May 12th, 2014
09:02 AM ET
9 years ago

Rubio says humans aren't behind climate change

Washington (CNN) - Sen. Marco Rubio says he doesn't believe humans are causing climate change and doesn't think any action can reverse course.

This as a new White House report indicated that Rubio's home state of Florida is one of the most vulnerable to rising sea levels.

"I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it," the first term senator said Sunday on ABC "This Week," after being asked by ABC News' Jon Karl whether humans were contributing to the heating up of the planet.

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"I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it, except it will destroy our economy," added Rubio, who's seriously considering a bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Rubio says he's ready to be commander-in-chief

Rubio's latest comments are similar to what he said on CNN last week.

"I think severe weather has been a fact of life on earth since man started recording history. I understand that there's a vast consensus of scientists that are saying that human activity is what's contributing to changes in our climate. I think it's an enormous stretch to say that every weather incident that we read about or the majority of them are attributable to human activity," Rubio told CNN's Bill Weir Tuesday on "CNN Tonight."

Rubio's comments come as President Barack Obama's administration last week declared, unequivocally, that climate change is underway across the United States. The U.S. National climate Assessment Report, released last Tuesday, offered a dire assessment of the impact of climate change, and named Miami as the city most vulnerable to damage from rising sea levels. The report was criticized by many Republican lawmakers.

The U.S. isn't alone in raising serious concerns. The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change came to the conclusion that humans are behind global warming.

In his CNN interview, Rubio knocked the administration's report and criticized the President's efforts on the issue of climate change. Obama has proposed new programs to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide, which most scientists say are the major cause of global warming.

"The President is, he's not a meteorologist. Here's what the President needs to be focused on. He's proposing a certain set of policies that he would have to admit if questioned will do nothing. If in fact these scientists are right and it's greenhouse gas emissions that are changing our climate, none of the things he's proposing would do anything to change that whatsoever, but it would have a devastating impact on our economy.

The most recent national polling on climate chanted indicated that a majority of Americans said humans were causing global warming. According to a Gallup poll conducted in early March, 57% of the public said human activities were behind global warming, with four in ten saying natural changes were causing the earth to heat up.

Fifty-four percent of those questioned in the survey said the effects of global warming were already happening. But less than four in ten said that global warming would pose a threat to their way of life.

The poll indicated a major partisan divide, with a majority of Democrats saying they worried a great deal about global warming, but more than six in ten Republicans saying they worried only a little bit or not at all about climate change.

Filed under: climate change • Global Warming • Marco Rubio • Poll • President Obama • Uncategorized
soundoff (731 Responses)
  1. Jerry Okamura

    He sais, she said. Who knows who is right? But I would like to know, assuming the theory is right, exactly what would have to happen that would guarantee the event will not happen. Will someone please tell us that?

    May 12, 2014 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  2. Harvey Tabasky

    Marco speaks like the true scientific genius that he is. Certainly the Republican Party and their stooges on the Supreme Court would not offer a single cent to anyone harmed by rising sea levels or earthquakes caused by hydraulic fracking. Deny scientific fact at your own peril.

    May 12, 2014 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  3. james columbus

    what a douchebag.....

    May 12, 2014 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  4. quinLee

    Dems aren't always right by far. But I swear the right is really earning the name "Stupid Party".

    May 12, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  5. eoin12

    Well when the State of Fla. is underwater the good folks of Fla. know who to throw off the boat first now don't they..

    May 12, 2014 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. Bob

    What an idiot!

    May 12, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  7. Trav

    So we are supposed to believe a politician, who has a 'huntch' about global warming instead of the scientists who actually study the subject matter and have been doing so for decades? Where is your citation? Where is your proof? Where are you studies that rebuke the findings of scientists? Instead of making claims like this for corporations, you should be supporting actual scientists and hard working people. My G-d what happens when you become a politician, do you suddenly lose any morality that you were given? Do they sell their souls to get into office?

    May 12, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  8. David in Houston

    Someone wrote, "So...Humans caused all of the previous "Ice ages" and warming periods? do we forget that Egypt was once a tropical paradice, Did car emissions change that too."

    The answer is, of course not. Those climate changes were caused by environmental factors like large, decade-long uncontrolled forest fires and major volcanic erruptions... maybe a few major meteor impacts. The reason why we are the contributing factor this time is that none of those things are occurring now. We are putting the CO2 gasses into the air instead of the forrest fires and volcanos. Same problems, just a different source... us.

    May 12, 2014 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  9. Rich

    So, Mr. Rubio, you have an advanced meteorological degree??? What a narrow-minded view this guy has. These laws will destroy our economy? No, relying on antiquated energy sources will make this country as extinct as the fossilized creatures that provide this ancient carboniferous rock. How blind does one have to be to not realize that this country needs to be leaps and bounds ahead in energy technologies or we will be swallowed-up by the other countries that look ahead to the future. Having technological prowess and and superiority in this arena is the only way to remain relevant and keep this country on top! Try digging deeper into your shallow mind instead of the shaky ground upon which you stand.

    May 12, 2014 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  10. Derek

    And Climate Change is not nonsense – it's very real. The cause is the question. It has been happening for millions of years and will continue long after we are gone. Did we create the ice age? Natural course of things with some shoddy "science" thrown in to try and make it FACTS

    May 12, 2014 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  11. Doctor R

    Rubio makes a classic-and completely fallacious -argument here. Claiming that "climate has been changing for centuries, and therefore climate change now is not human caused" is a complete absurdity. No one is arguing with the fact that climate has changed in the past. In fact, it is the very scientists whom Rubio disregards concerning current climate change who provided the evidence that climate has always been changing. But no one has been disputing that, so the argument has a premise no one disputes, but a conclusion that scientists absolutely reject, not only because of the evidence, but because the conclusion is a complete non sequitur. Just because climate change has always had a natural cause in the past does not mean that it cannot have a man-made cause in the present, anymore than the fact that lightening can cause forest fires means that humans never do.

    Anyone who quotes scientists in one part of his argument to support his claim, then disregards those same scientists in his conclusion, is certainly shown that he lacks the intellectual ammunition to be President.

    Sorry Mark. You're off the list of credible contenders.

    May 12, 2014 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  12. Fantom

    I find it ironic that Pres. Woodrow Wilson (1913-1921) described the Republican party to a tee
    in 1914: "The Republicans have not had a new idea in 30 years!" One would think they had learned SOMETHING in 130 year, however.....

    May 12, 2014 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  13. JWJH

    Ohhhh - well, if Marco Rubio thinks it's not us, who cares what thousands of climate scientists the world over have come up with in their decades of research, what with those crazy supercomputers and their physics and math and whatnot. I'm sure the fact that many of the changes predicted in the '80s and '90s have, in fact, come to pass is also just a coincidence. Also, I think Marco Rubio is actually the Lucky Charms leprechaun. Who's to say I'm wrong?

    May 12, 2014 01:59 pm at 1:59 pm |
  14. JB

    I'm sure he's very well qualified in the matter of global climate activity. Probably has a PhD.

    May 12, 2014 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  15. Scott

    So this issue is called "Global" warming, not United States warming. India, Japan,and China are polluting this planet continuously and don't have near the restrictions that we place here in the US. Why is the US in charge of cleaning up the entire planet? You can bet that India and China don't give a rip about it. And 150 to 200 years of data isn't sufficient to be "settled science". John Coleman is the founder of The Weather Channel. Read his thoughts about it.

    May 12, 2014 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    "I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it, except it will destroy our economy," added Rubio.
    Sen. Rubio has not actually proposed anything, or even given us a mere hint, about what he would do about man-made climate change. That's because he doesn't plan to do anything about it.

    You know all of that smog that's in the air in many major cities, it's perfectly normal for planet Earth to do that. It comes and goes. That smell you smell on the New Jersey Turnpike as you drive past all of the oil refineries, that's normal.

    Remember all of that pollution that they discovered in the West Virginia rivers a couple months back? You guessed it, that's another perfectly normal function of planet Earth. Remember that BP oil spill down in the Gulf? The Earth cleaned that one up, too, real good. All of those oily pelicans and other marine life were just props invented by the Democrats.

    May 12, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  17. Kristine

    What the simpleton liberals don't realize is that the report was written by climate change activists...not unbiased, non-political scientists.

    It's like the NRA coming out with a report that says every home should own a gun and violence will go down. And then the President decides we MUST act on this...IMMEDIATELY...because the 'report" says so.

    May 12, 2014 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  18. peterz

    To him whatever the outcome, he had concluded it was the God's will. Did he care for the others?

    May 12, 2014 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  19. Paul

    Only in America can there be a debate on the existence of manmade climate change. I just visited Exxon’s webpage; the chairman and CEO of Exxonmobil Rex Tillerson is quoted in their newsletter on the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Texaco’s webpage lists information about “increasing fuel efficiency is a key means of reducing CO2, a greenhouse gas emission. BP’s webpage has a section on how they are reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Seems as though Republican dogma is out of step with big energy business.

    May 12, 2014 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  20. grist

    Interesting that only 4/10 Americans think climate change is due to humans. We should poll them to see if they think the theory of gravity accounts for planetary motions. If they think not, we should immediately cancel any space exploration.

    May 12, 2014 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Sure is a good thing that ONE person didn't listen to the masses when every scientist said the earth was flat. But, he HAD to be wrong because most people thought it was flat. So, it was obviously flat.

    May 12, 2014 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  22. JWJH

    Just to parse Mr. Rubio's scholarly analysis:

    "I think severe weather has been a fact of life on earth since man started recording history."
    - No kidding! I think every atmospheric scientist in the world would agree with you, and also point out that they are not arguing that severe weather is a brand-new, unprecedented phenomenon.

    I understand that there's a vast consensus of scientists that are saying that human activity is what's contributing to changes in our climate.

    - Okay, so what's your problem then?

    I think it's an enormous stretch to say that every weather incident that we read about or the majority of them are attributable to human activity,"

    - Again, nobody is saying that. Any climate scientist will tell you that climate change can't predict or be causally attributed to any particular weather event. It's like shooting baskets - with practice, you're more and more likely to sink more shots than an opponent who's never played, but you can't look at any single free throw and say "I got THAT one because I practiced." It doesn't work like that. Climate change sets up conditions that can make severe weather more likely over the long haul, just as practicing basketball sets up conditions that make you more likely to sink baskets.

    As usual, like others of his kind, Rubio builds his argument on false statements, out of context facts, and a healthy jigger of "doesn't seem right to me." I think I'll go with the climate scientists, and the fact that the planet is melting.

    May 12, 2014 02:07 pm at 2:07 pm |
  23. EVN

    What might Rubio's credentials be? Reading a report cooked up by a think tank controlled by the Koch brothers or others of similar ilk doesn't count. So tell us Rubio, besides being a politician spouting off whatever from the top of your head, just what information do you have, and where does it come from, to have you telling us that those with education and training in the field don't know what they are talking about? Inquiring minds want to know.

    May 12, 2014 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  24. ss

    How about conservatives intentional "poisoning" of the earth, groundwater, and air. That cannot be disputed.

    May 12, 2014 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  25. Anthony

    ah! yes the classical republican strategy of sticking their heads in the ground till the facts go away!!! Classic! and here i thought they learned something

    May 12, 2014 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
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