Tag Archives: disaster

Doomsday Clock Changes… Story by Aurora Reishus

Recently, the infamous “Doomsday Clock” has been reduced to two minutes to midnight. Though an easy target for fear mongering, what is it’s actual relevance and purpose?

There are many factors pertaining to the latest movement of the Doomsday Clock. The most major of those reasons is the ever increasing risk of nuclear warfare due to North Korea nuclear weapons program’s latest developments as well as the uncertainty of the Iran nuclear deal. Other reason why they moved the clock include the increasing climate temperatures and the relationships between the United States and countries such as Russia, North Korea, and China.

The Doomsday Clock was first created in 1947 by Hyman Goldsmith and Martyl Langsdorf. Martyl Langsdorf was the artist behind the clock’s design and originally set the clock at seven minutes. The clock’s creation was made to symbolize how close the world is to a man-made disaster.

Bleeding time...A diagram depicting every time the Doomsday Clock has been moved, both towards and away from the end. Photo by: BBC
Bleeding time…A diagram depicting every time the Doomsday Clock has been moved, both towards and away from the end. Photo by: BBC

When the clock was first created, the eminent threat were nuclear weapons testing between the Soviet Union and the United States.

In the early days of the clock’s creation, Eugene Rabinowitch, a scientist and editor of the Bulletin was the person who decided if the clock hand was to be moved and would later explain the reasoning. After his death in 1973, the Bulletin’s Science and Security Board received the responsibility of looking over the clock. The Science and Security Board meet every year to discuss world events to determine if the clock is to be reset or moved forward.

The first time the clock hands moved was in 1949 after the Soviet Union successfully tested the first atomic bomb; the hands were moved from seven minutes to three minutes till midnight. Since its first move and its most recent (January 2018) the clock has been moved a total of 23 times.

Currently, the Doomsday clock reads at two minutes till midnight; the only other time the clock has been this close to midnight was in 1953 after the Soviet Union and the United States tested nuclear weapons within months of each other.

There are many factors pertaining to the latest movement of the Doomsday Clock. The most major of those reasons is the ever increasing risk of nuclear warfare due to North Korea nuclear weapons program’s latest developments as well as the uncertainty of the Iran nuclear deal. Other reason why they moved the clock include the increasing climate temperatures and the relationships between the United States and countries such as Russia, North Korea, and China.

Although the clock is currently at two minutes, there is no need to panic. The Doomsday Clock is only a symbol for how close humans are to possibly destroying the world, and even that’s a harsh way of putting it. Mr. Stevens, History teacher at FBCS, explained the clock as marking “the potential end of nuclear annihilation and how messed up we are in society.”

Time to make a difference... FBCS students create a life-size model of the doomsday clock. Photo by: Aurora Reishus
Time to make a difference… FBCS students create a life-size model of the doomsday clock .Photo by: Aurora Reishus

The media, like with most things, is only using the Doomsday clock to scare people into seeing the consequences of their actions. The Doomsday Clock is only there to raise awareness to people and hopefully make them see the errors of their ways. To quote Mr. Webber, Social Studies and Journalism teacher at FBCS, “The Doomsday Clock gets people to be aware of the threat humanity is always under, and I think that’s probably the ego of humanity itself and the decisions it [the human ego] makes.” Or in the words of Mr. Stevens, “It [the Doomsday Clock] is the fear we live off of.”

Although Mr. Webber and Mr. Stevens find the Doomsday Clock to be the driving force humanity needs to open their eyes to change; they both agree that scaring people into changing is not the best course of action. Mr. Stevens even said, “It [the Doomsday Clock] needs to stay as much as I hate it.”

There has to be a better way to raise awareness and get people to change. As Mr. Webber said, “This is the planet that we live on, and we should be taking care of it.” People need to start thinking of the future and find a way to reverse some of the damage that has been done, or there might not be much of a future.

 

 

From Bad to Worse: California Disasters… Story by Lydia Martin

Ever since October, California has found itself in a situation well known to the area, as large forest fires started to engulf the state. The fire area ranged from Northern California all the way down to San Diego and has caused at least $9.4 billion in damages to houses, cars, and other public buildings. People are without homes and food and others without family as the death toll is at least 44 people.

Up in flames… A firefighter puts out a flaming palm tree during the Thomas Fire. Photo by: Stuart Palley
Up in flames… A firefighter puts out a flaming palm tree during the Thomas Fire. Photo by: Stuart Palley

It has destroyed up to 281,893 acers making it the worst fire in California since the Santiago Canyon Fire of 1889, which burned at least 300,000 acres. But this is not all.

At the beginning of January, there began a downpour of rain causing flood waters to rise and mud to accumulate and cause serious damage. At least 13 people are dead with those numbers expected to rise. Again, people are without homes and the area is a disaster. Sheriff of Santa Barbara County described the area: “It looked like a World War I battlefield. It was literally a carpet of mud and debris everywhere, with huge boulders, rocks, down trees, power lines, wrecked cars — lots of obstacles and challenges for rescue personnel to get to homes.”

Search and rescue… A group of rescue workers lead a girl out of her collapsed house. Photo by: VenturaCoAirUnit

Rescue workers are out doing what they can to help the people in the area but California might struggle to overcome and recover from these catastrophes. It is especially difficult as the state has just come out of a record breaking drought, and has been ravaged by similar disasters in recent years.

People have been working together to help by opening places for people to stay, doing search and rescue and clearing debris from areas to make it safer. These people are helping those in need and that is a great thing and something that could be done something like this happened in the area. Many people are providing shelter, food and warmth for those in need. California is just one of many examples of catastrophes in our country and world.