The Doomsday Clock moved one minute closer to midnight Tuesday. It is now 11:55, five minutes before the hour in which humankind will face its fate.
Have we all gone mad with apocalyptophobia? Since 1947, the Doomsday Clock has charted how near humanity is to its destruction. And we have always been prone to end-is-nigh hysteria.
But there’s something different about this particular year. Family Radio evangelist Harold Camping started it off by saying the rapture was near in May. And again in October. Then, various objects started falling from the sky. Now, it’s the year 2012, which many believe the Mayans predicted to be the end-time a thousand years ago.
Now, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has the gall to start the year off by nudging forward our Doomsday Clock, the first push since 2007 and a reversal of last year’s decision to move the hand backward.
What’s at fault for the clearly looming armageddon? The learned scientists of the Bulletin cite climate change and nuclear proliferation as reason enough. But science rarely stands in the face of conspiracy — and there’s nothing like a good end-of-the-world scenario to start the hypothesizing. Twinkie-lovers have their own explanation for the coming end-time:
Alexandra Petri at ComPost says Tim Tebow or “The Phantom Menace” may be at fault.
Whoever is to blame, one group is staunchly defending Earth’s continued existence: NASA. “Our planet has been getting along just fine for more than 4 billion years, and credible scientists worldwide know of no threat associated with 2012,” the space agency wrote in a message on its site.