This week, the Doomsday Clock moved forward ten seconds, placing us just 90 seconds from midnight.
The symbolic clock, set annually by experts at the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, measures how close we are to the human-caused apocalypse. The war in Ukraine, growing nuclear tensions, climate change, and infectious disease all factored into the clock being moved closer to midnight than it’s ever been in its 75-year history.
“We are living in a time of unprecedented danger, and the Doomsday Clock time reflects that reality,” said Rachel Bronson, president and CEO of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, in a statement. “It’s a decision our experts do not take lightly.”
“From almost every perspective, the risk of nuclear catastrophe is higher today than last year,” said Steve Fetter, another Bulletin expert, at a news briefing.
Quick check-in: Did reading that get your heart rate elevated? Did it send a little surge of existential anxiety through your body? If so, it’s understandable. This announcement took the core fears that plague contemporary humanity—nuclear annihilation, climate collapse, pandemics—and wrapped them up in a tidy package. It’s enough to put anyone on edge.
But the experts behind the clock also made one thing very clear: This isn’t an iron-clad prediction. It’s an urgent call to action. And if there’s anything that we’re equipped to do as advocates, it’s turning existential dread into hopeful, forward-looking action.
The FCNL network has done precisely that for 80 years—through the perils of the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and Sept. 11—and we’re going to do it now, too.
No one piece of legislation will push the Doomsday Clock back; no single tactic can reverse the environmental destruction, nuclear threats, and endless wars to which we bear witness. But if we keep our advocacy intersectional, embrace community, and maintain persistent hope, a path through the doom will emerge.
FCNL’s first executive secretary, E. Raymond Wilson, once wrote, “We ought to be willing to work for causes which will not be won now, but cannot be won in the future unless the goals are staked out now and worked energetically over a period of time.”
That’s the spirit that grounds our work here on Capitol Hill. We hope it will inspire you wherever you might be, too.
Back-to-Back Shootings Rock Nation
Three mass shootings in California shocked the nation and devastated the predominantly Asian-American communities gathered to celebrate the Lunar New Year this week. We grieve as we hold all those killed and injured in the Light. In response, President Joe Biden again called on Congress to pass an assault weapons ban, a measure supported by a majority of Americans.
House Votes in Solidarity with Iranian Protestors
The House overwhelmingly adopted a resolution this week honoring and expressing solidarity with the people of Iran, who have been protesting since the September death of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini in police custody.
Allies Funnel Advanced Weaponry to Ukraine
The United States joined Germany this week in announcing the transfer of tanks to Ukraine. Russia reacted with waves of missiles aimed at Ukraine. Lasting peace can only be achieved through peaceful means. The United States must invest in peace-building and diplomacy to end the conflict—now approaching its 12th month.
Violent Raid on West Bank Community
In one of the deadliest operations in nearly two decades, Israeli police raided the West Bank city of Jenin. Nine people were killed. As tensions rise, the risk of local and regional destabilization is high. The Biden administration and Congress must publicly call for an immediate de-escalation and the protection of Palestinian rights as outlined in the Oslo Accords.
Getting Creative for Peace
Members of FCNL’s Mohawk Valley Advocacy Team met with newly elected Rep. Brandon Williams (NY-22) to urge him to advance meaningful investments in peace. They brought jars of jellybeans to illustrate the dramatic difference between how much we spend on war and how little we spend on peace. Be part of this creative and growing movement for peace by starting or joining an Advocacy Team.