Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

“To call the world nuclear situation dire is to understate the danger-and its immediacy.” (Bulletin of Atomic Scientists/Facebook)

“To call the world nuclear situation dire is to understate the danger-and its immediacy.” (Bulletin of Atomic Scientists/Facebook)

Approaching the Apocalypse, the Doomsday Clock Moves Forward

It’s time to abolish nuclear weapons.

Robert Dodge

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has just moved their Doomsday Clock forward to two minutes till midnight. Midnight represents nuclear apocalypse. The Clock is recognized around the world as an indicator of the world’s vulnerability to catastrophe from nuclear weapons, climate change, and emerging technologies. Each year the decision to move the Clock, or not, is determined by the Bulletins Science and Security Board in consultation with its Board of Sponsors which includes 15 Nobel laureate‘s.

In making this year’s move to two minutes till midnight, the Bulletin stated that “in 2017, world leaders failed to respond effectively to the looming threat of nuclear war and climate change, making the worlds security situation more dangerous than it was a year ago-and as dangerous as it has been since World War II”.

In recent years the Bulletin has added climate change to nuclear weapons as a major risk of global conflict. This year the greatest threat remained that of nuclear conflict with the ongoing North Korea crisis with the dangerous rhetoric and actions coming from both sides that have done nothing to calm matters increasing the risk of nuclear war either by accident or miscalculation.

Coupled with deteriorating relationships between the world’s nuclear powers, with US and Russian relations at the lowest point in decades and rising tensions between the US and China, all while the United States plans to rebuild its nuclear arsenal prompting all of the other nations to follow suit. The situation is further undermined from a diplomatic standpoint by an understaffed and demoralized US State Department and thus the Clock ticks forward.

The Board stated, “To call the world nuclear situation dire is to understate the danger-and its immediacy.”

It was also emphasized that this urgent warning of global danger described a future that did not have to be, but in order to change demanded action now from the citizens of the world. We have the ability and now the legal framework with the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons to abolish nuclear weapons, just as we have the ability to address climate change.

What is necessary is the political will for change arising from the people across the globe demanding this action now.

At this year’s Nobel Peace Prize ceremony ICAN leader Beatrice Fihn said regarding abolishing nuclear weapons, “those who say that future is not possible need to get out of the way of those making it a reality”. It’s time to abolish nuclear weapons. It’s two minutes till midnight.


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
Robert Dodge

Robert Dodge

Robert Dodge, a frequent Common Dreams contributor, writes as a family physician practicing in Ventura, California. He is the Co-Chair of the Security Committee of National Physicians for Social Responsibility and also serves as the President of Physicians for Social Responsibility Los Angeles.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

Border Patrol Accused of 'Unfathomable Cruelty' for Cracking Whips on Haitians

"It doesn't matter if a Democrat or Republican is president, our immigration system is designed for cruelty towards and dehumanization of immigrants," said Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

Brett Wilkins ·


As Gov. Tim Walz Proclaims 'Minnesota Climate Week,' Ilhan Omar Says 'Stop Line 3'

"The state of Minnesota simply cannot meet our carbon reduction targets if this pipeline goes through," said the Democratic congresswoman. "Our future is on the line."

Kenny Stancil ·


Supreme Court Announces Date for Case Directly Challenging Roe v. Wade

"The fate of Roe v. Wade and legal abortion is on the line."

Julia Conley ·


Avi Lewis Hoping Canadians' Climate Concerns Deliver Electoral 'Upset of Epic Proportions'

"We need to send Avi to Ottawa to shake up the entire political establishment, including his own party, and tip the scales in favor of people and the planet," said environmentalist David Suzuki.

Brett Wilkins ·


Sanders Denounces a Pentagon Budget System Found 'Inherently Susceptible to Fraud'

"They don't seem to want to get serious about spending taxpayer dollars wisely and effectively," said the Vermont senator, declaring it "absolutely unacceptable."

Andrea Germanos ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.


Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo