An article by Rupert Cornwell in today’s Independent says that today the Doomsday Clock, which has since 1947 calculated the probability of global nuclear war, will be moved closer to zero from the seven minutes to midnight at which it has stood since 2002.
The reasons prompting this decision by the Clock’s sponsors, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, include growing turmoil in the
Apart from the growing number of countries seeking to acquire nuclear weapons – there are already nine nuclear powers - the renewed popularity of atomic energy as a source of ‘clean’ fuel will led to the proliferation of nuclear reactors and the increased circulation of enriched uranium and plutonium, which are also raw materials for atomic bombs.
If al-Qai’da or some other group of international terrorists acquire an atomic device, and threaten to use it, the deterrence doctrine of MAD – mutually assured destruction – which prevented the Cold War from turning into an atomic holocaust will no longer apply, and a dangerous threshold will have been crossed.
This article says nothing new, and simply outlines a situation that we push to the outer recesses of our consciousness most of the time in order to be able to carry on with our ‘normal’ daily lives. But considered in cold blood, it is the stuff of which the most nightmarish horror movies and science fiction are made.
Is it really possible that our rulers, who know far more of the actual details of this gruesome scenario than we do, are content to blunder on further along the perilous paths they are treading? Do they have a death-wish, not just for themselves, but for all of us?
And if so, what can we, the people, do about it?