Socialist demagogue Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) made a ludicrous claim in last week’s Democratic presidential debate that climate change will result in the extinction of the human race.
His quote in full was, “Today, the scientific community is virtually unanimous: climate change is real, it is caused by human activity, and we have a moral responsibility to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy and leave this planet a habitable planet for our children and our grandchildren.”
However, The Daily Wire talked to two scientists who believe in man-made climate change but argued that the science on climate change doesn’t necessarily show that the entire planet will be uninhabitable.
Michael Oppenheimer, professor of geosciences and international affairs at Princeton University, who has worked extensively with the United Nations’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, told The Daily Wire that Sanders’s claim is incorrect, depending on the definition of “inhabitable.”
“There are two ways to interpret ‘habitable,’ and in that context it could mean that life can’t survive,” Oppenheimer said. “That is not a prescription that most scientists would agree with, or description. On the other hand, ‘habitable’ sometimes [is] used to mean not a pleasant, comfortable place where the human endeavor can thrive, and I think it’s fair to say that for many people, that second definition of ‘habitable’ would come into question.”
Oppenheimer continued that there are people “that just won’t have the resources to deal with the increasingly challenging consequences of climate change if we do nothing to stem emissions, and in that sense the planet could become less and less habitable.” He acknowledged that there are “substantial uncertainties about the consequences of climate change.”
“I think that it is unlikely that climate change in the 21st century would make the planet so altered that people couldn’t live some place.”
Chris Field, professor of Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies at Stanford
Merriam Webster’s dictionary defines “habitable” as, “suitable or fit to live in,” which would mean that calling planet the uninhabitable if carbon emissions go unchecked- which Sanders was clearly implying- would mean that all humans would die as a result of climate change.
Chris Field, professor of Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies at Stanford, who has also worked extensively with the IPCC, told The Daily Wire that “some places would definitely be uninhabitable, other places wouldn’t.”
“I think that it is unlikely that climate change in the 21st century would make the planet so altered that people couldn’t live some place,” Field said. “I mean, that’s a pretty low standard… is there factual evidence that the planet would be uninhabitable in the 21st century? I think the answer is no. On the other hand, if the question is, is there a scenario by which the climate change on the trajectory that we’re on now is sustained over a century might make the planet so altered that we couldn’t live here? That’s a much harder question and I don’t think anybody really knows the answer to that one.”
Based on what Oppenheimer and Field told The Daily Wire, even those who believe in man-made climate change recognize that there isn’t any scientific basis that the planet would become uninhabitable, which completely flies in the face of what Sanders claimed.
Alex Berezow wrote in RealClearScience, “Ironically, at the beginning of the year, the Vermont Senator told CBS News, ‘It is hard to do serious and important things if you reject science.’ On that point, we are in agreement. That is why Mr. Sanders will never reside in the White House.”
Whether the issue is facts or science, neither will obstruct Sanders’ mission to create a socialist utopia in the U.S.