In this vein, the world-famous Doomsday Clock, which was originally focused on the possibility of nuclear war, assesses humanity's proximity to annihilation: The famous clock has been set at 100 seconds to midnight by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (“BAS”), a global body of science and policy experts: “The bad news is that we're still closer to midnight than we've ever been since the clock was invented more than 60 years ago, owing to:
1) widespread mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic in countries around the world, and
2) widespread mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic in countries around the world.
As an alert and "wake-up call," the BAS agreed to keep the clock at the current alarming time slot as a warning and "wake-up call" due to:
2) no progress in removing nuclear weapons,
3) inadequate mitigation of disruptive climate change, and
4) threats to national security by right-wing extremists.
COVID pulled back the wizard's curtain, showing a cartoonish figurine of irresponsibility by governments around the world to handle emergencies: "A historic wakeup call that governments are woefully unprepared to handle pandemics," Ibid.
Furthermore, “global carbon emissions, a significant driver of human-induced climate change, fell by around 17% due to the pandemic, but have largely recovered... According to Susan Solomon, a professor of environmental studies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and a member of the BAS Science and Security Board, “the impacts of escalating climate change led NASA scientists to declare 2020 the hottest year on record,” Ibid.
And, according to Steve Fetter, a professor of public policy at the University of Maryland, the nuclear threat remains “unacceptably high,” with the United States allocating more than $1 trillion to modernizing its nuclear weapons programs while China, India, North Korea, and Pakistan expand their arsenals. “According to our estimates, the risk of the world slipping into nuclear war — a constant threat over the last 75 years — increased in 2020,” Ibid.
Particularly noteworthy is the recent upward trend in the clock's proximity to midnight, which coincided with Trump's election. It reached two minutes to midnight in 2018. The only other time it got that far was in 1953 when the United States and Russia both detonated hydrogen bombs within six months of each other.
The Doomsday Clock paused in 2019 but began ticking again in 2020, reflecting humanity's “true emergency — an utterly intolerable state of world affairs that has lost any margin for error or further delay,” according to the study.
As a result, the world is in danger on many fronts, as has never been seen before in the history of the Doomsday Clock, which was first set at seven minutes to midnight in 1947 when nuclear bombs were humanity's greatest threat. Now, nuclear war is sharing the dangerous baton with :
1) climate change,
2) incompetent governments, and
3) extensive usage of social media sites that spread disinformation and erode confidence in the media and science around the world.
Furthermore, the BAS claims that the growing rightwing movement poses a threat to US national security: “These extremists represent a unique danger because of their prevalence in federal institutions such as the military and the potential for them to penetrate nuclear facilities, where they could access classified information and nuclear materials,” according to BAS members. Ibid., “Officials must act quickly to better recognize and minimize this threat.”
Political parties that depend on lies have brought society to its knees with shameless devastation throughout history, such as the collapse of Rome in the 5th century AD: “By Augustine's period (354-430 AD), the Roman Empire had devolved into a lie-mongering empire. It also pretended to uphold the rule of law, to protect the people from Barbarian invaders, and to keep the peace. But for the people of an empire that had been reduced to nothing more than a massive military machine devoted to oppressing the poor to preserve the privileges of the wealthy, it had all become a bad joke. The Empire had been a lie in and of itself: that it lasted because of the Gods' favor, who praised the Romans for their moral virtues. Nobody could believe it anymore: it was the disintegration of society's very fabric; the collapse of what the ancients called auctoritas or citizens' confidence in their representatives and state institutions.” (Source: The Empire of Lies, Cassandra's Legacy, February 8, 2016).