— -- Gary Johnson, the Libertarian presidential candidate and former governor of New Mexico, said that the future of the human race will depend upon learning to inhabit other planets.
“We do have to inhabit other planets. The future of the human race is space exploration,” Johnson told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" in offering a response on how to address the challenges posed by climate change.
Johnson was also asked about a comment he made about climate change back in 2011, when he said that “in billions of years the sun is going to actually and encompass the earth.” The Libertarian candidate said today that this remark had been a joke.
“Can’t we have a little humor once in a while?” he said. “And that is long term. Plate tectonics, 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.”
Johnson vowed to stay in the race even though he won’t be on the debate stage with Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Monday night due to polls showing that support for his candidacy falls short of the 15 percent minimum set by the Commission on Presidential Debates as a standard of inclusion.
He criticized the Commission on Presidential Debates over their formula for deciding who will be included in the debates, saying that the panel is “made up of Republicans and Democrats that just have no intention whatsoever in seeing anyone other than a Republican or Democrat on the debate stage."
Although he has previously said it would be “game over” for his campaign if he failed to qualify for the debates, Johnson said Sunday that it is “an ongoing process” to try to reach the 15 percent threshold for subsequent debates this fall.
The Libertarian Party nominee has been pulling a 9 percent average in recent polls and registered 5 percent support in the most recent ABC News/Washington Post poll published today.
Watch the first presidential debate Monday at 9 p.m. ET. Full live coverage and analysis of the debate will begin on ABCNews.com/Live at 7 p.m. ET.