The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists announced today that it would push their Doomsday Clock back one minute — to six minutes to midnight — in recognition of President Obama’s efforts to combat nuclear proliferation and climate change. Scientists concerned the world was spiraling toward nuclear disaster first introduced the clock in 1947 and it has only been adjusted 18 times since. The group of scientists — which includes 19 Nobel laureates — hailed Obama’s “pragmatic” foreign policy:
A key to the new era of cooperation is a change in the U.S. government’s orientation toward international affairs brought about in part by the election of Obama. With a more pragmatic, problem-solving approach, not only has Obama initiated new arms reduction talks with Russia, he has started negotiations with Iran to close its nuclear enrichment program, and directed the U.S. government to lead a global effort to secure loose fissile material in four years.
In awarding Obama the Nobel Peace Prize, the committee cited Obama’s “extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy” and combat nuclear proliferation. As the Wonk Room’s Max Bergmann notes, in the next six months, Obama will “encounter test after test of his commitment to the nuclear agenda — starting with the effort to focus the the Nuclear Posture Review on terrorism.”