Tag Archives: doomsday clock

Prepping for the B.A.S. Big Three Part 1

Let’s take a closer look at the recent announcement from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists that the Doomsday Clock was moved from five to three minutes to midnight.

The BAS broke their decision down to three main categories:

  1. Looming climate catastrophe
  2. Nuclear modernization (weapons and power)
  3. Emerging technological threat (biotech and cyber attacks)

Which brings us the the question their analysis doesn’t really answer: How do we prepare for these threats?

First Up: Looming Climate Catastrophe

Average global temperatures are rising, playing havoc with world weather patterns, the integrity of the polar ice cap, and habitats–all recipes for disaster. And while they claim climate catastrophe is not “inevitable,” the actions needed to keep the world habitable for humans are not only urgent, but will require changes in behavior, economics, and politics that world leaders, corporations, and citizens have, to date, been unwilling to embrace.

What This Means to Us

Basically, we have two choices:

  • Find a way to get our governments to act–committing to (and following through with) regulations, restrictions, incentives, punishments, ending subsidies, and whatever else it might take to decrease, or, ideally, end, world reliance on fossil fuels


  • Prepare for ever-worsening weather-related disasters, food shortages, drought, and other events that could eventually result in a planet that will no longer support human life

The prepping part is easy. We already know how to do that (and if you don’t, check out TheSurvivalMom.com–she’ll get you hooked up). But if we’re really interested in survival for the long term, we need to make serious effort toward global change with regards to fossil fuels.

How? According to UN.org:

  • UN Climate Action Identify and reduce your climate footprint
  • Learn more about climate change
  • Speak up–let our government representatives know that you want change

Pretty much what they’ve been telling us for decades to no avail, which means it’s time to get creative:

  • Like the teenagers who are suing the federal government for inaction with regards to climate change (after all, today’s youth are the ones who are going to have to live–or not–with the consequences)
  • Like the city of Santa Fe, New Mexico, which is working to create a municipal electric utility because the current power company, PNM, is not rising to the call for cleaner energy
  • Like the Tiny House Movement, which has people downsizing their (on average) 2600 square foot homes for those with much smaller footprints (typically between 100 and 400 square feet), saving money, energy, stress, and work

Of course it can be hard to to give up the familiar, the comfortable, but it will be immeasurably easier to do it with planning, intention, and choice than it will be to change in response to actual disaster. The technologies, systems, and knowledge we need already exist. Better to embrace a little change-based discomfort now, than the world of hurt that scientists currently believe will begin to descend in about 30 years.

Next time: Nuclear Modernization

Two Minutes Closer to Doomsday

This past Monday, January 19, 2015, the Doomsday Clock moved two minutes closer to midnight.

Doomsday Clock
Two minutes closer to midnight.

According to their new release:

In 2015, unchecked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity, and world leaders have failed to act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe. These failures of political leadership endanger every person on Earth.

And yet, despite it all, the scientists watching the clock believe there may still be hope, stating:

A climate catastrophe looms—but is not inevitable.

The question is, what will we do with this last remaining glimmer? Can our species make the drastic changes required to course-correct our fate from total annihilation to a world that is “survivable?” Or will the majority continue to ignore or deny the gravity of our situation?

According to the members of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists Science and Security Board, the steps needed are both urgent and clear:

  • Take actions that would cap greenhouse gas emissions at levels sufficient to keep average global temperature from rising more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels.
  • Dramatically reduce proposed spending on nuclear weapons modernization programs.
  • Re-energize the disarmament process, with a focus on results.
  • Deal now with the commercial nuclear waste problem.
  • Create institutions specifically assigned to explore and address potentially catastrophic misuses of new technologies.

“The probability of global catastrophe is very high, and the actions needed to reduce the risks of disaster must be taken very soon.”

Ideally, now.