who are experts in AGW/CC too? Wow, they must be some mighty smart folks…or at least in their arrogance they think they are.

January 30, 2020 3:06 pm

These nutbags that claim doom is nigh are the same sort that would like to be reincarnated as a virus to reduce the human population. They want to kill off a whole lot of us, but they want to leverage the scare first.

Given the current corona virus hype, Prince Phillip should take this as his last best opportunity as a shot at viral reincarnation … he has only a few weeks to go away and come back before peak infection so he should leave his body behind as soon as reasonable planning permits.

January 30, 2020 3:13 pm

A “second” in this scenario corresponds to no real time-value. Nor could it. It’s the same as saying, “We’ve scared ourselves! Here’s a graphic of how scared we are!”

Tom Foley
January 30, 2020 3:21 pm

These statements are not motivated by a desire for doomsday, but a warning against it. If after previous warnings, doomsday didn’t come, that’s a good thing!
We did come fairly close to a nuclear war, and fortunately avoided it. If the warnings about the potential consequence for humans helped, good. (The planet would have and will survived, just without us, at least in the form of our current civilisation. We would have been the dinosaurs to some future birds).

I don’t think the difference in nature or time-scale of dangers is a valid argument against such warnings, though it is clearly easier to motivate action if the danger is imminent than if is slow moving. The latter does give us more time to defuse it, but also more time to come up with excuses to avoid facing up to it.

Finally, ‘do you feel like climate change will burn your town to a crisp one day’? Poorly worded. What I feel is that climate change is producing new global conditions that will make it much more likely that my town will burn to a crisp, not one day, but possibly tomorrow (43 degrees and high wind forecast today). For some people, it has just happened.

Perhaps an analogy would be ‘do you feel like government regulation change will ruin your business one day’? If that happened, then the extra regulation itself would set the new global conditions; the direct cause of business failure would be all the downstream negative impacts on your business and income.

Reply to  Tom Foley
January 30, 2020 4:33 pm

Look up the fable of The Boy who cried Wolf.

Gerald Machnee
Reply to  Tom Foley
January 30, 2020 6:00 pm

Tom, if you need a better doomsday warning than your fabled Titanic story read the Bible.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Tom Foley
January 30, 2020 6:01 pm

“Finally, ‘do you feel like climate change will burn your town to a crisp one day’? Poorly worded. What I feel is that climate change is producing new global conditions that will make it much more likely that my town will burn to a crisp, not one day, but possibly tomorrow (43 degrees and high wind forecast today). For some people, it has just happened.”

Do you have any evidence that anything unprecedented is happening?

John Endicott
Reply to  Tom Foley
January 31, 2020 6:05 am

I don’t think the difference in nature or time-scale of dangers is a valid argument against such warnings

Tom, they’re claiming we’re closer to Doomsday due to a “danger” that is centuries away (and which can simply be adapted to as and when the need arises) than we were at the height of the cold war when “nuclear war” was a imminent threat (such as during the Cuban Missile Crisis). The warning is entirely disproportionate to the dangers due to it’s nature and time-scales of each which makes their warnings a joke.

Finally, ‘do you feel like climate change will burn your town to a crisp one day’? Poorly worded. What I feel is that climate change is producing new global conditions that will make it much more likely that my town will burn to a crisp, not one day, but possibly tomorrow (43 degrees and high wind forecast today). For some people, it has just happened

That’s not climate change, that’s weather (couple with a failure to properly manage the fuel loads in forests due to bad eco policies). It’s happened before (many, many, many times before) and, sorry to break it to you, it will happen again regardless of whether man stops all CO2 emissions right now or continues emissions at their current (or even greater) rates. That you can’t tell the difference between climate and weather shows how ignorant you are on the subject.

Tom Abbott
January 30, 2020 3:24 pm

From the article: “Climate change that could devastate the planet is undeniably happening.”

The people in charge at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists should stop telling this lie to the public.

Craig from Oz
January 30, 2020 3:29 pm

Well Brexit today. That has got to be worth 3 minutes towards ‘safe’.

January 30, 2020 3:30 pm

Wait, I’m having trouble understanding the clock graph. The way I’m reading it, the Cuban missile crisis had no effect on the clock, but the Paris Climate agreement led to a worsening of the danger. Overall, the graph suggests we are in greater peril due to the climate deal than the missile crisis.

Oh wait, that makes perfect sense. The Paris thing was a deadly trap.

January 30, 2020 3:39 pm

“And for a variety of reasons that include a corrupted and manipulated media environment, democratic governments”

So, the media environment has been corrupted and manipulated against Climate Change? Oh, let’s see the evidence on that one, or is it mere projection? And, again, the swipe against democracy.

Doc Chuck
January 30, 2020 3:45 pm

A question occurs to me about these here (w)horologic poseurs. How many such personalities that seemingly speak for atomic scientists via this periodically published bulletin are quite understandably proposing nuclear energy sourcing take up the slack for any decline in reliable fossil-fueled electrical generation, as a ‘mushrooming’ (so to speak) of unreliable ‘renewable’ sources is so welcomed? I imagine that actual atomic scientists would covet rather better representation!

January 30, 2020 3:46 pm

Yes–I always enjoyed that song ” The Merry Minuet” by the Kingston Trio.
Really enjoyed their instant success.
News yesterday included that the last member, Bob Shane, had passed away at age 85.

George Daddis
Reply to  Bob Hoye
January 30, 2020 4:37 pm

As a septuagenarian just starting to learn guitar, my initial goal has been to learn Dave Guard’s Scotch and Soda. This may be the appropriate theme song to relieve these “scientists” anxiety.
Speaking of which:

…these supposedly learned scientists have embraced the hype of “climate emergency”…

Isn’t that a contradiction? Is there a serious scientific paper that supports the concept of a tipping point?
Where are the ethical “consensus” scientists that should be saying “we have a problem, but please tone it down; there is no evidence of an emergency. How can you be a “learned” scientist and still believe this trash?

Reply to  George Daddis
February 6, 2020 7:55 pm

Fmaj7 Fm6
Scotch and soda, mud in your eye.
C A7 D7 G7
Baby do I feel high, oh me oh my
E E7
do I feel high.

Not your typical beginner song, but more power to you.
They don’t make ’em like that anymore. Pre-boomer.

RPC 8.5
January 30, 2020 3:46 pm

Well we know climate change/warming/emergency/et al is the cause of everything bad – so why not causing clocks to move to midnight? It’s worse than we thought.

Michael Ozanne
January 30, 2020 3:52 pm

We’re closer to the Apocalypse now than in 1962 when the whole of the RAF’s ‘V’ force was bombed up, fueled up at 5 minutes readiness waiting for the phone call to push the tit on the fast start compressors during the Cuba crisis….

(See https://www.euppublishing.com/doi/pdfplus/10.3366/brw.2012.0037)

Well that would be the most Fragrant Bovine Excrement wouldn’t it…

January 30, 2020 3:56 pm

If we’re still here doomsday is still in the future. Since that’s a once and done kind of thing the condition of ‘not happened’ has no relevance to if or when the doomsday singularity will occur. Further, if it had already happened it would be finished and done, so how could we expect an encore? Not possible at all.

Craig from Oz
January 30, 2020 3:58 pm

From the WikiPee page on the ‘Atomic Scientistis’

“The decision to move the hand of the Clock is made by the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board, which meets in person twice a year, with subcommittees meeting more often; the announcement of the decision is made each January. Each November, just prior to the Science and Security Board’s fall discussion, the Bulletin hosts an annual dinner and meeting in Chicago.”

Three meeting/meets and one dinner in that paragraph.

Quite a social little bunch of non-profits, aren’t they.

January 30, 2020 3:58 pm

At the end of the photo-ops and media freak show, the atomic scientists stuck the clock in the trunk of the fossil fuel powered limo and the chauffeur drove them home to have their dinner steaks.

January 30, 2020 4:04 pm

Makes me think of California’s “Big One” earthquake predicted to happen in the next 30 years for the last 60 years. It will probably happen, just a question if I’ll be alive to see it, from far away.

Clay Sanborn
January 30, 2020 4:29 pm

For many, there will be much gnashing of teeth when Jesus returns.

Reply to  Clay Sanborn
January 31, 2020 12:33 am

“there will be much gnashing of teeth when Jesus returns.”

A good day for dentists & the tooth fairy then

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  saveenergy
February 6, 2020 6:37 pm

The tooth fairy will return before Jesus.

January 30, 2020 4:36 pm

“100 seconds to midnight”… The Twilight Fringe: a secular faith, religion, and ideology. Followed by the dawn of a new day.

January 30, 2020 4:53 pm

And now we have a doomsday Climate Emergency clock?


Roy W. Spencer
January 30, 2020 4:59 pm

Groundhog Day for doomsters.

January 30, 2020 5:21 pm

This allegory is probably the dumbest one ever invented to alarm. As stated here “https://slate.com/technology/2018/01/what-the-doomsday-clock-doesnt-tell-us.html” there is no methodology for this nonsense. No one even knows which is the start time. Doing the maths, if the start is set to Earth’s approximate formation date (4800000000 yrs), 100 seconds mean that we still have 11 111 111.1 yrs to enjoy. If the beginning is the dawn of Homo Sapiens (aprox. 250 000 yrs), we still have 578.7 yrs of joy. If the beginning if the Hiroshima bomb release, we are indeed in trouble!!! Should I kill myself now? 😉

Mike Ballantine
January 30, 2020 5:33 pm

As a simple metric on the modern Nuclear threat they were useful. Selling out to the climate power grab they have jumped the shark and lost what little credibility they ever had.

January 30, 2020 5:38 pm

As the bank robber said to Dirty Harry about his .44 magnum, I gots to know. Turns out the gun was not loaded.

January 30, 2020 6:01 pm

So is it just going to sit there at 100 seconds to midnight forever now? What else can move it backwards – we stop burning coal and gas for electricity, stop all of our fossil fueled transport and stop eating meat (all agriculture in fact, vegan or not!) Is that what will take it for the hand to be moved back and not forward?

I’m not concerned about climate change – it happens, it’s real, I don’t deny climate change, I question the “cause” – CO2, yeah nah. I’m more concerned about undetected asteroids on a collision course to Earth, a drop in the solar energy and global cooling, massive solar flares, pandemics, (coronavirus is just the latest blip at mother nature trying to wipe us out – wait till she gets the formula right, that will certainly push us closer to doomsday than a 1.5-2.0°C temp increase on the global average.

There are so many things outside human control that can erase us in the blink of an eye, but no, CO2 has us all doomed forever at 100 seconds to midnight.

Jim G
January 30, 2020 6:08 pm

My wife just asked:

“Does that mean there’s no school tomorrow?”
Because Teacher’s need to know!

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Jim G
January 30, 2020 7:16 pm

If you’re in Australia, then there’s no school tomorrow because it’s Saturday.

Joel O'Bryan
January 30, 2020 6:29 pm

This boils down to two rational options:
1) The Atomic Scientists who control the clock are a bunch of fruit-cake alarmists.
2) The Climate Change scare is nothing but a dressed-up scam on humanity.

I suggest it is both, as they are non-exclusive options.

I think it’s clear: The absurdly named “atomic scientists” running the clock are a bunch of quacks looking for attention AND climate change alarmism is crock of s#!%. (can I say “shit”?)
And I’d love the opportunity to tell them that to their face and ask them to defend their position.

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
January 30, 2020 7:04 pm

I guess you can say that, but does it further the discussion ?

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  u.k.(us)
January 30, 2020 8:34 pm

The entire discussion is not worth horse manure and it’s from a bunch of quacks* (not real “atomic” scientists.).

So there’s no point discussing it (a doomsday clock) further if one wants to remain rational.

But if you u.k.(us) want to go willy-nilly down that rabbit hole to a Climate Wonderland filled with irrationality and lies…. go for it.

*Quack – a “fraudulent or ignorant pretender to medical skill” or “a person who pretends, professionally or publicly, to have skill, knowledge, qualification or credentials they do not possess; a charlatan or snake oil salesman”. Those “atomic scientists” are surely quacks when it comes to climate change and their alarmism. They might have had some skill in the past on nuclear armageddon and the effects of nuclear weapons, but in climate, they are quacks… if they are even scientists at all.

Steve Reddish
Reply to  u.k.(us)
January 30, 2020 9:49 pm

Yes it does. If the idea that climate change is about to destroy humanity gets debunked, people might stop wasting money on “renewables”.
Unless of course, the idea of CACC (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change) is a scam perpetrated for the purpose of usurping control of government.


Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Steve Reddish
February 6, 2020 6:38 pm

“CACC (Catastrophic Anthropogenic Climate Change)”

I keep imagining a cat coughing up a hairball.

Reply to  u.k.(us)
January 30, 2020 10:09 pm

Yeah, increase by about 2.5% …. there were 81 comments and yours made 82 and mine makes 83.

Reply to  eyesonu
January 31, 2020 6:51 am

u.k.(us) : “I guess you can say that, but does it further the discussion ?”

There are now 113 comments and you generated 5 including this one so now an increase of nearly 5%. I don’t understand the trigger but the results are real!

Ian Coleman
January 30, 2020 8:27 pm

Okay look: Climate Change is sapping and contaminating our precious bodily fluids.

Christopher Simpson
January 30, 2020 8:44 pm

“Do we need to implement ‘duck and cover’ exercises for school kids in case the boogeyman of climate change sweeps down and attacks a city?”

Well, I do believe the schools have our kids more frightened today about climate change than they ever were during the height of the Cold War.

Reply to  Christopher Simpson
January 31, 2020 2:27 pm

Even if a war started, it would never have had anything with these children’s behavior.

But if a CO2 something climate something starts, anything they ever did that released CO2 (so anything they ever did) would have contributed to it.

They would be (very slightly) guilty of it.

Very different.

Peter Morris
January 30, 2020 10:04 pm

Thanks to all the arms reduction, I think we can only destroy the world 1 or 2 times over, versus the many more during the 80s when the media and Hollywood were 100% sure Reagan’s speeches were going to trigger WWIII.

So I’m a lot less worried now.

Rhys Jaggar
January 31, 2020 1:59 am

What I feel most worried about is a world, a global Establishment that is incapable of handling incremental but significant change in any way other than crying wolf. Seriously: are we only capable of any sort of response by screaming ‘Doomsday!’?

That is like saying that as parents, you are incapable of intervening to stop a curious 3 year old endangering themselves by climbing up toward a cooker loaded with hot oils; you would only react as your child were literally about to run into a busy main thoroughfare; or you would only go see your mortgage loan company when you were down to your last 10 dollars rather than six months previously after a recession made you redundant.

Seriously: society is completely degenerate if that is the case.

Discussing incremental change is just as important as discussing overwhelming events.

You know: things like slow but steady erosion of coastal cliffs; slowly rising winter temps causing disease in certain mountain forests; populations continuing to rise to levels making life uncomfortable; that sort of thing.

If we cannot do that, we are dysfunctional people, dysfunctional societies and dysfunctional nations.

January 31, 2020 4:24 am

The politicization of the ‘Doomsday Clock’ is evident in the fact that they haven’t set it back in nearly 30 years. Compare that to their pre-1990 behavior, when the clock regularly moved backward and forward depending on world events.

Thankfully, their 30-year run of alarmism is almost over, as they are literally ‘running out of time’ in terms of their ability to move the clock forward. They’ve only got four more of these 20-second moves left before they bump up against midnight. I guess they could switch to 10 second increments, then 1 second increments, and eventually work their way down to nanoseconds, but at some point even the people involved must realize that it is time to stop crying wolf.

michael hart
January 31, 2020 10:16 am

Ever had one of those auto-adjusting atomic time-source clocks when they don’t work properly? Frustrating.

They’re behind the times (or is it too far forward?). Probably forgot the leap years. And always miss daylight saving time adjustments.

January 31, 2020 1:46 pm

Maybe the ones with their fingers on the clock are just a bunch of ‘little hen peckers’. The sky is falling, chicken and egg question, political operatives, or just simply neurotic jellyfish. Hey …. we live in an era where anything goes!

February 6, 2020 8:16 pm

Tracking the Doomsday Clock. Ignoring that it always was a terrible idea, the clock metaphor, but looking back, how accurately did it reflect anything? Did it measure the fear of atomic war in the population? People were building bomb shelters, school children were learning to hide underneath desks. Since then we know that people have a very poor sense of risks. They fear some safe things, they have no fear of some unsafe things. Did it measure the actual risks? We know there were several alarms which turned out to be false, and which could have been catastrophic. Did the clock take into account the possible glitches and human errors and misunderstandings? Are we lucky to still be alive? Is it just a matter of time before there is a fatal glitch?

But to add climate change, that’s going too far. The clock says 100 seconds. Greta says 12 years. Therefore, 1 year is about 10 seconds. Extrapolating clock movement over the past decade, the end of the world (doomsday) is in about five years, 2025. It’s worse than we thought.

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