It is rare that my two journalistic specialties, climate and the blinding tools of nuclear Armageddon, converge as they have today in Chicago. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has moved up the hands on its famed Doomsday Clock – not just because of those pesky Norks with the nuclear testing and the plutonium and the wacky dictator with the big hair, but also because of global warming!

As in past deliberations, we have examined other human-made threats to civilization. We have concluded that the dangers posed by climate change are nearly as dire as those posed by nuclear weapons. The effects may be less dramatic in the short term than the destruction that could be wrought by nuclear explosions, but over the next three to four decades climate change could cause drastic harm to the habitats upon which human societies depend for survival.