Check the time: by at least one measure, humanity is five minutes away from its extinction.
The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, a group established to raise awareness about the perils of nuclear weaponry and threats to humanity, inched the so-called Doomsday Clock one minute today, bringing the time to 11:55 p.m., according to a report on WashingtonPost.com.
In advancing the time, the BAS cited the failure of world leaders to achieve progress on reducing nuclear weapons and develop a comprehensive response to climate change, the report said.
The clock was last changed two years ago, when it was pushed back a minute to 11:54 p.m., after the organization was satisfied that climate change talks in Copenhagen and international pledges to reduce nuclear stockpiles were making progress. But the group, which is overseen by a board of scientists, Nobel laureates and others, feels current efforts to increase energy production in the 21st century have been inadequate given rising population needs, the report said.
Since being unveiled in 1947, the clock has been reset 20 times. It came closest to doomsday in 1953, when the start of the nuclear arms race pushed its hand to two minutes to midnight, and moved the farthest away in 1991, when the signing of the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) by the United States and the Soviet Union gave the world 17 minutes until midnight.