Daniel Greenfield, a Shillman Journalism Fellow at the Freedom Center, is a New York writer focusing on radical Islam.
The Doomsday Clock is now at two and a half minutes to midnight. That doesn’t mean that the world will be destroyed in 150 seconds. All it means is that some people who couldn’t find a better way to get on CNN will enact an ancient left-wing ritual that involves pretending to care about a fake clock.
The ritual moves a fake clock closer to midnight summoning hoarse cries of media anguish.
"Scientists: World Closer to Doomsday Than It's Been Since the 1950s" is a typical media headline. “The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the keepers of what is called the Doomsday Clock, took a look at the state of the world today and was expected to move the clock one minute closer to ‘midnight.’”
And it’s all Trump’s fault for not believing in Global Warming. No, seriously.
According to the official statement, “Board Marks 70th Anniversary of Iconic Clock By Expressing Concern About “Unsettling” and “Ill-Considered” Statements of President Trump on Nuclear Weapons and Climate Change.”
It was either that or go out for another round of Jagerbombs while actual nuclear scientists in Iran work to build bombs that will kill millions in Tel Aviv, New York or maybe even back in Chicago.
The heavily hyped announcement of the “Doomsday Clock” being the closest to midnight since 1953 (by no coincidence whatsoever the first year of Eisenhower’s term) bombed. Or maybe it was a dud.
The rollout was introduced by Rachel Bronson, the confused executive director of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. Bronson has a degree is in political science and her social media feed is filled with childish anti-Trump rants. She is less of an “atomic scientist” than your Aunt Sally.
Rachel informed attendees that John Mecklin, the Bulletin’s editor in chief, was in the audience. “He is the one who pulled together and helped the board develop this statement that accompanied this important announcement.”
John Mecklin’s qualifications for warning that the world is about to end can be found in his past as editor of High Country and Key West. Key West is “a high-end, monthly city magazine devoted to documenting the rich, quirky stories of the Florida Keys.”
He is not an “atomic scientist”.
Three men sat at the table to the right of Rachel. There was the scowling mug of Thomas Pickering. Pickering is a Hillary pal who played a role in whitewashing her role in Benghazi, a former State Department hack with dubious business interests and Iran deal lobbyist with ties to Boeing.
Pickering is not an “atomic scientist”, but he played a role in helping terrorists go nuclear.
At the rickety table, Pickering lobbied for the Iran nuke sellout. The Bulletin had certainly come a long way from its anti-war roots to seating a Boeing man at the table to argue for Iran’s nukes.
If the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists were anything other than a poor joke, it would be warning against Pickering. But it is a poor joke. Instead of worrying about Iran’s threats to nuke Israel, it instead flutters its pseudoscientific hands worrying that Iran’s deadly nukes will be threatened by Trump.
It was Pickering who “read” the time on the fake clock. Even though it was Pickering, not Trump, who was bringing mankind closer to nuclear war by enabling Iran’s deadly nuclear program.
But this isn’t surprising as the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists report denouncing Trump thanks the Ploughshares Fund for its support. The Ploughshares Fund spent a fortune pushing the Iran deal. The money was funneled covertly through various organizations. The MacArthur Foundation, which funds Ploughshares, is another Bulletin supporter. Ploughshares turned to Soros for the money.
It’s no wonder that Pickering was sitting at the table and that the Bulletin only had good things to say about the Iran deal. Or that the splashiest story on the Bulletin event came from NPR which had gotten in trouble for accepting Ploughshares cash to push the Iran nuke sellout.
The organizations are entwined in incestuous ways. Kennette Benedict was the former executive director and publisher of the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists and part of the Ploughshares leadership. She’s no “atomic scientist”, but she oversaw grantmaking at the MacArthur Foundation.
You don’t need an atomic scientist to know which way the radioactive nuclear cash fallout blows.
To the right of Pickering was David Titley. Unlike Bronson and Pickering, Titley is at least a scientist. Though his PhD is in meteorology and he became a laughingstock after he tried to link the Arab Spring to Global Warming. The closest thing to an “atomic scientist” at the table was Larry Krauss, author of The Physics of Star Trek, who had appeared in the documentary, “How William Shatner Changed the World.”
The shortage of anything resembling “atomic scientists” is an ongoing problem for the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists.
The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists’ governing board has a terrorist lawyer, a public relations expert, a quantitative psychologist and the former CEO of an energy company who is also a “published poet”.
It does not have a single “atomic scientist”. Or anything remotely resembling one.
Its Science and Security Board, which played a crucial role in the clock, has 4 physicists out of 15 members.
The co-chair, Lynn Eden, is a sociologist. There’s Suzet McKinney, an Illinois official with a degree in Public Health, Jennifer Sims, with a degree in Foreign Policy, Sharon Squassoni, with one in Public Management and Sivan Kartha who is a "co-Leader of SEI’s Gender and Social Equity Programme, and co-Director of the Climate Equity Reference Project."
The bio for Kartha’s doctorate states that, “Plagued by sudden guilt arising from the undeniable cushiness of his life on an otherwise trying planet, Sivan determined to commit himself to the common good (... as he sees it), shifting to the field of ‘policy physics.’ Despite his utter lack of training, he hopes over the next few years to establish some credibility in the field, familiarizing himself with the problems and trying to figure out what exactly policy physics is.”
Kartha is one of a number of IPCC people on the Board.
This is not what anyone has in mind when they hear, “Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists.”
Meanwhile over at Stanford, Governor Moonbeam, George Schultz and William Perry offered their take as expert “atomic scientists”. Unfortunately dozens of Twitter users were disappointed when Perry proved to be the obscure Defense Secretary instead of the Chicago Bears fullback: even though the “Refrigerator” was actually better at defense than Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Defense.
Neither Perry is an “atomic scientist”. But the “Refrigerator” probably has more worthwhile things to say about the state of the world than the other Perry who sat on the Ploughshares Fund’s board. Schultz serves as a current Ploughshares adviser. Who better to warn us about the danger of nuclear weapons than the accomplices of an organization whose lobbying for nuclear Armageddon endangers us all.
The closest this circus had anything to do with nuclear weapons was when Pickering lobbied for them.
Moving the clock a few days after President Trump took office is the equivalent of Obama’s equally silly premature Nobel Peace Prize. None of this reflects any sort of facts. Instead it’s cheap propaganda.
Here’s a statement pulled together by the former editor of Key West Magazine and a press conference featuring a defense industry lobbyist who has actually made nuclear war more likely.
"Facts are stubborn things," the author of the Physics of Star Trek informed everyone, "and they must be taken into account if the future of humanity is to be preserved."
Larry Krauss is right. Facts are stubborn things. The fact is that the Bulletin is on the side of those bringing nuclear war closer. The fact is that the Bulletin is blaming Trump for its own nuclear crimes.
If it wants a factually accurate name, it might try rebranding as “Sociologists, Obscure Former Cabinet Members and Gender Equity Experts for Urgent Recycling” or “Fake Atomic Scientists for Iranian Nuclear Doomsday Against Trump.”