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Ocasio-Cortez: Claim World Ending in 12 Years Due to Climate Change Was Not a ‘Gaffe’

By Craig Bannister | January 22, 2019 | 10:54am EST
Rep. Alexandira Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY)

On Tuesday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) declared that she did not make a “gaffe” Monday when she said the world will end in 12 years if climate change isn’t stopped. As evidence, she cited a story and study that do not say the world will end in 12 years.

Monday, in an interview, Ocasio-Cortez said:

“And I think the part of it that is generational is that millennials and people, in Gen Z, and all these folks that come after us are looking up and we’re like, the world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change.

“And, You’re biggest issue, your biggest issue is how are going to pay for it? — and like this is the war, this is our World War II. And I think for younger people, we’re looking at this and we’re like, how are we saying let’s take it easy when 3,000 Americans died last year, how are we saying, let’s take it easy when the Nth person died from our cruel and unjust criminal justice system?"

Tuesday, in response to a video tweet of her comment, Ocasio-Cortez expressed bewilderment that people would think she didn’t mean it, linking to an article in The Guardian citing a U.N. study:

"For some reason GOP seems to think this is a gaffe, but it’s actually a generational difference. Young people understand that climate change is an existential threat: 3,000 Americans died in Hurricane María. The UN says we’ve got 12 years left to fix it: https://amp.theguardian.com/environment/2018/oct/08/global-warming-must-not-exceed-15c-warns-landmark-un-report …"

But, while The Guardian article says weather events will be more severe and nature will suffer if global temperatures rise 2C degrees, instead of 1.5C degrees, it does not say the world will end:

The world’s leading climate scientists have warned there is only a dozen years for global warming to be kept to a maximum of 1.5C, beyond which even half a degree will significantly worsen the risks of drought, floods, extreme heat and poverty for hundreds of millions of people.

….

At 2C extremely hot days, such as those experienced in the northern hemisphere this summer, would become more severe and common, increasing heat-related deaths and causing more forest fires

….

The half-degree difference could also prevent corals from being completely eradicated and ease pressure on the Arctic, according to the 1.5C study, which was launched after approval at a final plenary of all 195 countries in Incheon in South Korea that saw delegates hugging one another, with some in tears.

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