Timothy Lee

Radical Environmentalists Continue Politicization of Doomsday Clock, Literally Equating Climate Change to Nuclear Weapons

What does the famed nuclear war “Doomsday Clock” have to do with climate change hysteria? According to Al Gore’s minions, everything.

For the first time since the Clock’s inception, its hands have been advanced for a reason other than the prospect of nuclear war. Not because of mass terrorism, not an outbreak of catastrophic conventional war, not political instability in a nuclear-armed nation or other concrete event, but rather due to that trendy, all-purpose bogeyman of the left – climate change.

First introduced by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists at the University of Chicago in 1947, the iconic clock face shows the remaining “minutes to midnight,” with midnight symbolizing humanity’s nuclear destruction. The initial 1947 Clock showed seven minutes until midnight as the Cold War descended upon the world, and the minute hand has been advanced or turned back 19 times since that date in response to various geopolitical crises and the threat of global nuclear war.

The Clock was advanced to just three minutes to midnight in 1949, when the Soviet Union tested its first atomic bomb, and again to just two minutes in 1953, when the United States and Soviet Union tested advanced hydrogen bombs within nine months of one another.

During subsequent years, the Clock became increasingly politicized to reflect the leftist sympathies of its Board of Directors. For instance, the Board illogically turned the Clock back to 12 minutes in 1972 with the signing of the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, even though this treaty actually eliminated missile defense protections.

The politicized nature of the Clock became even more obvious with Ronald Reagan’s ascent to the White House. During the 1980s, the Board predictably expressed its antipathy toward President Reagan, who ultimately ended the Cold War without firing a shot, by advancing the minute hand all the way to just three minutes before midnight. The Board’s naked political basis for this decision is best illustrated by quoting its own website:

The United States seems to flout the few arms control agreements in place by seeking an expansive, space-based anti-ballistic-missile capability, raising worries that a new arms race will begin... Reagan scraps any talk of arms control and proposes that the best way to end the Cold War is for the United States to win it.

Yes, how silly of that foolish warmonger Ronald Reagan to think that America could actually “win” the Cold War. The Kremlin itself couldn’t have stated it in a more one-sided manner.

Timothy Lee

Timothy Lee is the director of legal and public affairs at the Center for Individual Freedom, a free-market and constitutional advocacy organization based in Alexandria, Virginia.

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