Doomsday Clocks and the End of the World

The world is ending, one second at a time.

Except for when the human creatures get their act together and do something right, then, the end of the world is actually put further off.

That is according to the doomsday clock, which is maintained by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists. Instituted in 1947, this is an imaginary clock which is supposed to represent how close the world is to Armageddon.

When world events get violent, and dangerous, the committee moves the clock a little closer to midnight. Midnight here represents the end of the world.

However there is hope. When world events calm down, when leaders make good sound decisions, and when peace reigns throughout the world, the clock is actually moved further from midnight, signifying that we are further from the end.

The clock has been moved 19 times, both forward and backward, since it was started at 7 minutes to midnight back in 1947. The last move, back in 2007, brought us from 7 minutes to midnight up to 5 minutes. This happened due to the threat of terrorism, worries about unsecured and unaccounted for nuclear grade materials, and the impact of human civilization on the environment.

The timeline of the clock can be seen at While we have been as far away as 17 minutes to midnight, a result of the fall of the USSR and the limitation of nuclear weapons in the early 90’s, since then the clock has fallen to its most dire point yet.

The clock was originally featured on the cover of the societies periodic publication, and was meant as a symbol of the impending danger as represented by nuclear armament. Since then it has been used as a way of making social commentary of world events, and in order to give people a certain perspective on the state of our world, and the history of our potential annihilation. In this way it serves as grim reminder that peace is more than pleasant, it may be the key to the survival of all human kind.

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