The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved the Doomsday Clock 30 seconds closer to midnight six days into Donald Trump’s presidency based on his words and actions as a presidential candidate. Six months into President Trump’s first year in office, John Mecklin, the editor in chief of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, seems to take no pleasure explaining why “we told you so” and discussing Trump’s actions regarding nuclear weapons, North Korea and climate change.
“Now, about halfway through Trump’s first year in office, it is unfortunately obvious that this negative assessment was correct, if anything underestimating the president’s proclivity for intemperate and careless behavior with regard to matters that threaten the whole of humanity and the future of civilization. Traditionally, the Doomsday Clock is set once, at the beginning of the year, and the minute hand does not subsequently move for light or transient causes. This July 4, the Clock remains at two and a half minutes to midnight, because the Science and Security Board foresaw and factored into its calculations what has very unfortunately come to pass in the past six months.”
Mecklin says silence is not an option and lists actions on which Trump must be held accountable “for the endangerment of humanity,” including the withdrawal from the Paris Agreement, threats against North Korea and “encouraging Russian adventurism, making nuclear war more likely, and causing Angela Merkel to seem likeable by comparison.”
Read the full column here.
“That their early judgment has been proven correct is no source of satisfaction. In this case, the words ‘we told you so’ reflect a terrifying reality: Because of his carelessness, unwillingness to heed expert advice, refusal to acknowledge well-established science, and apparent lack of impulse control (among other concerning tendencies), the president of the United States is a threat to the future of civilization.”
Disdain and satire are appropriate responses, Mecklin says, but that isn’t enough — Americans and citizens of the rest of the world must unite.
“Protecting the world from irresponsible leadership will require interest groups of dissimilar ideology, captains of business and industry who generally steer clear of controversy, and the mass of ordinary citizens who usually pay fitful attention to politics or governance to make active, common cause against a common danger. In the United States, this will mean, above all, that Democrats and Republicans of conscience loudly join forces to limit Donald Trump’s ability to threaten the world with nuclear weapons and climate change denial, recognizing that in the course of human events, there are times when concern about personal and partisan consequences need be laid aside, to secure humanity and the planet to our posterity.”