Thanks to President Trump, humanity is closer to armageddon than it has been for over 60 years.
This reassuring news comes from the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the experts who control the hands of the Doomsday Clock, the metaphorical timepiece that measures society's vicinity to complete destruction.
Earth is now at two-and-a-half minutes from midnight, with midnight being the figurative end of the world.
The Doomsday Clock was moved 30 seconds towards midnight today, largely due to the ascension of Donald Trump to the White House, according to the scientists behind the horological harbinger of doom. The last time humanity was this close to oblivion in the Doomsday Clock's 70-year history was in 1953 when both the US and the Soviet Union tested thermonuclear weapons within nine months of each other.
"Never before has the Bulletin decided to advance the clock largely because of the statements of a single person," Bulletin scientists Lawrence Krauss and David Titley said in a New York Times op-ed. "But when that person is the new president of the United States, his words matter."
In January 2016, the Doomsday Clock's minute hand saw no change at all, remaining at three minutes before midnight. The clock was changed in 2015 from five to three minutes to midnight because of a global lack of action to prevent climate change. That was the closest it had been since the nuclear arms race of the 1980s.
The Doomsday Clock's monitoring panel is made up of The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists'Science and Security Board, who are in turn advised by a team of Nobel Laureates who are experts in global affairs and crises.
"Over the course of 2016, the global security landscape darkened as the international community failed to come effectively to grips with humanity's most pressing existential threats, nuclear weapons and climate change," the Bulletin scientists said in a statement to media. "This already-threatening world situation was the backdrop for a rise in strident nationalism worldwide in 2016, including in a US presidential campaign during which the eventual victor, Donald Trump, made disturbing comments about the use and proliferation of nuclear weapons and expressed disbelief in the overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change."
Get six of our favorite Motherboard stories every day by signing up for our newsletter.