Chronicles in Ordinary Time 241:  At doom’s doorstep: It is 100 seconds to midnight

2022 Doomsday Clock Statement
Science and Security Board
Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists

Founded in 1945 by Albert Einstein and University of Chicago scientists who helped develop the first atomic weapons in the Manhattan Project, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists created the Doomsday Clock two years later, using the imagery of apocalypse (midnight) and the contemporary idiom of nuclear explosion (countdown to zero) to convey threats to humanity and the planet. The Doomsday Clock is set every year by the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board in consultation with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 11 Nobel laureates. The Clock has become a universally recognized indicator of the world’s vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change, and disruptive technologies in other domains.

To: Leaders and citizens of the world
Re: At doom’s doorstep: It is 100 seconds to midnight
Date: January 20, 2022

Last year’s leadership change in the United States provided hope that what seemed like a global race toward catastrophe might be halted and—with renewed US engagement—even reversed. Indeed, in 2021 the new American administration changed US policies in some ways that made the world safer: agreeing to an extension of the New START arms control agreement and beginning strategic stability talks with Russia; announcing that the United States would seek to return to the Iran nuclear deal; and rejoining the Paris climate accord. Perhaps even more heartening was the return of science and evidence to US policy making in general, especially regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. A more moderate and predictable approach to leadership and the control of one of the two largest nuclear arsenals of the world marked a welcome change from the previous four years.
Still, the change in US leadership alone was not enough to reverse negative international security trends that had been long in developing and continued across the threat horizon in 2021.
US relations with Russia and China remain tense, with all three countries engaged in an array of nuclear modernization and expansion efforts—including China’s apparent large-scale program to increase its deployment of silo-based long-range nuclear missiles; the push by Russia, China, and the United States to develop hypersonic missiles; and the continued testing of anti-satellite weapons by many nations. If not restrained, these efforts could mark the start of a dangerous new nuclear arms race. Other nuclear concerns, including North Korea’s unconstrained nuclear and missile expansion and the (as yet) unsuccessful attempts to revive the Iran nuclear deal contribute to growing dangers. Ukraine remains a potential flashpoint, and Russian troop deployments to the Ukrainian border heighten day-to-day tensions.

My 70th birthday is next month. I graduated from high school in 1970. I was born in 1952. I don’t remember knowing anything about the Doomsday Clock in 1953, 1969, or 1971 [see above]. I mostly ignored politics and the world in general during these years of my life. I voted Republican because my parents were Republican and raised me in the American Legion. Consequently, I voted for Nixon, twice; I voted for Reagan and believed his magical ‘trickle down theory’. I stopped voting Republican when George W. uttered the words, ‘Preemptive Strike’. The Iraq War was built upon a lie. There were no Weapons of Mass Destruction. They were expected, because the US, by way of the CIA, were financing Arab Rebels for years.
Beginning with 1998, the Doomsday Clock continually loses time before Midnight…

As of January 2020, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) lists 203 critically endangered mammalian species, including 31 which are tagged as possibly extinct. 3.5% of all evaluated mammalian species are listed as critically endangered. The IUCN also lists 60 mammalian subspecies as critically endangered.
Of the subpopulations of mammals evaluated by the IUCN, 18 species subpopulations have been assessed as critically endangered.
Additionally, 900 mammalian species (15% of those evaluated) are listed as data deficient, meaning there is insufficient information for a full assessment of conservation status. As these species typically have small distributions and/or populations, they are intrinsically likely to be threatened, according to the IUCN. While the category of data deficient indicates that no assessment of extinction risk has been made for the taxa, the IUCN notes that it may be appropriate to give them “the same degree of attention as threatened taxa, at least until their status can be assessed.”
This is a complete list of critically endangered mammalian species and subspecies evaluated by the IUCN. Species considered possibly extinct by the IUCN are marked as such. Species and subspecies which have critically endangered subpopulations (or stocks) are indicated. Where possible common names for taxa are given while links point to the scientific name used by the IUCN.

Of the seven animals portrayed below, four are already considered extinct. In the case of the Northern White Rhinoceros, there are two animals left. They both are female. IVF has failed.

On my Instagram page [ ], you can see my list of 134 of the 203 Endangered Mammals.
Close to half of the politicians in the House and Senate are not taking Climate Change seriously; nor are they taking gun violence seriously.

“Before a man killed at least four people Wednesday at a hospital in Tulsa, there had already been 232 mass shootings this year in the United States, according to the Gun Violence Archive. It is the twentieth since last week’s shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Tex., left 19 children and two teachers dead.
“Mass shootings, where four or more people — not including the shooter — are injured or killed, have averaged more than one per day so far this year. Not a single week in 2022 has passed without at least four mass shootings.”

While I am inclined to say that we, as a nation, must do better, it’s clear that we, as a nation, don’t intend to do better. Apparently, we aren’t even close to agreeing that we must do better.
The son of a politician facing criminal charges said that the problem wasn’t the gun; the deaths could have occurred with a baseball bat. It’s difficult to be in 19 places, swinging a bat and killing children. Some politicians make very strange comments.
The answer brought forward by some politicians is that we need to have armed police at every school in the nation. In Uvalve, Texas, there were over a dozen armed officers inside the building while shooting continued and children died. Apparently, no one was in charge.
An 18-year-old bought the assault rifle he used, that very same day.
An 18-year-old in Texas cannot buy beer but can buy an assault rifle.
Nineteen children killed, two teachers killed, and 17 people wounded. Apparently, it took about 90 minutes for the hundreds of rounds to be fired. Armed police were on site for 40 minutes before they entered the building [the stories keep changing].
In the end they had over 100 police officers on site. The children still died.
Armed police aren’t the answer to the problem.

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