Speed Reads

it's the end of the world as we know it

Scientists say we're closer to the apocalypse — thanks to President Trump

President Donald Trump has single-handedly caused the Doomsday Clock to tick 30 seconds closer to midnight, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced Thursday. The metaphorical clock has been used to gauge the threat of humanity's annihilation since 1947, with midnight representing the end of the world. The apocalypse is now just two and a half minutes from midnight, reported the scientists, who consult with a board that includes 15 Nobel Laureates.

The threat neared for two reasons: the lack of sufficient international action on decreasing nuclear weapons arsenals, and climate change. "The United States now has a president who has promised to impede progress on both of those fronts," the Bulletin said. "Never before has the Bulletin decided to advance the clock largely because of the statements of a single person, but when that person is the new president of the United States, his words matter."

The clock indicates humanity is the closest to oblivion it has been since the U.S. upgraded its nuclear arsenal with the hydrogen bomb in 1953, when there were just two minutes to midnight. The clock reached its safest point in 1991, when there were 17 minutes to midnight due to the end of the Cold War and the implementation of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty.