The End of the World Is Nigh! Say Experts
Nuclear war. The end of the world. There is nothing more dramatic—which is why it’s the subject of so many movies. Yet it’s a subject we don’t want to think about in real life.
But this is a very real threat. Don’t take my word for it—some of the world’s most respected foreign-policy experts are sounding some very scary warnings.
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved the symbolic Doomsday Clock to two minutes to midnight on January 25.
This expert panel declared that we are two minutes away from nuclear annihilation. Lawrence M. Krauss and Robert Rosner, both physicists with the Bulletin, said that “the world is not only more dangerous now than it was a year ago; it is as threatening as it has been since World War ii.” Only once in history has the Bulletin believed we were this close to midnight—that was in 1953.
At the same time, other experts have given similarly stark messages. I’ve been working in the news bureau at the Trumpet for over 10 years, and I don’t remember ever seeing such dire warnings coming from such mainstream sources.
“The New Nuclear Age: A Journey Into the Unknown,” by Stratfor’s Ian Morris, and “The Growing Danger of Great-Power Conflict,” an editorial in the Economist, are remarkable both because of the warning they give and where they’re coming from. Neither publication is prone to overly dramatic headlines. The Economist is left wing—generally subscribing to the school of thought that says that human nature is good and improving. But even it sees something is terribly wrong with today’s world.
To many, the nuclear annihilation risk ended with the Cold War. In 1991, the Doomsday Clock was set all the way back to 17 minutes to midnight. It looked like the day of reckoning was postponed, perhaps even canceled. Yet the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists, the editorial board of the Economist and Ian Morris at Stratfor all warn that, in many ways, the danger is now worse.
Morris gave two reasons. One is that more nations than ever are within sprinting distance of the nuclear finish line. He warned that “dozens have now reached levels of wealth and development that would enable them to go nuclear quite quickly ….” North Korea and Iran are both close, if they don’t have nukes already. Both could trigger a nuclear arms race in their regions. But the biggest danger may lie elsewhere. Morris warned that “some strategists now worry that if governments in Europe grow sufficiently worried about the reliability of American nuclear support against Russian revanchism, the Continent could soon become a more dangerous place than it was even in 1914” (emphasis added throughout).
The second reason for danger is the decline of the United States. The world has been a relatively peaceful place for the last 70 years because of the U.S. “Relatively” is an important hedge—there have been wars, but no all-out great-power conflicts. “For a quarter century, the U.S. global dominance raised the price of going to war without its approval to a level that only someone as audacious as long-time Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein would risk paying,” Morris wrote. “With force off the table, even the most ardent revisionists had no choice but to adhere to legal frameworks.”
This led many to believe that great-power conflict was a thing of the past—that man had solved the problem of world war with these legal frameworks. But that was just a dream, and “the world has to wake up from even the happiest dreams,” wrote Morris. The problem was not solved, and now the conditions that led to relative peace are gone.
The U.S. once played “globocop,” but it is now following in the footsteps of the last power that undertook this role: the British Empire. Britain’s fall from this role led to war. “By 1890, revisionist governments—above all in Germany—were increasingly concluding that the globocop could not police its beat and that the potential costs of using force were falling below the potential benefits,” Morris wrote. “The result was the First World War.”
If anything, the fall of America may be worse. “Unlike British governments in the quarter century leading up to World War i, recent U.S. governments have seemed positively eager to send the message that the globocop is faltering,” he continued. “This has been one of the few areas of bipartisan agreement in Washington lately.”
With a weak America, “who knows anymore whether violent actions might not pay off? We are entering a new world of risk-taking and adventurism.” This is Morris’s “new nuclear age”—where the forces that have held back nuclear World War iii are gone.
The warning from the Economist is very similar. It wrote that “a devastating clash between the world’s great powers has remained almost unimaginable.”
“No longer,” it warned. “[Now,] powerful, long-term shifts in geopolitics and the proliferation of new technologies are eroding the extraordinary military dominance that America and its allies have enjoyed. Conflict on a scale and intensity not seen since the Second World War is once again plausible. The world is not prepared.”
In Asia, North Korea and even Russia and China are openly challenging America. “If America allows China and Russia to establish regional hegemonies, either consciously or because its politics are too dysfunctional to muster a response, it will have given them a green light to pursue their interests by brute force,” it wrote. “When that was last tried, the result was the First World War.”
This British-based publication also sees the key role of Pax Americana. “The best guarantor of world peace is a strong America,” it concluded. “Fortunately, it still enjoys advantages. … Yet those advantages could all too easily be squandered. Without America’s commitment to the international order and the hard power to defend it against determined and able challengers, the dangers will grow. If they do, the future of war could be closer than you think.”
Alarming warnings. But how many are really sitting up and taking notice?
Back when the Doomsday Clock was moved forward to seven minutes to midnight in 2002, Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry wrote, “The world should have jolted out of sleep at the news. Headlines should have splashed across all the media. But no real alarm was sounded. The majority of the news media dismissed it. And many still slumber on as the world heads toward self-destruction.”
This year, there may have been headlines about the clock in the news for about a day. But it has had no real impact.
Herbert W. Armstrong also paid attention to the ticking of the Doomsday Clock. In 1984, just after the clock was adjusted, he wrote in a co-worker letter:
[T]he atomic scientists have now moved the Doomsday Clock one more minute forward—from four to only three minutes to midnight!
I mentioned before how the president of the United States had said it seemed we are fast approaching Armageddon and the end of this world.
Not too long ago, if anyone mentioned “the end of the world,” people would have thought him to be a crackpot doomsday freak. But today the sanest atomic scientists and heads of nations are talking about doomsday and the end of this world.
These sober men are not wild-eyed religious fanatics. They know what is actually happening. They know how the evils in this world are mounting. They know how the weapons of mass destruction have been produced that now can blast all human life into extinction.
And these sober leaders are worried! One said, “I am frankly scared!” They are bewildered, confused and perplexed. They see no way to stop what now seems inevitable!
The same is true today. The Doomsday Clock is one minute closer to midnight than it was back then, but how many are doing anything about it?
The trouble is, doing something about it is hard. Personally, I agree with all these reports. But am I living my life like it is two minutes to doomsday? Not really. The danger of the times is something we can know and agree with, but it’s still not something we want to think about.
Yet two minutes to midnight is a time that demands answers. Why is mankind so close to destroying himself? What is wrong with us that we could come to this point? Is there hope? Is there a solution? Or are we doomed to extinction?
The best way to take action in light of all this sobering news is to find the answers to these questions. Because these questions are all about the nature of man, the future of man, even the purpose of man. These answers can be found in your Bible.
To help you find the answers to these questions in your own Bible, order our free booklet Nuclear Armageddon Is ‘At the Door.’It will show you the real dangers that you need to be watching, what the Bible says about nuclear World War iii, and the magnificent hope beyond.