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The involvement of the United States in the Vietnam War intensifies, the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 takes place, and the Six-Day War occurs in 1967. The Carter administration considers ways in which the United States could win a nuclear war.
France and China, two nations which have not signed the Partial Test Ban Treaty, acquire and test nuclear weapons (the 1960 Gerboise Bleue and the 1964 596, respectively) to assert themselves as global players in the nuclear arms race. Ronald Reagan becomes President of the United States, scraps further arms reduction talks with the Soviet Union, and argues that the only way to end the Cold War is to win it.
It has been set backward and forward 23 times since then, the smallest-ever number of minutes to midnight being two (in 19) and the largest seventeen (in 1991).
The most recent officially announced setting—2 minutes to midnight—was made in January 2018, which was left unchanged in 2019 due to the twin threats of nuclear weapons and climate change, and the problem of those threats being "exacerbated this past year by the increased use of information warfare to undermine democracy around the world, amplifying risk from these and other threats and putting the future of civilization in extraordinary danger.” After the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, they began publishing a mimeographed newsletter and then the magazine, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, which, since its inception, has depicted the Clock on every cover.
There are various things taken into consideration when the scientists from The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists decide what Midnight and Global catastrophe really mean in a particular year.
They might include "Politics, Energy, Weapons, Diplomacy, and Climate science." Members of the board judge Midnight by discussing how close they think humanity is to the end of civilization.
Further escalation of the tensions between the United States and the Soviet Union, with the ongoing Soviet–Afghan War intensifying the Cold War. Ronald Reagan pushes to win the Cold War by intensifying the arms race between the superpowers.
C.; it was a day-long event that was open to the public and featured panelists discussing various issues on the topic "Communicating Catastrophe".
There was also an evening event at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in conjunction with the Hirshhorn's current exhibit, "Damage Control: Art and Destruction Since 1950". "Midnight" has a deeper meaning to it besides the constant threat of war.
Keith Payne writes in the National Review that the Clock overestimates the effects of "developments in the areas of nuclear testing and formal arms control".
Tristin Hopper in the National Post acknowledges that "there are plenty of things to worry about regarding climate change", but states that climate change isn't in the same league as total nuclear destruction. The lower points on the graph represent a higher probability of technologically or environmentally-induced catastrophe, and the higher points represent a lower probability.
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The Clock is not set and reset in real time as events occur; rather than respond to each and every crisis as it happens, the Science and Security Board meets twice annually to discuss global events in a deliberative manner.