Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Doomsday Clock: Do these people really know how to tell time - 2014 Edition!

The Doomsday Clock remains at five minutes to midnight!
The minute hand on the Doomsday Clock has remained at five minutes to midnight which is the same time as 2013 and the same as 2012 as well!

The people who make this decision must still be looking at a different world than I am in order for them to determine that the world has not become more risky since 2011!

Either that or it's just a worthless assessment being made by people who are as blind to the goings on in the world as our President Obama who seems to think that negotiations with Iran over that country's nuclear weapons program is the right way forward!

Here is the actual rationale for keeping the minute hand in the same position as last year:
In 2013, the world made limited strides toward reducing the threat posed by nuclear weapons, most notable among them an interim agreement between the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany (or P5 + 1) and Iran on a “joint plan of action” for reaching a long-term solution to international concern about the Iranian nuclear program. Also, in the last year a significant number of countries have taken steps to reduce their stocks of weapons-grade fissile material and to tighten security on the nuclear stores that remain.
Overall, however, in 2013 the international community dealt with the continuing, potentially civilization-ending threat of nuclear weapons in a business-as-usual manner, meaning that outsized nuclear arsenals remain in the United States and Russia, and the nuclear arsenals of some countries—notably India, Pakistan, and China—appear to be growing. The interim Iranian deal notwithstanding, the international community has not come to grips with an unfortunate reality: The spread of civilian nuclear power around the world—which continues apace, despite the disaster at Fukushima—also spreads the potential for new nuclear weapons states.
Meanwhile, even though there have been positive developments in the renewable energy field over the last year, worldwide efforts to limit the carbon dioxide emissions that cause climate change have largely stalled, with emission-reduction programs being used as political footballs in several industrialized countries. And beyond the nuclear and climate threats lies a spectrum of emerging dangers—from cyber weapons to killer robots—that are further challenging humanity’s ability to manage its most advanced technologies.
A careful review of these threats leads us to conclude that the risk of civilization-threatening technological catastrophe remains high, and that the hands of the Doomsday Clock should therefore remain at five minutes to midnight. We implore the Secretary-General and the Security Council to spur worldwide action in the following areas to reduce the danger that human technology will be humanity’s undoing.
Nuclear hope and danger. Last year provided some reason for guarded optimism in regard to nuclear weapons.
Speaking at Berlin’s historic Brandenburg Gate in mid-June, President Obama proposed a reduction in the limit on US and Russian deployed strategic nuclear warheads from the current New START level—1,550 warheads on each side—to 1,000.
Obama’s speech came just days after Iran elected a new president, Hassan Rouhani, who quickly changed the tone of the country’s foreign policy, clearing the path for the first direct talks between the United States and Iran in 35 years. Late in November, in talks with the P5 + 1, Iran agreed to, among other things, a six-month halt in enriching uranium beyond what is required for commercial nuclear power, in exchange for a limited suspension of some of the sanctions that have crippled the country's economy. If negotiations on a permanent accord are successful, they could calm a tense region and set important precedents for handling nuclear enrichment and nuclear energy around the world.
And in preparing for a third Nuclear Security Summit—to be held in The Hague late in March—many countries have pledged to reduce their stores of nuclear materials and improve the security of the fissile materials that remain, with the goal of preventing nuclear terrorism. According to a recent report by the Nuclear Threat Initiative, since 2012, seven countries have made significant progress in reducing their caches of weapons-usable material, and others have improved their security measures. 


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