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Gary Johnson
Gary Johnson|Scott Morgan/AP
POLITICS

Gary Johnson Says We ‘Have To Inhabit Other Planets’ 

The Libertarian candidate discussed the threat of climate change on Sunday. 

Igor Bobic

Libertarian presidential nominee Gary Johnson said on Sunday that the human race will need to colonize other worlds in order to survive.

“This Week” host George Stephanopoulos asked the former New Mexico governor about something he said in 2011, when he seemed to dismiss the growing threat of climate change.

“In billions of years, the sun is going to actually grow and encompass the Earth, right? So global warming is in our future,” Johnson, who opposes environmental regulation, said at the time.

Here’s the somewhat puzzling exchange from Sunday:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Does that mean we don’t do anything about it now?

JOHNSON: No, George. Come on.

Can’t ― can’t we have a little humor once in a while?

And that is long-term. I mean the plate tectonics, uh, at one point, Africa and South America separated and I am talking now about the Earth and the fact that we have existed for billions of years and will going forward.

Look, what it points to, also, is the fact that we do have to inhabit other planets. I mean the future of the human race is of ― is space exploration.

So, no, we should be prudent with the environment. We care about the environment.

Look, clean air, clean water. I think the [Environmental Protection Agency] exists to protect us against individuals, groups, corporations that would do us harm. Pollution is harm.

Johnson may be right that Earth won’t always be a hospitable place for humans, but it’s a little unusual to hear a presidential candidate discuss plans for off-world colonization ― a topic that might be more suitable for someone like Elon Musk, the CEO of SpaceX and Tesla Motors ― less than two months before Election Day.