Friday, January 17, 2014

Twelve O'clock, Rock

They say that even a broken clock is right twice a day. This isn't always true. There is a clock that has the distinction of never telling the correct time since its invention in 1947. I speak of the "Doomsday Clock."

In 1946, as the free world basked in the glow of victory over Nazi Germany and the Empire of Japan, Winston Churchill documented the beginning of the Cold War by giving his "Iron Curtain" speech in Fulton Missouri. Churchill's message was simple: the free world needed to stand up against Soviet aggression.

While most acknowledged the reality Churchill referenced, everyone didn't necessarily agree with his prescription of courage and strength as the solution to the problem. Some decided that hand wringing and moral equivalence presented a better alternative. This group included many scientists who, in all honesty, were frightened by the pace with which technology had advanced, a rate that outpaced mankind's morality. These people thought the solution lay not in strength, but in alarm-ism. As a result, they created the "Doomsday Clock" to chart mankind's proximity to its own destruction via nuclear holocaust.

The "Doomsday Clock," like anthropological global warming, is an alarmist pretense suggesting that mankind is in the process of destroying the earth. I will give the clock-watchers more credit than the global-warming alarmists, the potential for a nuclear doomsday certainly exists. As is not the case with global warming, one can clearly count a number of victims of the nuclear weaponry. However, the clock metaphor that they used is severely flawed.

In 1947, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, a publication started by some of the researchers who worked on the atomic bomb, published the clock on its cover for the very first time. The clock was depicted at 11:53, signifying a nuclear "doomsday" only seven minutes away. Seven minutes after publication, the earth survived, providing the quickest debunking ever to a piece of peace-nick propaganda. Each year for nearly seventy years, the Bulletin has published a new clock. Each year, the clock has been proven wrong.

The latest the clock has ever read was an 11:58 reading that occurred in 1953. That clock was off by at least sixty years. 

Occasionally, the clock has moved backwards. In 1991, after eleven years of Reagan-Bush policies that publishers of the Bulletin assured us would move us toward a nuclear doomsday, the Soviet Union disintegrated and the clock was moved back to 11:43. However, because alarmist caterwauling sells magazines and gains media attention, the Bulletin has spent the better part of two decades moving the clock closer to midnight. Each time, the doomsday prediction has quickly gone unfulfilled.

In 2012, despite three years of Bulletin approved leadership of President Barack Obama, the bulletin moved the clock ahead one minute to 11:55. They kept it there in 2013 and again this year, with a prescription for moving the clock backward. It comes as no surprise that one of the recommendations is to provide political leadership (aka hackneyed liberal solutions) on climate change. 


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