On January 17, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved their famed "Doomsday Clock" to five minutes to midnight to reflect "worsening nuclear and climate threats" that make this the "most perilous period since Hiroshima." According to the Bulletin, "The major new step reflects growing concerns about a 'Second Nuclear Age' marked by grave threats, including: nuclear ambitions in Iran and North Korea, unsecured nuclear materials in Russia and elsewhere, the continuing 'launch-ready' status of 2,000 of the 25,000 nuclear weapons held by the U.S. and Russia, escalating terrorism, and new pressure from climate change for expanded civilian nuclear power that could increase proliferation risks."
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists was formed in 1945 as an emergency action undertaken by atomic scientists who saw urgent need for an immediate educational program about atomic weapons. One of its purposes was to educate fellow scientists about the relationship between their world of science and the world of national and international politics. A second was to help the American people understand what nuclear energy and its possible applications to war meant. The Bulletin contributors believed the atom bomb would only be the first of many dangerous presents from “Pandora’s box of modern science.” Over the years, contributors have included many nuclear scientists such as Albert Einstein and Robert Oppenheimer, as well as thinkers such as Bertrand Russell. See wikipedia post here.
A streaming audio replay of today's news event will be available on the Web here at 6pm EST.
The Bulletin will be holding a roundtable on nuclear power and climate change on February 18.