|Image Source: Movie Pilot. Where's a benevolent Kryptonian when you need him?|
One of the premises of Star Trek is we'll overcome our technological infancy, our myriad differences with one another, and somewhat Pollyannish: nuclear war. That we'll survive - in the spirit of the Drake Equation - not just long enough to communicate, but to become a space-faring species.
Some of that optimism has a limit: a 280-character limit.
The president* can launch a thermonuclear first strike or counterstrike presently without any consultation with Congress. A relic of the Cold War with the former Soviet Union, speed and efficiency was encouraged when we had more rational actors in possession of the nuclear football. It takes about 5 minutes for ICBMs; 15 minutes for submarine launched missiles to be deployed once the order is given. In the event of negative findings from the Mueller investigation, he could literally have "nothing to lose." There are no calling these "dogs of war" back once they're off-the-porch.
The world moved closer to an existential catastrophe this year as the threat of nuclear warfare escalated, bringing the symbolic Doomsday Clock two minutes away from midnight, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists said Thursday.
The move of the Doomsday Clock to two minutes away from midnight, the symbolic time at which the planet meets a world-ending disaster, represents a 30-second jump from last year. It is the closest the planet has been to midnight since 1953 when the U.S. and the Soviet Union were testing hydrogen bombs.
“To call the world’s nuclear situation dire is to understate the danger and its immediacy,” said Rachel Bronson, president of Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.
The Nuclear 'Doomsday Clock' Is the Closest to Midnight It's Been Since the Cold War, TIME