President Donald Trump hasn't been in office for a full week yet, but he's already left an impression on the world. Earlier today, the Doomsday Clock ticked 30 seconds closer to midnight thanks to The Donald's statements on nuclear weapons and climate change.
That means our world is officially in worse shape than the fictional universe of Alan's Moore's Watchmen.
so...we're doing worse than Watchmen pic.twitter.com/aYbT4hGz8K— Dave Itzkoff (@ditzkoff) January 26, 2017
The decision to move the second hand was made by the editorial board of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Every year, the board - which includes 15 Nobel Laureates - evaluates global events in terms of whether or not they've pushed humanity closer to or further away from certain annihilation.
It's now closer to midnight (the dawn of Doomsday) than it's been since the Soviet Union developed nuclear weapons in the 1950s. In other words, 2016 nearly took us all down with the slew of celebrity deaths that shook the world.
But it wasn't a weapon of mass destruction that has pushed us to the brink. It was the rhetoric of Donald Trump.
"He has made ill-considered comments about expanding the US nuclear arsenal," the board wrote in a statement. "He has shown a troubling propensity to discount or outright reject expert advice related to international security, including the conclusions of intelligence experts. And his nominees to head the Energy Department and the Environmental Protection Agency dispute the basics of climate science. In short, even though he has just now taken office, the president’s intemperate statements, lack of openness to expert advice, and questionable cabinet nominations have already made a bad international security situation worse."
The Doomsday Clock has been around for more than 60 years, but today's event was unprecedented for two reasons. First of all, the clock has never been shifted by less than a whole minute before today. And the board warned that it might shift another 30 seconds as the Trump Administration gets to work on making The Donald's rhetoric a reality.
"The board’s decision to move the clock less than a full minute - something it has never before done- reflects a simple reality: As this statement is issued, Donald Trump has been the US president only a matter of days," the report says. "Many of his cabinet nominations are not yet confirmed by the Senate or installed in government, and he has had little time to take official action."
Second, they've never moved the clock because of one person.
"Never before has the Bulletin decided to advance the clock largely because of the statements of a single person. But when that person is the new president of the United States, his words matter," Bulletin members David Titley and Lawrence M. Krauss wrote in an New York Times op-ed.
If Trump wants to reverse the disastrous course that he's put America and the rest of the world on, he needs to accept that climate change is real.
"In the United States, as a very first step, the Trump administration needs to make a clear, unequivocal statement that it accepts climate change, caused by human activity, as a scientific reality," the statement said. "No problem can be solved, unless its existence is recognized."
But we have a feeling that Trump would sooner change America's national anthem to...
h/t USA Today.
Banner Image: President-elect Donald Trump talks to the media after the Republican National Debate in Houston, Texas.