While she intended to express a sense of urgency, Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez’s declaration of impending apocalypse and puzzling comparison between climate change and WWII mostly incited confusion and laughter online.
Shortly before launching the first assault in the war against global warming (eating ice-cream with comedian Stephen Colbert), the 29-year-old lawmaker made her apocalyptic prediction. She announced that the end is nigh in her interview with journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates on Monday night at a forum honoring civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.
“Millennials and people, you know, Gen Z and all these folks that will 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’,” the doomsaying congresswoman revealed in her rather distinctive oratorical tone.
To prevent the coming end-times, she called millennials and members of Gen-Z into battle with her inspiring words: “And, like, this is the war – this is our World War II.”
Twitter users responded with levels of mockery scaled to the congresswoman’s wildly hyperbolic warning.
The world does have its fair share of apocalypse prophets, but they don’t usually end up in Congress.
— Tiny Tim (@tvshub) January 22, 2019
Others were baffled by Ocasio-Cortez’s historical analogy, or imagined a war against an ecological phenomenon a bit too literally.
I’m still trying to figure out what was our world war 1…..
— yikes 🤦♀️ (@DarriiYikes) January 22, 2019
So Alexandrian Ocasio-Cortez thinks we should fight global warming the same way we fought world war 2? Sorry Japan 🇯🇵 , it was her idea.
— Jack Blasted (@jackzblasted) October 22, 2018
But some commenters even saw the bright side of the apocalyptic proclamation.
— BeamMeUp (@LowTestScore) January 22, 2019
Mockery aside, Ocasio-Cortez’s seemingly oddly specific number is sourced in a report released by the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in October last year. Well not quite predicting the end of the world, the report did suggest dire consequences in a dozen years if serious action is not taken to fight global warming.
The freshman lawmaker doubled down on her statements on Twitter, emphasizing that climate change is an “existential threat” and chalking up criticism to generational differences.
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.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 22, 2019
However, more than one Twitter user noticed that Ocasio-Cortez’s words were rather reminiscent of the dire warnings issued by Al Gore, ironically almost exactly 12 years ago. Gore was slightly more pessimistic when he predicted a global emergency within ten years in his 2006 film “An inconvenient truth”; his climate-catastrophe is currently about 3 years overdue.
Just in case her predictions do turn out to have some basis in reality, a new website has launched featuring a convenient timer to help us plan our few remaining years.
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