With “utter dismay,” the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced Tuesday that the symbolic Doomsday Clock will hold at three minutes to midnight—at the “brink” of man-made apocalypse—because world leaders have failed to take the necessary steps to protect citizens from the grave threats of nuclear war and runaway climate change.

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“Three minutes (to midnight) is too close. Far too close,” reads the statement by the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board.

The decision not to move the hands of the Doomsday Clock “is not good news,” it continues, “but an expression of dismay that world leaders continue to fail to focus their efforts and the world’s attention on reducing the extreme danger posed by nuclear weapons and climate change. When we call these dangers existential, that is exactly what we mean: They threaten the very existence of civilization and therefore should be the first order of business for leaders who care about their constituents and their countries.”

The Bulletin’s Science and Security Board in consultation with its Board of Sponsors, which includes 17 Nobel Laureates, ruled last year to move the clock forward from five minutes to midnight to three in response to the competing threats of “unchecked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals.”

The Board acknowledged some bright spots over the past year, namely the Iran nuclear agreement and the Paris Climate Accord, but said that “they constitute only small bright spots in a darker world situation full of potential for catastrophe.”

The statement continues: 

Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., the presenters repeatedly called attention to U.S. President Barack Obama’s plan to modernize the country’s nuclear arsenal.

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