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Citing Climate Change As Looming Threat, Doomsday Clock Moves Ahead to Three Minutes to Midnight

ClockIn 1947 members of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists’s Science and Security Board introduced the concept of the Doomsday Clock, a symbolic representation of the world’s proximity to a global catastrophe.

Since its inception the meaning of the clock’s countdown has been further expanded to include the imminent threat posed by climate change, and it’s that same threat that recently prompted the Bulletin to update the clock’s reading ahead two minutes to 23:57 (three minutes to midnight.)

"In 2015, unchecked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals pose extraordinary and undeniable threats to the continued existence of humanity," the Bulletin’s statement on the update explains. "World leaders have failed to act with the speed or on the scale required to protect citizens from potential catastrophe. These failures of political leadership endanger every person on Earth."

Scale

Historically the Clock’s reading has shifted back and forth in response to the behavior of the world’s various superpowers. The Clock has read 23:57 twice before (1949 and 1984), both times following the escalation of nuclear arms by a particular international actor. Climate change was added to the Clock’s list of influential factors in 2007 and was related to both of its most recent adjustments in 2010 and 2012. The clock has only once read 23:58 (two minutues to midnight) once back in 1953 during the U.S. and Soviet Union tests of thermoculear devices during the Cold War. 

"We call upon world leaders to take coordinated and rapid action to drastically reduce global emissions of heat-trapping gases, especially carbon dioxide," said Richard Somerville, a member of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists' Science and Security Board. "We also urge the citizens of the world to demand action from their leaders. This threat looms over all of humanity. We all need to respond now, while there is still time."


Jon Stewart Explains the Climate Change Crisis to Ignorant Republicans: VIDEO

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As hundreds of thousands protest climate change inaction on the streets of New York City, the House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology struggles to understand the basic physics of sea level change and bases policy on (conservative) public comments rather than scientific literature.

Watch and weep, AFTER THE JUMP...

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John Oliver To Antarctica Tourists: Stop. Just Stop. - VIDEO

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John Oliver's Last Week Tonight has a very simple public service announcement to the some 40,000 tourists who choose to visit Antarctica annually: Please stop visiting; you are literally ruining the continent. Various forms of Antarctic tourism ranging from scenic viewing flights to on-foot expedition have steadily picked up in popularity since the 1960s. Given that humans by-and-large do not inhabit Antarctica, the land is as pristine as it is vulnerable.

Antarctica’s tourism board isn’t particularly good about communicating the damaging effects our collective interest in its seal and penguin population is having on the landscape, but thankfully Oliver’s team has put together a TV spot to convey just that message.


Watch the ad here AFTER THE JUMP...

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Pat Sajak: ‘Global Warming Alarmists Are Unpatriotic Racists’

Pat

In case you missed it, 'Wheel of Fortune' host Pat Sajak sent out a series of incendiary tweets recently that showed the former weatherman’s more than skeptical views on climate change, culminating in the following post that caused a firestorm on Twitter:

Sadly, Sajak is not alone in his belief that climate change is not real. And though Twitter users had a lot of fun calling out Pat’s whack-job point of view, trying to interpret his comment beyond its blatant disregard for the science behind climate change isn’t so easily done. Why specifically are believers in climate change racists and unpatriotic? Mother Jones takes a whack at it:

Perhaps he's channeling a strain of conservative argument best epitomized by the book "Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death," by Paul Driessen. According to Amazon.com, it argues that the environmental movement "imposes the views of mostly wealthy, comfortable Americans and Europeans on mostly poor, desperate Africans, Asians and Latin Americans."

Of course, the reality of the situation is that those who will be most impacted by the extremes of climate change are the world's poorest and most vulnerable.

No reaction yet from famous tile-turner Vanna White.

Check out a special Pat Sajak-themed 'Wheel of Fortune' puzzle, AFTER THE JUMP…

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John Oliver Hosts a Must-See Climate Change Debate: VIDEO

Nye_oliver

As is becoming standard, it takes a fake news comedy show rather than major news outlets to report on the facts as they are instead of catering to excessive spin, bias, and false equivalencies.

A Statistically Representative Climate Change DebateOn this past Sunday's Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver shines a light on the absurdity surrounding the climate change "debate." What he points out is that the major news outlets frame the debates with a one-on-one false equivalency, typically with "bullying scare-monger" Bill Nye arguing for the existence of climate change and "some dude" against, giving the misleading impression that the topic is still open for debate.

Oliver decides to balance things out a bit on his show and has Bill Nye, along with 96 others, argue against 3 "deniers" for what he calls "A Stastically Representative Climate Change Debate." Bedlam ensues after about half a second.

You can watch Oliver's report and subsequent debate AFTER THE JUMP...

Science

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Bill Nye Scolds Climate Change Denying Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn

Nye

This Sunday on Meet the Press, Bill Nye "The Science Guy" and Republican Congresswoman Marsha Blackburn (TN) sat down with David Gregory to discuss the science of climate change and whether a correlation can be discerned between America's recent bouts of extreme weather and human created climate change. However, the conversation was stunted by Congresswoman Blackburn's apparent refusal to concede that climate change is real, man-made or possibly influencing weather events such as the Polar Vortex or the drought in California, as Time points out:

“Neither [Bill Nye] nor I are a climate scientist. He is an engineer and actor, I am a member of Congress. And what we have to do is look at the information that we get from climate scientists,” said Blackburn. “There is not agreement around the fact of exactly what is causing this.”

Nye was less than receptive to the congresswoman's introduction of "doubt" into the equation:

“We have overwhelming evidence that the climate is changing. That you cannot tie any one event to that is not the same as doubt about the whole thing,” said Nye. “There is no debate in the scientific community. I encourage the Congresswoman to really look at the facts. You are our leader. We need you to change things, not deny what’s happening...For me, as a guy who grew up in the U.S., I want the U.S. to lead the world in this,” he said. “These are huge opportunities, and the more we mess around with this denial, the less we’re going to get done.”

Get schooled, AFTER THE JUMP...

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