Libertarian presidential nominee and former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson says humans can always move to another planet if catastrophic global warming finally occurs.
“Look, what it points to also is the fact that we do have to inhabit other planets,” Johnson told ABC’s George Stephanopoulos Sunday. “The future of the human race is space exploration.”
Stephanopoulos was asking Johnson about 2011 remarks where the former governor said that responding to global warming was useless in the long run because “in billions of years the sun is going to actually and encompass the earth.”
Johnson went on to say that stopping global warming wasn’t worth the “trillions” of dollars it would cost. Johnson was heavily criticized by environmentalists for the statement, but told Stephanopoulos that the remark had been a joke.
“Can’t we have a little humor once in a while?” Johnson said. “I am talking now about the Earth and the fact that we have existed for billions of years and will going forward.”
Johnson’s idea to move to other planets may not be that absurd.
Private sector companies like SpaceX, Boeing and Blue Origin are racing to be the first private company to send humans to the International Space Station (ISS.) These companies have made huge advancements in reusable rocketry, which has the potential to greatly lower the costs of getting into orbit, which are presently high due to expensive rocket components. These companies are also planning to send private missions to the planet Mars as soon as 2018.
Other private companies could start mining operations on asteroids as soon as next year, the CEO of asteroid mining company Deep Space Industries told The Daily Caller News Foundation in August.
The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a bill in November, later signed by President Barack Obama, legalizing asteroid mining. Under the new law, companies have property rights to the resources they extract from asteroids, such as platinum and water.
Experts at various think tanks routinely note the lack of legal recognition of property rights in space as one of the major road blocks to the development of space-based industries.
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