Since 1945, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has maintained the Doomsday Clock–a clock with a minute hand that moves closer or farther from midnight (doomsday) every year depending on the direness of humanity’s situation. This year, the clock is three minutes to midnight. That’s two minutes closer to apocalypse than in 2014.
The Doomsday Clock decisions are not made arbitrarily. They take into account everything from stores of nuclear weapons to sea level rise. But up until now, the exact data that the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists uses has been a bit opaque. No more. Now, in the Internet age of transparency, we have the the Doomsday Dashboard–an interactive look at the data considered for the Doomsday Clock, including nuclear material security, CO2 levels over time, Arctic sea ice minimum, and global temperature differences. Click here to check it out.
Take a glance at the dashboard, and it’s easy to understand why the Doomsday Clock is so close to midnight. The U.S. appears to have a real problem with having nuclear material stolen, while both the U.S. and Russia are still hoarding huge amounts of weapons-grade uranium and plutonium. All the climate change indicators are getting more dire: Sea level rise and atmospheric CO2 levels are marching upward, global temperature differences are climbing, and Arctic sea ice is getting thinner.
If you ever need to show a skeptical friend why humanity needs some real help saving itself–and fast–just show him the dashboard, and he’ll quickly understand.