According to the Doomsday Clock, it is now two and a half minutes to midnight. Scientists behind the symbolic instrument explained their decision to move the hands 30 seconds closer to doom in an op-ed for the New York Times Thursday, directly naming Trump and reminding everyone still stuck on this planet that world leaders have been consistently "failing to act" on climate change and nuclear war for years.
"We understand that Mr. Trump has been in office only days, that many of his cabinet nominees are awaiting confirmation and that he has had little time to take official action," Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists chairperson Lawrence M. Krauss and science panel member David Titley told the Times. "But Mr. Trump's statements and actions have been unsettling. He has made ill-considered comments about expanding and even deploying the American nuclear arsenal. He has expressed disbelief in the scientific consensus on global warming. He has shown a troubling propensity to discount or reject expert advice related to international security."
The move means we are now the closest we've been to midnight since 1953, at which point scientists moved the Doomsday Clock to two minutes to midnight following U.S. and Soviet Union thermonuclear weapons tests. Contributing to Thursday's decision are Trump's apparent disregard for science, the fate of the Iran nuclear deal, and North Korea's alleged nuclear developments.
But the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists isn't hoping for complete panic with this 30-second advancement. Instead, scientists are hoping to inspire people into action. "Rather than create panic, we're hoping that this drives action," Rachel Bronson, the Bulletin's executive director and publisher, told the Times.
Peep the Bulletin's full statement on the Doomsday Clock update right here.