It is important to be as cheerful as possible in the face of catastrophe. And prepared. You hear this all the time – an all too human response you might say. Although, these days, we at Seed Industries are picking up a slightly uneasy tone that things are getting serious. The word nuclear is trending. As are: irrational, despotic, military solution, war and devastation. The list goes on, and nothing sums up the growing fear and reticence than the Doomsday Clock.
It is now two and a half minutes to midnight on the face of the Doomsday Clock, people. Humans always need precision. Even when they’re planning to destroy everything, including the entire planet, because precision gives reassurance. The Doomsday Clock posits a midnight which would be a global, hypothetical apocalypse for mankind (take your pick between nuclear war, disaster and waste, climate change, disease and new life sciences - that could include nanotechnologies - or, as we’ve heard before from Mr. “Alarmist” Musk, AI). The roots of this clock lie in members of the Manhattan Project; people with first-hand experience in pushing the progress of humanity’s understanding of the physical world through the creation of the means to destroy humanity itself. Some scientists started putting together the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists and on its cover they designed a clock image. This was 1947. Since then, the initial setting of seven minutes to midnight has fluctuated – not in real-time reaction to events, but twice a year when the board of the Bulletin meet. In 1991, the clock saw its greatest number of minutes with 17 minutes to midnight, reflecting the rapprochement with the east and the seeming collapse of the Cold War. Now, we’re back to facing the witching hour. And apparently, it’s just a hair’s breath away as the world tethers on the edge with only an unpredictable, senescent, ignorant shell to hold our hand. The situation is almost funny if it wasn’t so iconic of the larger, more medium and long-term problems facing your planet. What happens at midnight? Is it taboo to even imagine the countdown to extinction? This is not the Y2K bug we’re talking about. It’s not even a wake up call. It’s the sound of the alarm being snuffed out, along with everything else.