Thursday, January 18, 2007

closer than five minutes to midnight

Somehow, the whole Doomsday Clock gauging how close we are to nuclear destruction seems so 1980s. Sure, developments in Iran and North Korea are a bit scary... but we've avoided a civilization-crushing nuclear war for 60 years now.

The real clock to worry about is the climate change clock, which is now at about two minutes to midnight. Unlike nuclear-armed countries, mother nature can't be deterred from reacting to ever-increasing greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere. Unlike nuclear disarmament, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions will be complicated and will require cooperation from dozens of countries and billions of people. And nobody denies the awful risk of nuclear war -- but we still have Exxon and the de facto Bush Administration and many others who don't want to countenance any serious steps to mitigate climate change.

We may not blow ourselves up. But we are running a real risk of cooking ourselves, and our planet.


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