Humanity survived its predicted destruction on December 21 2012 but a group of U.S. scientists believe that we are again closer to the end days not because the Mayan Calendar says so. They now look at the symbolical Doomsday Clock, its minute hand ticks just five minutes before midnight.
When the same clock strikes 12, catastrophic events spelling man's bleak future are likely to follow, according to the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (BAS), headquartered at the University of Chicago.
In a letter sent to U.S. President Barack Obama, the group scored the less than stellar efforts by governments around the world to dramatically reduce countries' stockpile of nuclear arms and address the alarming climate, echoing the sentiments the group aired last year.
Those disturbing indicators remain in place, the scientists warned Mr Obama, stressing too that keeping a 5-minute margin prior to the proverbial 'the end of days' should keep us working to avert Earth's annihilation.
"The stasis of 2012 convinces us, the Science and Security Board, to keep the hands of the Doomsday Clock in place," the group was reported by the United Press International (UPI) as saying on Tuesday.
The letter noted too that "2012 was the hottest year on record in the contiguous United States, marked by devastating drought and brutal storms ... These extreme events are exactly what climate models predict for an atmosphere laden with greenhouse gases."
Also citing the near nuclear meltdown in Fukushima, Japan and "unrealised opportunity to reduce nuclear stockpiles," the scientists urged Mr Obama to do better this year, pleading on the U.S. leader to also prioritise these grave concerns.
Hopefully, "this is the year for U.S. leadership in slowing climate change and setting a path toward a world without nuclear weapons," BAS board chair Robert Socolow said in a statement.
BAS was founded in 1945, its core composed of the same scientists that actively participated on the U.S.-sponsored Manhattan Project, UPI said on its report. The same initiative was responsible in rolling out the first atomic bomb, its horrifying might first seen when hundreds of thousands were killed in two Japanese cities, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where the U.S. dropped the bombs to force the end of Word Ward 2 on the Pacific side.
According to Live Science, BAS put up the Doomsday Clock in 1947 to be used as a strong reminder that man is nearing the tipping point of another nuclear disaster, this time in a global scale.
The closest that the ominous clock approached midnight was in 1953, when the first hydrogen was put into test. BAS set the clock at two minutes before midnight, said Live Science, adding that when the Cold War fizzled out in 1991, the minute hand was pushed back 17 minutes away from 12.