We’ve all seen news quotes like this one:
Scientists moved the hands of the Doomsday Clock closer to midnight on Thursday amid increasing worries over nuclear weapons and climate change.
The Doomsday Clock is a propaganda tool that allegedly represents how many minutes we are from Armageddon and the end of life on earth.
It works as propaganda through its ease of understanding, and its appeal to authority (it’s published by the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists” – and its a non-profit so it must pure!) The clock setting is not based on science. But with its pedigree (Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists), with a leadership, staff and governing board made up of scientists, it implies there is a scientific basis for the clock setting. Originally the setting was determined by a single individual; after he died, the setting was determined by a board of “scientists and other experts” (except when its still set by an individual).
The clock is perpetually a few minutes from midnight, using the method of fear to deliver its message. Each year it may move a minute or two one way or the other, with the implication that we are always just a few minutes away from Armageddon.
The clock has been around for 71 years – its effectiveness as propaganda has been excellent, but its effectiveness at predicting anything about the future has been non-existent. They even say the clock predicts nothing.
The goal, as explained in their FAQ is to get people to adopt the agenda of the Bulletin of the the Atomic Scientists, and to “share what you’ve learned with others” and to “tell your government representatives that you don’t want even more of your tax money spent”… that sounds rather political doesn’t it? In fact, their definitions – and their use of fear to encourage sharing – nearly fits the modern concept of fake news click-bait.
The Doomsday Clock group defines itself as propaganda messaging.
Every time they issue a new press release, the news media laps it up and spreads the propaganda.
Remember, journalists should be acting as firewalls against propaganda messaging but instead, they act as arm-in-arm partners in propaganda messaging.
The physics professor responsible for the most recent “closer to midnight” setting is now under investigation for sexual misconduct.