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The Lasso

Doomsday Clock Set 90-seconds to Midnight

On January 23, 2024, the Doomsday clock was set as close to midnight as ever before. The Doomsday Clock was created to warn the public how close we are to destroying the world with the technologies of our own making. The clock serves as a metaphor created to remind the public of what civilization is capable of and what we must discuss.

 

Image of a doomsday clock set three minutes from midnight. (Dandelion Salad)

Washington stated on Jan. 23, 2024, WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 23, 2024 –,” Atomic scientists on Tuesday kept their ‘Doomsday Clock’ set as close to midnight as ever before, citing Russia’s actions on nuclear weapons amid its invasion of Ukraine, nuclear-armed Israel’s Gaza war and worsening climate change as factors driving the risk of global catastrophe.”

The Doomsday Clock was created in 1947 when atomic scientists set risk factors for climate change and atomic destruction. The creator of the Doomsday Clock was the co-editor and atomic scientist Hyman Goldsmith. Artist Martyl Langsdorf was the creator of the first design of the Doomsday Clock revealed in June of 1947. The first issue came out as a magazine. Martyl Langsdorf was married to Alexander Langdorf, a physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project, the project that developed the first nuclear bomb, while at the University of Chicago. On July 16, 1945, J. Robert Oppenheimer, the director of the Manhattan Project, witnessed the first detonation of a nuclear weapon. The infamous quote ran through his head: ”Now I am becoming Death, the destroyer of worlds.”

The technology behind the nuclear bomb has only continued to increase. Additionally, countries around the world have begun stockpiling nuclear weapons despite treaties that exist among numerous countries. Russian president Vladamir Putin has stated, “Nuclear weapons have been made to ensure our security in the broadest sense of the word and the existence of the Russian state, but we…have no such need (to use them),” Putin stated. According to Atomic scientists, Russia operates around 10 nuclear-armed submarines which could carry 60-70 nuclear bombs. Russia has about 400 nuclear-armed intercontinental ballistic missiles.

Shell, which is the replica of the biggest detonated Soviet nuclear bomb AN-602 (Tsar-Bomb), is on display in Moscow, Russia, August 31, 2015. The shell is part of an exhibition organized by the state nuclear corporation Rosatom. REUTERS/Maxim Zmeyev TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY (REUTERS)

Shell, which is the replica of the biggest detonated Soviet nuclear bomb AN-602 (Tsar-Bomb), is on display in Moscow, Russia, August 31, 2015. The shell is part of an exhibition organized by the state nuclear corporation

Atomic scientists believe this is not the only reason to fear. They cite the progression of AI, evolving biological threats and genetic engineering, the hottest year on record, and the nuclear armament of several countries involved in the conflict that has forced them to push the clock to the closest it has ever been to midnight: 90 seconds.
According to the nuclear scientists in charge of the Doomsday Clock, it is up to “the United States, China, and Russia [to] commence serious dialogue about each of the global threats outlined here. At the highest levels, these three countries need to take responsibility for the existential danger the world now faces. They can pull the world back from the brink of catastrophe. They should do so, with clarity and courage, and without delay.”

Sophomore Anthony Marlow said,”I believe countries will use nuclear warheads, and there is a big chance of it happening. I think when the US truly becomes a part of the wars happening and gets involved in fighting bigger countries there is a very high chance of [the Doomsday Clock expiring].”

Until the most influential countries take responsibility and work together, we will continue to see the clock be pushed closer to midnight. It is up to us as citizens of the world to demand action from our leaders.

Operation test “Trinity” nuclear test bomb called “Gadget” in 1945

Operation test “Trinity” nuclear test bomb called “Gadget” in 1945’

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About the Contributor
Jessie Hernandez, Staff Writer
Jessie Hernandez is a freshmen at Santa Rosa Academy. He likes to run and was a member of the track team in middle school -- he is thinking about joining a sport in the future. He hopes after high school he gets into a good college where he wishes to major in Criminal Justice, and earns a bachelors degree where he can pursue his dream job as a homicide detective. He also loves his family very much.
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