Kroc scholar announces 2-minute advance for Doomsday Clock

Author: Dennis Brown

George A. Lopez, director of policy studies in the Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies at the University of Notre Dame, announced today that the minute hand of the Doomsday Clock has been moved two minutes closer to midnight.p. The clock, which was created in 1947 to symbolize worldwide nuclear danger, is regulated by the board of directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, of which Lopez is chair. He made the announcement at a news conference at the University of Chicago, where the Bulletin is headquartered.p. “We move the hands taking into account both negative and positive developments,” the Bulletin’s directors said in a statement. “The September 11 attacks, and the subsequent and probably unrelated use of the mail to deliver deadly anthrax spores, breached previous boundaries for terrorist acts and should have been a global wake-up call. Moving the clock’s hands at this time reflects our growing concern that the international community has hit the ‘snooze’ button rather than responded to the alarm.”p. Among the negative developments cited by the Bulletin were:p. p. ? Growing concerns about the security of nuclear weapons materials worldwidep. ? The continuing U.S. preference for unilateral action rather than cooperative international diplomacyp. ? U.S. abandonment of the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty and U.S. efforts to thwart the enactment of international agreements designed to constrain proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weaponsp. ? The crisis between India and Pakistanp. ? Terrorist efforts to acquire and use nuclear and biological weaponsp. ? The growing inequality between rich and poor around the world that increases the potential for violence and warp. p. The Bulletin’s directors also noted positive developments, including the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, U.S. funding and technical assistance in the effort to dismantle Russian nuclear weapons and ensure that nuclear materials do not leave Russia, and President Bush’s commitment to reduce U.S. operationally deployed strategic warheads.p. “If it were not for the positive changes ….. the hands of the clock might have moved closer still,” the directors said.p. The Doomsday Clock was the creation of a group of World War II-era Manhattan Project scientists and has been moved on 16 previous occasions. The clock began where it is today, at seven minutes until midnight, has been as close as two minutes from midnight in 1953, and as far as 17 minutes away in 1991.p. A member of the Notre Dame faculty since 1986, Lopez is a professor of government and international studies. He has written extensively on the economic tools of statecraft as well as the differing forms of political violence and terrorism.p. A Webcast of the news conference will be available at 5 p.m. (EST) today (Feb. 27) at """:

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