The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists set its Doomsday Clock to 90 seconds to midnight on Tuesday — the closest the metaphoric clock has ever been to the apocalyptic hour. Originally conceived as a symbolic measure of humanity’s proximity to global nuclear destruction in 1947, the Bulletin officially began including climate change in its calculations in 2007. Set at 100 seconds to midnight from 2020-2022, the Bulletin said it moved the clock 10 seconds ahead “largely but not exclusively” because of “Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the increased risk of nuclear escalation,” in addition to the worsening impacts of climate change, “unabated” online disinformation, and the continued threat of disease outbreaks.
In addition to a humanitarian crisis caused by Russian atrocities in Ukraine itself, the war has set off and exacerbated energy crises, as Russia has sought to leverage European dependence on its methane gas supplies to blunt Europe’s response to its invasion, and food shortages (which are also exacerbated by drought and climate-fueled flooding) around the world. (New York Times $, AP, CNN, Reuters, The Hill, Reuters, explainer)