Doomsday Clock Moves Closer to Midnight

January 24th, 2020 - by Back from the Brink: Prevent Nuclear War

Doomsday Clock Moves Closer to Midnight

Back from the Brink: Prevent Nuclear War

 (January 23, 2020) — Today, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the hand on its allegorical Doomsday Clock to 100 seconds before midnight — 20 seconds closer to apocalypse than last year or any time in its 72-year history. In making this historic decision, the Bulletin stated that it is “explicitly warning leaders and citizens around the world that the international security situation is now more dangerous than it has ever been, even at the height of the Cold War.”

Former secretary of defense William J. Perry tweeted, “This is why I continue the fight to bring us back from the brink of nuclear catastrophe. We have turned back the clock before, and we can again.”

Indeed, the new year began with new urgency for Back from the Brink’s call to prevent nuclear war. The Trump Administration’s unilateral decision to assassinate Iranian general Qasem Soleimani and its aftermath—including Iran mistakenly shooting down a civilian airplane killing all 176 people aboard—draws into sharp focus the urgent need to reassess and reform our policies around presidential power, the use of military force, and the use of nuclear weapons.

As our policies stand, we put what could be the most consequential decision in human history—the decision to use US nuclear weapons—in the hands of one person, the president of the United States. And today President Trump has the W76-2, a new “more usable” weapon at his disposal, and we still have hundreds of nuclear weapons on hair trigger alert, ready to be launched within minutes. All in the midst of a $1.2 trillion plan to replace the entire US nuclear arsenal with new, more lethal and capable bombs, bombers, missiles, and submarines.

Fortunately, the Back from the Brink campaign offers individuals, organizations, and entire communities opportunities to effectively advocate for concrete steps to prevent nuclear war. We’re building momentum every day and looking forward to even greater progress in 2020.

Father Robert Oldershow testified at the Human Services Committee of the Evanston City Council on Dec. 9, 2019. Referring to US plans to spend $1.2 trillion dollars to replace its entire nuclear arsenal, he said, “This is madness. You know it. I know it. The whole world knows it.”


To date, 42 municipalities have adopted resolutions in support of Back from the Brink’s policy solutions, including our first midwestern city, Evanston, IL, and our first county resolution, Montgomery County, MD! Other recent municipalities to adopt resolutions include Springfield, MA; East Providence, RI; Portland, OR; Honolulu, HI; Arcata, CA and Philadelphia, PA. Efforts are underway for statewide resolutions in Washington, Massachusetts, Vermont, New York, and Illinois.

Currently, over 15% of Americans live in a jurisdiction that has passed a Back from the Brink resolution! Please contact us at if you’d like to pursue a municipal resolution in your community, and we’ll do all we can to assist your efforts.


The city of Portland, OR adopted a resolution supporting Back from the Brink’s policy solutions on November 13, 2019 with support from a diverse coalition including Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Veterans for Peace, members of the Marshallese community, American Friends Service Committee, Coalition of Communities of Color, Sierra Club, Soka Gakkai USA, hibakusha (atomic bomb survivors), Union of Concerned Scientists, and many more.

Back from the Brink has gained endorsements from over 300 organizations nationwide. We want to greatly expand this number in 2020, and we need your help. Having a large number of diverse organizations on board is critical to persuading local elected officials to support a resolution or for federal representatives to support our policy platform.

If your organization or any of your partner organizations have yet to endorse the campaign, you can do so by filling out the form here. For a sample letter that you can send to any faith, environmental, peace, or social justice organizations that you work with to ask for their endorsement, click here. Endorsements from prominent individuals, such as Mayors, experts, or public figures help, too!


The Back from the Brink campaign is also garnering quite a bit of media attention. Last month, three op-eds were placed featuring Back from the Brink:

This month, media coverage includes:


We’re working on several exciting initiatives for 2020 to build public awareness and engagement, including a new website, video, and online forum. To stay up-to-date on the campaign, make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

In these dangerous times, it is critical that we work together to defeat the flawed logic that has guided US nuclear policy for so long by bringing communities together to demand common sense policy solutions. Our growing success demonstrates that when meaningfully engaged, the US public and elected officials will stand up and speak out for a nuclear weapons free world. It’s up to us to reach out and give them that opportunity. 

If you have any questions about Back from the Brink or would like more information about how you can be more involved, please email Alex Jasset at


Back from the Brink Organizers