Peter Schulman of Mother Jones has found a remarkable video from 2011 where Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson dismissed concerns about climate change because, countless generations from now, the earth will be destroyed. As Johnson explained to the National Press Club in 2012, “In billions of years the sun is going to actually grow and encompass the Earth, right? So global warming is in our future.” As Schulman notes, this absurd argument is in keeping with Johnson’s general opposition to doing anything about climate change. Johnson’s retrograde climate politics have political salience because currently he’s polling well with millennials, many of whom are disaffected Bernie Sanders fans who are loathe to vote for Hillary Clinton. If Johnson’s climate views were more widely known, much of that support might dissipate.
Scientists are actually divided on the question of whether the sun will engulf the earth one day. What science does agree on is that climate change is real, that it’s man made, and it will have a devastating impact on the earth within the lifetime of many living now, as opposed to the habitants of the far distant future when the sun might flare up and consume our planet.