The face of the Doomsday Clock shifted two minutes closer to midnight Wednesday, symbolizing the impending destruction of humanity in a “Second Nuclear Age:”
Chicago’s Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, the group that has maintained the timepiece since 1947, wound the minute hand closer to the grim hour for the first time since 2002, when it was frozen at seven minutes to midnight.
The Doomsday Clock had been frozen at seven minutes to midnight since 2002. Now modern dangers such as global warming and the nuclear ambitions of Iran and North Korea have inched the clock two minutes forward — to five minutes to midnight.
It’s interesting to me that when the Doomsday Clock was first instituted Saturn and Pluto were conjunct in Leo (the conjunction was exact in August of 1947). I wasn’t able to find out exactly when in 1947 the Clock began but this was a powerful conjunction that had a tremendous effect on the psyche of the planet. This same year saw the following events:
- The Truman Doctrine was proclaimed in March to stop the spread of Communism.
- In June the Marshall Plan was designed to help rebuild Europe after World War II.
- In July a UFO crash site was discovered in Roswell New Mexico and the National Security Act created the CIA.
- In August Pakistan and India gained independence from the British Empire and Communism took hold in Hungary.
- British Troops withdrew from Palestine that summer, setting the stage for the creation of Israel.
- In November the Red Scare began which put Senator Joe McCarthy in power and blacklisted millions of Americans.
The terror of the Cold War was real and intense, but the fear (Pluto) that was engendered by the government (Saturn) went beyond the reality of the situation. When Pluto (endings and transformation) and Saturn (structures and social norms) collide there are tremendous social changes that come through Pluto’s currency of fear.
Still, it would be wise to heed the warning of the Doomsday Clock that has added climate change to the threats against our planet. The change in our climate could be the spark that fuels the cultural upheavals that we can expect as rebellious Uranus moves into position to square Pluto in 2011.