Friday, February 1, 2013

What Is The Doomsday Clock?

The Doomsday Clock sounds pretty ominous. That means it has a good name for its purpose. It was created by scientists who helped make the first atomic bombs. They wanted to make people pay attention to the new dangers that the world faced at that time. Since then other serious dangers have been added to the Doomsday Clock, like climate change.

The people who run the Doomday Clock have a bulletin about it called, "The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists". Here is what they say the Doomsday Clock is for: "The Doomsday Clock conveys how close humanity is to catastrophic destruction--the figurative midnight--and monitors the means humankind could use to obliterate itself. First and foremost, these include nuclear weapons, but they also encompass climate-changing technologies and new developments in the life sciences that could inflict irrevocable harm."

They change the time on the Doomday Clock according to how close to "Midnight", or the destruction of the human race they think we are. Right now they have it set at five minutes to midnight. 

They just moved it a minute closer to midnight recently because of the way world nuclear powers are not working very hard on nuclear disarmament. Most people not doing anything much about climate change is not helping move the hands on the Doomday Clock further away from midnight either.

The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has moved the hands on the Doomsday Clock as close as two minutes to midnight. I believe they should have had them at least that close last summer. I posted about that. 

We will have the same problem this summer, except probably worse. I intend to email and maybe write and do other kinds of contact attempts to ask them why they didn't move the hands closer last summer and if they are going to do the same this summer.

Russia's leaders have said they think that WWIII will start over the oil, gas and minerals in the Arctic. Russia planted their flag on the ocean floor under the North Pole in the Arctic. They also filed for ownership of the North Pole with the United Nations.

Last summer the US sent a Shell Oil Ship to begin drilling in the Arctic. They plan to put an oil rig there along with others. They plan to drill in the part of the Arctic that is offshore from Alaska, part of the United States. 

However, the Shell Oil ship and others that will join it will be fracking. This means they plan to run pipelines sideways out further from the Alaskan coast. 

I believe Russia could regard this sideways drilling as a provocative act and as aggression against their property claims. 

In case you don't already know, George Bush announced during his presidential term that he was unilaterally ending the nuclear disarmament treaty with Russia. He said that the US will make more nukes instead of taking apart some of the ones we already have.

The Russians said, at first, that they would continue with their nuclear disarmament in spite of the USA breaking the treaty. After a while news stories made it look as if they thought better of taking apart their nukes while the USA was making more nukes again.

President Obama has not said anything to show that he intends to reinstate nuclear disarmament on the US end of the defunct treaty with Russia. He is talking about treaties, however. As you can tell from the Washington Post article, nuclear disarmament on the part of the USA is not necessarily a popular idea.

Since news stories have shown that Russia and China have gotten cozy with each other as allies lately and China has rapidly increased their supply of nukes, it looks like we have a more serious nuclear problem than has been acknowledged.

I am experiencing some bad computer difficulties, so have not placed links and quotes next to relevant comments, as I usually do. I am going to put them all here at the end of this post. I hope to have the computer issues resolved by posting time on Monday, February 4th.

Here is a quote from the Washington post article from 2007: "TORONTO, Aug. 6 -- A dramatic submarine dive to plant the Russian flag on the seabed at the North Pole last week has rattled Canadian politics and underscored the growing stakes as the ice cap melts in the oil-rich Arctic."

Here is a link to an article about how many nuclear weapons China has. The estimates range from several hundred to over 3,000. The article says that the USA is losing in the nuclear weapons as deterrence because the infrastructure and personnel required to maintain, replace, and update them are shaky. Other things I have read do not agree with this, and estimate the USA as having over 5,000 nuclear weapons. Theoretically this number of nuclear weapons would be enough to kill over half of the population of Russia, if they were not protected by adequate shelters.

The estimates I have read on the number of Russian nuclear weapons is 70,000 to 80,000. I think this must be inflated because during the Russian change of government, soldiers were not paid and military infrastructure was not maintained. Russia has had enough prosperity since to work on that problem.

My apologies for not giving you as many links as usual for this post. If your computer is working, they are easy to find, however. Pick your favorite search engine and go for it if you are interested in finding out more about this.

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