back to article Doomsday Clock ticks one minute closer to annihilation

The boffins who run the Doomsday Clock – an estimate of how close humanity is to annihilation by climate change or nuclear war - have just moved the minute hand one minute closer to midnight. Invented by the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (BAS) in 1947, the clock represents nuclear danger with midnight representing the end of …

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WTF?

So the current situation is exactly the same as last week, i.e. no treaty, but this week that lack of treaty is more dangerous?

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Anonymous Coward

It's an acknowledgement of the situation

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Mushroom
it acknowledges that by now there *should* have been some accord over the situation, and it has failed to materialise on time. A failed attempt to ratify the treaty shows less stability than 'not having made an attempt yet'....
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Mushroom

As private Fraser used to say:

We're doomed! Doomed!! DOOMED!!

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Fill this [ news space ]

Fukishima had a catastrophic meltdown that didn't kill anyone, and the climate shows no significant warming since 1998.

But of course they have to put out their annual scaremongering press release.

Thankyou, The Bulletin of Attention-seeking Bedwetters.

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@Mme.Mynkoff

You do realise that one of the reasons that climate change deniers hate being called deniers is that they claim that noone actually says that the climate is staying the same. As it happens: Go forward or back a year and you'll see a significant warming trend. 1998 was the last El Ninio, ie: it was hotter. This year, IIRC, is a La Nina ie: Cooler - there is a big issue if a years expected to be cooler are only as cool as the last year expected to be hotter.
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Facepalm
"no statistically significant warming" != "no significant warming" Again with the warming denailism by commentards on elreg?
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Alert
Most are not "deniers" they are sceptics, there is a big difference. I have also heard the climate research fundraisers equate "climate change deniers" to Nazis. When I see such a propaganda machine in effect, it makes me doubt the message they have to spread. As the saying goes... the bigger the lie the more people will believe it.
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markfiend

Actually the unedited numbers show we have been in a period of global temperature decline for the last 16 years.
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Coat

Lingo

"Fukishima had a catastrophic meltdown that didn't kill anyone" Doesn't it have to be a catastrophy to be "catastrophic"? Last I checked, Fukishima was a partial meltdown, but no where near a "catastrophy" such as Chernobyl.... As for climate change, the polarization is whether humans are causing it or not. Perhaps the argument should be "no significant [human-caused] warming." Just because our models are flawed (they don't take into account all environmental factors, so you can't say they are not), doesn't mean they're wrong; just inaccurate. It's the fact that our current temperatures are not where they were projected to be that should be more conclusive.
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Paris Hilton

Cyclic deniers

Again with the Global Climate Cyclic Denialism commentards on elreg? Paris, like the Sahara Desert, she was once lush, too. Wait, isn't she still a lush?
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Anonymous Coward

@zippy

No they don't.

And...

If you're going to make comments like that you really need to cite sources, so they can then be torn apart.

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Anonymous Coward

Go forward or back a year

At 88 miles an hour??
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WTF?

Re: CmdrX3

"I have also heard the climate research fundraisers equate "climate change deniers" to Nazis."

I have heard there are unicorns on the moon.

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@cmdrx3

That's twice in recent days I've heard this from a denier/sceptic, I have never heard it from any other source.

I wonder if this is a new tactic in the increasingly desperate attempts to win the argument?

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Facepalm

U sir are insane.

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FAIL

Correct me if I am wrong

Is there some major reason, other than financial gain, for which we cannot simply begin to implement a reduction in the number of people on the planet. I don't mean some mass destruction of populations, I mean simply a one child per household kind of policy.

There was a time where it was necassary to have 7 children in order to have some hope of surviving, today that issue no longer holds.

Isn't it also about time that the supposed "religous leaders" stood up and made a commitment to allowing for contraception. I can't really believe that the great Sky Fairy intended for us to destroy the earth through over-population.

Why are the governments doing nothing and don't give me that "but who will pay for the future generations" crap.

Think how many problems would be resolved simply by reducing the population. There would be more farmland/food to go around, the available natural energies would last longer, we would automatically reduce pollution and waste, the forests would begin to grow/increase.

I really hate these false claims that Nuclear is bad, Global Warming is destroying the earth, there are not enough resources etc These problems can be resolved by simply stopping the over population of the earth.

The capatalistic diatribe to which have become accustomed will not resolve anything other than filling the pockets of those that presume they will be dead and gone or protected before the real problems actually begin.

I wonder how far away from WW3 we really are.

( I hate Wednesdays)

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It's happening...

...in the first-world. The answer is education, i.e. get the kids in the third world into school. After a generation or so, things will sort themselves out.

However with the kids in school, there will be no one in the factories making your T-shirts for £5 or new training shoes (which you *will* moan about), no money coming into child's household (because the child is not working) and the situation will worsen.

The answer to that is to pair a fair price and fine the hell out of companies using child labour and jail the execs who have worker's activists executed (we all know which companies these are).

All that hits the bottom line and share prices, can't have that! So it's much easier for us to profit from selling arms to dictators, having wars, securing oil and ensuring the status quo.

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"Is there some major reason, other than financial gain, for which we cannot simply begin to implement a reduction in the number of people on the planet. I don't mean some mass destruction of populations, I mean simply a one child per household kind of policy."

1. Who is 'we' that would impose such a policy?

2. How would this policy be enforced?

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@Khaptain

I see your point and indeed agree largely. My reason against a one child policy is personal freedom. And there are undesirable side effects (cp. China and women/men ratio). An obvious and likewise undesirable solution would be WW3.

As alternative means for population decrease we should discuss other solutions. How about a child tax -in contrast to child allowance- to cover for all the external costs a human being is likely to cause in its life time? To be effective, such a tax has to be imposed on the parents close to birth (e.g. during the first ten years).

Other ideas are welcome!

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Some reason?

Yes.

Freedom.

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Childcatcher

If you think there are too many people on the planet do us all a favour

"Is there some major reason, other than financial gain, for which we cannot simply begin to implement a reduction in the number of people on the planet." There is no "we". There are normal healthy people who love their children and couldn't imagine doing without them and there are nasty misanthropes like you and the government of China. As it is there is more food production per-capita and less hunger than ever before in the history of the world. Why do you think there are too many people? By what measure? Even the so-called "one child" policies of China don't apply to everyone. They don't apply to colonists going to Thailand or Han people colonising the outer reaches of China where the people are not Han but Uyghur, Turkic, Mongolian etc. They don't apply to rich male party leaders (of course) because they have lots of girlfriends who can all have one child each even if they can't swing an exception. There are all sorts of exceptions. If you think there are too many people on the planet do us all a favour and lead by example.
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Megaphone

Population Problem - couldn't agree more

More to the point - if we do nothing about it then nature will take its course and it won't be very nice! Famine, disease, drought and warfare etc. The likely winners(?!) are the the developed nations with money and resource - might this be the course we are already set on for human kind ? Female children especially desperately need the chance of education - so that they can make choices about bearing children / contraception for themselves. Why does a child HAVE to be brainwashed into whatever religion it's parents observe - amounts to abuse in my mind. Children are the future ALWAYS - their prosperity and development is in our hands. Our immediate responsibility must always be towards them and not our own 'must have' needs of the moment. Do we want monetary profit / gain NOW, or a sustainable (and probably yes, less exciting) LONG TERM future for human kind ? In all honesty I doubt we are grown up enough right now to work this out holistically as one species pulling together. Maybe our species just needs to hit the wall a few times before we learn from past mistakes - we have been through some tough cycles in the past (glaciation, prehistoric migrations etc)
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Childcatcher

Children are the future! Lets have fewer of them!

Seriously, that makes no sense.
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@Scott Broukell

Why should I care about the long term future for mankind? Why should I forego whatever in favour of someone's children?
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Coat
1. Me. 2. Only I am allowed to father children.
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@Evil Auditor

Tell you what, let's (as a generation) lead by example. Let's all refuse to pay taxes paying for schools (as you're foregoing money for the benefit of someone elses children). Of course, that might not seem quite such a bright idea when kids become adults, who don't earn because they are uneducated and thick as shit. They then won't be paying taxes, so no winter fuel allowance (suspect that'll be gone anyway by the time I'm old). Need a state-funded nurse to wipe your arse? Sorry no money for that. The point in a species is to try and survive as a species for as long as possible, hell it's the basis of evolution. We all have to forego something for the benefit of less worthwhile causes (propping banks etc), so allowing for the survival of the species seems like a more worthwhile cause somehow. I suspect you're probably trolling in all fairness, but the level of selfishness some people show really irks me (and I'm far from selfless).
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Angel
It is the responsibility of every person on the planet to reduce their progenic output, we cannot shift that responsibility onto our toothless governments. It rests with each and every one of us. I've made a start by not having any children at all. What're you going to do?
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@ravenviz

You might need to tighten the rules a bit there, I'd specify you can choose who with in case this girl comes along demanding babies; http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/01752/Anne-Woods_1752141c.jpg
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Mushroom
@Evil Auditor: You're not gonna have much "personal freedom" when arma-freaking-geddon arrives, now are you? "Personal Freedom" is trumped by "Need to Survive".
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Meh

@Ben.

No, species survival is not the basis of evolution. It's the survival of genes. Which is different. Get yourself 'The Selfish Gene" by Richard Dawkins. That aside, I agree with the thrust of your argument, and share your irritation at the 'population control' promoters in this thread. I wonder how long it will be before someone suggests how to 'select' who should do the breeding. Perhaps Brian Aldiss's 'Ministry of Population'? http://cbmatt.tripod.com/supertoys.html
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Childcatcher

Excellent. Your children won't be around to complain

...about my children cluttering up the place! And mine won't have to listen to yours whining about the population "problem". Seriously, we are better fed and housed than ever before in the history of the world, all due to clever technology created by the excess population, who wouldn't be born if the misanthropic, malthusian malcontents had their way. What's the problem?
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A child tax?!

Children are already expensive. I pay for my own children. They will be paying for your pension. And you want to tax me for having them?
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Facepalm

I do love a dyed in the wool comitted Cornucopian..

...believer...
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@Evil Auditer

"Why should I forego whatever in favour of someone's children?" Or, to refine. "Why should I forego whatever in favour of children?" I can only imagine you're cold hearted, empty, soul-less and hating to come out with a statement like that, not someone people should be listening to. Thumbs down.
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Re: The answer is education

Specifically, I think the evidence points to *women's* education being much the most important factor. As far as I recall, prior to German unification, the population of the Federal Republic was actually falling.
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@Ben Tasker

No, not trolling, I'm quite serious about those questions. First, the "I" referred not so much to me but more generally to everyone. Of course there are good reasons to pay taxes (among others for schools). This is, however, more of an economics question as are your other points. I understood "long term" in Scott Broukell's comment of much longer term than economics can reach. A more tangible question would be: why should I not drive my fossile fuel guzzling car to safe some raw oil for someone who might need it 500 years ahead? Now for something different. You may feel the needs to survive as a species (although I doubt it) and act upon. But there is no such thing as a drive to "try to survive as a species". All there is is the individual drive to having sex. And as a somewhat rational being I can very well decide whether I want to reproduce.
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Oh yeah...

"The answer to that is to pair a fair price and fine the hell out of companies using child labour and jail the execs who have worker's activists executed (we all know which companies these are)." I am pretty sure it is already illegal to execute worker activists right now - it's called murder. Why would execs start obeying a new law when they are already not obeying laws against murder?
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Anonymous Coward

not birth control...

It's not people having children, 2 adults having 2 or 3 kids is balanced-ish - the children replace the adults when the adults die and there's a small increase in the population, the problem is that the two adults are hanging around for a lot longer than they used to. What we need to do is reduce our consumption of resources (probably fairly drastically) to compensate - right now all the wonderful tech is working, but it's costing 2 or 3 times what the planet can sustain to do it.
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This post has been deleted by its author

Yes, the major reason is that 'our' so-called 'elite' ruling-class fears losing monopoly power,

as the privilege of these parasites depends on their continuing ability to rob and exploit the '3rd world' [be that a geographical location or politically disenfranchised class] which, if raised out of its current impotence, will no longer be amenable to such abuse. // The function of Religion, whose 'ministers' are a self-selecting specially hypocritical subset of the ruling-class, is to manage the mass of human misery, not lessen it, by massaging the minds of the victims with cunning lies to convince them that this current Scheißspiel is the inevitable natural order of things, whilst partaking generously in the fruits of their despoliation. // Education, particularly the political variety, is the key to breaking this criminal system ~ knowledge empowers People to emancipate from their Slavers, which is precisely why such huge effort is invested to confound that process. Wherein, if you rely on Religion for guidance, the vicious circle is closed. // Population stabilisation or reduction would obviously be a great help to quality of life on the planet, and most educated people naturally gravitate towards limiting themselves to 2 children per pair, i.e. replacement rate, which is effectively the same as the one child policy. // Re. WW3, I think we still have about 10 years breathing space to get our shit wired and avert it, plus a few other disasters.
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The problem...

...is that all the abundance you cite is due to the overexploitation of non-renewable resources; and when they are exhausted we are all royally screwed.
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@Evil Auditor

"And as a somewhat rational being I can very well decide whether I want to reproduce." Fine by me. My offspring will inherit your hard earned resources when you die off. Bye then, don't take too long will you?
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Paris Hilton

@Ben

Creative use of the word 'girl' there!
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Stop

The population timebomb is a myth

"The doom-sayers are becoming more fashionable just as experts are coming to the view it has all been one giant false alarm." http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/dominic-lawson/dominic-lawson-the-population-timebomb-is-a-myth-2186968.html
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Anonymous Coward

why only at one end?

why is population control only considered at one end? why not have a cap at 75 say? work to 60, 15 years retired then kaput? that'd do for me. would save a fortune for the NHS and other resources.
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@AC Major Difference

There is a major difference between eliminating that whcih already exists and that which doesn't. If I gave you a gun and asked you to eliminate your healthy 75 year old granny or simply pull your "Gene Pool Agregator" out a bit quicker, which would you choose to do .
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@ravenviz

To be fair if I'd said Octogenarian (didn't clock her age, so might not be accurate) it'd have reduced the shock!
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I absolutely agree we need to start reducing the population...

...there are just too many of us for the world to sustain. This can only be done on a regional basis (country by country), but we (as a race) need to start somewhere. I would for a start stop all forms of child credits/support in this country with the proviso that: - Anyone who requests state help to bring up baby is admitting they have bread beyond their means. As such, both parents should have to "see the vet" before getting any money to assist looking after their current offspring. It's about time we got shot of the "I've got rights" crap, where every moron expects everyone else to pay for their "rights" to have babies, IVF and much, much more. Everyone needs to be forced to take responsibility for their own choices and actions. Some will undoubtedly say I'm just a cold heartless bar-steward (and they may be a little correct), but that's because I don't have problems with basic logic. That is why I will never give money to charities for "saving the starving babies". It's not because I don't care, it is because it solves nothing, every baby you save this year is just another mouth to feed next year, plus all the new babies. Any society that breeds beyond its means (1st or 3rd world) is doomed to reach a point were starvation and very low living standards become the norm. It is only about 100 year ago that in Britain the norm was to have 4 to 5 children, as 3 to 4 were expected to die due to disease and lack of food. better medicine and vastly improved agriculture made it possible to massively increase population since then, but the limits have been reached and exceeded.
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