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. Frank Sanns

    Whenever there is a car accident and a person has a blood alcohol double or triple the legal limit then alcohol is considered a factor. It is also suspected the the alcohol was substantially to blame as the levels climb. Climate change is the same. Humans are putting MUCH more green house gasses into the atmosphere and the temperatures are rising at an alarming rate so human actions are a substantial but not necessarily the only factor.

    So what about a few of degrees of global? Who cares? Well, the planet is an ecosystem. How do you feel when your temperature is up a few degrees when you have a fever? Global warming is a serious situation for the biological balance of the land and especially the seas and goes way beyond extreme weather.

    May 12, 2014 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  2. Wes


    Everyone saying "I'm waiting for the next ice age" or "this winter was the coldest in Chicago" as proof of global warming being a sham... you have got to be kidding me! Have you paid attention at all to the severe drought in Texas the past 3 years?
    So, this is the first time Texas has ever had a drought? And this is your proof of 'Global Warming'? You have no idea what the weather in that area was 200 plus years ago. You think 'this is a drought! I have never seen that in my lifetime, so it must be global warming!' Maybe that amount of rainfall was normal hundreds of years ago-who knows! And yes, these are the same scientists 40 years ago who said we are entering the next ice age.

    May 12, 2014 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  3. biologyguy

    They don't believe in evolution either. It's just a simple failure of the education system.

    May 12, 2014 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  4. lolol

    It's cool, keep doing nothing about the climate. Your attempt to save the economy by doing nothing to help the environment will surely ruin the economy. So in the end, it doesn't matter, right Marco?

    May 12, 2014 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  5. snowdogg

    Rubio is limited in his knowledge and understanding of global climate change... and you can be sure he isn't going to step up his game.

    May 12, 2014 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  6. BorisRoberts

    I sometimes listen to right wing hate radio late at night at work, its kind of a running joke, just to hear some of the goofball ideas. Anyway, I fired off an email to one of them one night, about global warming, and the guy tried to ridicule me on the radio, saying more than 50% of the scientists havee recanted, and said that global warming was false, and it was actually global cooling. Anyway, I fired off some research that showed that over 93% of scietists believe that global warming is a very dangerous issue for us. I never heard back from him.

    May 12, 2014 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  7. steve696

    Rubio is mostly right. I believe human activity "contributes to" climate change. But it is neither the primary cause, nor is there much we can do about it in the USA. In spite of the fact that we drive cars and trucks and some other countries do not, it is a scientific fact that the USA contributes much less (like 1/3) than China and India. In China they are building one new col fired power plant a week. Where is the CNN and liberal outrage over that? No outrage? Perhaps it is because hanging it on them will not transfer wealth from relatively rich western nations to poorer developing nations.

    May 12, 2014 07:07 pm at 7:07 pm |
  8. drkent3

    Everyone has a right to his/her opinion. It isn't a problem when someone posts on a blog that he doesn't believe what 98%+ of all experts believe. However, when that person is a candidate for public office where he is a primary decision maker – that *is* a serious problem. If a politician can simply wave aside what the vast majority of scientists agree is the truth, what else can such a politician do in the name of 'the economy'? Can he discount research on secondhand smoke and lift bans on smoking in public places because it's good for the economy? Can he allow toxic waste to be dumped in rivers and lakes because it's good for the economy? Can he allow tainted food and untested drugs to be sold because it's good for the economy? At what point does science trump politics – somewhere between a 98% and 100% consensus?

    May 12, 2014 07:08 pm at 7:08 pm |
  9. Ofer

    Koodos to Senator Rubio who proves yet again that Republicans do not get confused by any facts. After all, they make them up as they go,...

    May 12, 2014 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  10. Nathan

    There is a lot of data to support the climate-change theory. But like evolution, it's not a scietific *law* and it might never be. As CC is not a fact, nobody is obligated to believe it, and it is within the spirit of science to try and disprove it.

    However, the implications of CC reach beyond the confines of academia. The cost of not actively trying to reverse CC, even though it's only a theory, will likely be counted in lives lost.

    May 12, 2014 07:11 pm at 7:11 pm |
  11. ItIsWhatItIs

    No room for skeptics in the pseudo-science of Global Warming.

    May 12, 2014 07:12 pm at 7:12 pm |
  12. sarahelm

    North America was covered with an ice sheet. I'm sure that primitive man didn't build enough fires to melt it. As far as oceans rising are concerned, hundreds of cities have been found beneath the seas and oceans, over 200 cities submerged in the Mediterranean alone. More is at play than "man-made” global warming. Look at the facts and you see this warming predated the industrial revolution.

    May 12, 2014 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  13. WestsacVoice

    The president is not a meteorologist but at least he listens to scientists rather than just state "I believe". What Rubio doesn't understand is a single powerful hurricane or a few inches of the sea level rising has a profound economic effect.

    He could be right that what we can do has very little consequences now but doing nothing is not a better alternative.

    May 12, 2014 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  14. hkirwin

    A clue. There is absolutely nothing the US can do alone to effect climate change. India, Russia, and Chins are openning a new coal fire plant every hour of the day. Wake up people. Obama can not control climate change with all the laws he can approve. he doesn't control the othe 96% of the global economy. His laws will only destroy US industries and move more jobs and industry offshore. This is exactly what Rubio stated and he is correct, like it or not.

    May 12, 2014 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  15. MLegendre

    Republicans just keep getting scarier and scarier.

    May 12, 2014 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  16. Marie MD

    The Cuban water boy wouldn't know a human if he bumped into one.

    May 12, 2014 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  17. hkirwin


    You have to "love" his logic. First he says climate change is not a problem. Then he basically says that even if climate change is occurring, there is nothing we can do about it, so why bother trying. I have yet to hear any credible argument as to why we should not try to limit greenhouse gases.

    The reason is is that the US only controls 4% of the green house gases produced today. Good luck telling India, China, Russia, Brazil and the rest of the developing world to stop. That is what Rubio was saying Cletus. Thus, there is really nothing the US can do about it. Roll that around in all that empty space a minute or two.

    May 12, 2014 07:23 pm at 7:23 pm |
  18. Paul

    The US and Britain promised Ukraine that they would defend its territorial integrity in 1991 if Ukraine got rid of its nuclear warheads. As usual and no surprise, they didn't deliver on that promise.

    May 12, 2014 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  19. Logictox

    Many more scientist disagree with climate change being man made then those that say it is. Only scientist on the dole seem to be sure that a fraction of a change in C02 is the cause while real scientist point to the sun and solar activity that has occurred and does occur. Only a true liberal would believe without any real proof.

    May 12, 2014 08:02 pm at 8:02 pm |
  20. notajerk

    Hey, Marco:
    “The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.”-Neil deGrasse Tyson (scientist)

    May 12, 2014 08:13 pm at 8:13 pm |
  21. ItIsWhatItIs

    The pseudo-science of Global Warming is more of a religion than a science. It demands "belief" and is not open for debate.

    May 12, 2014 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  22. Chris

    Mr. Rubio, I'd really like to vote for you. You seem even-keeled and right about a lot of things. Maybe you meant that there could be more to what's happening than human activity alone, and that loud efforts to link every last storm or heat wave to human-caused climate change are politically motivated. That's true.

    But when you say things like "I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it," you're being just as politically driven. First of all, drop the phrase "these scientists" from your vocabulary. "Scientists" works just fine.

    Next, consult with "these scientists." After a few months' discernment, state loudly and publicly that you have studied the evidence and determined that, while you still think that no one can be certain, it now seems highly unlikely to you that human activity is not a major reason for the climate changes that we're probably only beginning to see. Support measures to prevent further destruction as long-term economic necessities.

    You'll look like a guy who is willing to listen to expert advice, a critical reputation to cultivate for a presidential candidate whose Achilles heel will be his relative youth and inexperience. And you'll have a shot at my vote again. Get humble quick.

    May 12, 2014 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  23. Liz the First

    And this person is qualified to contradict the overwhelming percentage of scientists who have devoted their lives to studying and UNDERSTANDING the science behind their conclusion that yes, we are screwing up the planet? has he even taken a science class, ever? has he not watched the news in the past decade or more and seen the catastrophes that are happening on an ever increasing frequency? there is none so blind as he who will not see. we keep idiots like this in leadership positions at our extreme peril.

    May 12, 2014 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  24. technophile50

    "I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it,"

    I got some news for you, Marco. Science is not a matter of belief. Science is not just "some other religion" different from yours.
    Science is observation(the globe is warmer than it should be according to simple black body radiation physics – Fourier,1820's).
    Science is measurement (CO2 & H2O absorb infrared radiation – Tyndall, 1859).
    Science is understanding the relationships and doing the math(doubling atmospheric CO2 will raise the average temperature of the earth by about 3 degrees – Arrhenius, 1896).
    Science is awareness of changes in dynamic systems, cause and effect, and the physics of energy flow(fossil fuel emissions about 1900 were comparable to the natural sources & sinks of CO2 – Högbom, ~1900; by the 1950s, the rate of industrial emissions had risen enough to measurably change its level in the atmosphere, and have an effect on temperatures – Callendar, 1959; CO2, H20, and temperatures have observably risen since then; Keeling, ongoing -Taylor, Gleckler, Boyle and Klein.2009 – HadCRUT, GISTemp, UAH, ongoing)
    Science is not, as Bill O'Reilly believes,"Tide comes in, tide goes out, you can't explain it!"
    Nor is it true, as Karl Rove wishes, that "when we act, we create our own reality."

    May 12, 2014 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  25. technophile50

    Even the right-wing Heartland Institute put up a billboard pointing out that you have to be crazier than Ted Kazinsky to deny global warming.

    May 12, 2014 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
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