The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has set the Doomsday Clock for 2024 at 90 seconds to midnight, which they said reflected “the continued state of unprecedented danger the world faces.” CND warns that we’re fast approaching the point of no return and calls on government and people to do all they can to turn back the clock.
The Bulletin said the decision to keep the clock at the same time was due to concern over the continuation of the war in Ukraine and the crisis in nuclear arms control which has all but shut down. The ongoing conflict in Gaza was also cited as a crisis that could lead to a nuclear exchange between regional powers.
An unprecedented “three way arms race” is also taking place between Russia, China, and the US, and the Bulletin also said nuclear powers were pursuing “extensive modernisation and expansion of nuclear arsenals.”
While some progress had been made on tackling climate change, states were not moving fast or deep enough to tackle the problem. Disruptive technologies like AI also posed an area of concern which they said “could magnify disinformation and corrupt the global information environment.”
Since last year’s announcement, CND has regularly called on the British government to do more to reduce global nuclear tensions. Instead, it has done the opposite by ploughing ahead with its plan to modernise and increase its nuclear arsenal. Recent comments from defence secretary Grant Shapps assert that we are in a pre-war world, and that increased militarisation and military spending are necessary to prepare for future conflicts. Next month’s NATO wargames will see the largest contingent of British troops since the Cold War take part in a scenario where the alliance is in a conflict with a Russian-led coalition – both nuclear-armed blocs.
The British government has also done nothing to peacefully end the ongoing crisis in the Middle East – which itself risks escalating into a regional nuclear confrontation. Instead, Britain has participated in the bombing of Yemen and is giving both diplomatic and military support to Israel, despite allegations the latter is carrying out genocide in the Gaza Strip.
CND General Secretary Kate Hudson said:
“The Doomsday Clock remaining at 90 seconds to midnight must be a wake up call for the entire world. Nuclear-armed states are increasing and modernising their arsenals, while their allies are rearming with newer and more lethal conventional technologies. The world is closer to nuclear war than it has ever been and the failure to end conflicts, from Ukraine to the Middle East, increases this risk by the day. We’re fast approaching the point of no return. CND calls on all those who want peace to prevail to join us in doing everything we can to turn back the clock.”