In 1947, during the Cold War, the Clock was started at seven minutes to midnight.The Clock's setting is decided without a specified starting time.The Clock is not set and reset in real time as events occur; rather than respond to each and every crisis as it happens, the Science and Security Board meets twice annually to discuss global events in a deliberative manner.The closest nuclear war threat, the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962, reached crisis, climax, and resolution before the Clock could be set to reflect that possible doomsday.
The United States and Soviet Union sign the first Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START I), and the Soviet Union dissolves on December 26.
Anders Sandberg of the Future of Humanity Institute has stated that the "grab bag of threats" currently mixed together by the Clock can induce paralysis.
People may be more likely to succeed at smaller, incremental challenges; for example, taking steps to prevent the accidental detonation of nuclear weapons was a small but significant step in avoiding nuclear war.
The two tied-for-lowest points for the Doomsday Clock have been in 1953, when the Clock was set to two minutes until midnight after the U. and the Soviet Union began testing hydrogen bombs, and in 2018, following the failure of world leaders to address tensions relating to nuclear weapons and climate change issues.
In other years, the Clock's time has fluctuated from 17 minutes in 1991 to minutes in 2017, the first use of a fraction in the Clock's history, Krauss, one of the scientists from the Bulletin, warned that our political leaders must make decisions based on facts, and those facts "must be taken into account if the future of humanity is to be preserved." In an announcement from the Bulletin about the status of the Clock, they went as far to call for action from “wise” public officials and “wise” citizens to make an attempt to steer human life away from catastrophe while we still can.