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. ummm....

    unreal. Because the president is not a meterologist, he shouldn't comment or do anything about climate? That is Rubio's answer. 99% of the WORLD'S scientists that study this agree, yet Rubio can't understand. I fear a man who refuses to listen to the advice of others who know more than he does. Rubio is not an economist, does that mean he will do nothing if he were to become president about the economy? Wait, he does that already.

    May 12, 2014 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  2. The Rave

    Another non-scientist promoting his "beliefs" about climate change. It's not like the Easter Bunny. Did Rubio ever hear of supporting scientific data?

    May 12, 2014 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  3. dnarich

    "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,"

    ...Mr. Rubio, with all due respect, this is NOT what climatologists are saying – and in fact, they have gone to great lengths to explain that individual weather incidents often have nothing to do with the changes observed in *global averages* including global average temperatures, global averages of extreme weather events, etc.

    May 12, 2014 10:28 am at 10:28 am |
  4. Chuk

    Rubio has spoken as a true "scientist". The President, even though he's not a scientist, can base his decisions on data provided by scientist. But what would Rubio base his decisions on? Answer: they are based on ideology. Right wing Republicans have been doing that for a long time: bury your head in the sand until it's too late.
    I understand the idea of thinking for yourself, "trust but verify", etc. But why should we listen to these right wingers and take a chance by doing nothing until it's too late? Incredible what obsession with ideology can do.

    May 12, 2014 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  5. Charlie

    The fact that climate change shows up more in politics than anywhere else is all you need to know. It's not about the science but rather about controlling people.

    May 12, 2014 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  6. Hex

    $5 says this guy has money invested in oil or other things that caused the accelerated rate of change.

    May 12, 2014 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  7. twoods

    This is just plain dangerous. I'm terrified that this type of reasoning (or lack thereof) will ultimately make our children or grandchildren pay for ignoring the scientific fact that the earth is dying and we humans are at fault. I feel like we're living out a fable...greed and money at any cost until we destroy ourselves. It's such an old story and stays relevant because it's true. Sigh...

    May 12, 2014 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  8. david

    Any party that openly ignores and mocks the scientific consensus of 99.99% of the science community will always be the "party of the stupid"...

    May 12, 2014 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  9. Eric

    Wow. What a place to live, denial. We did it, we know it and the cows helped, but we created the cow problem too. Wake up stupid.

    May 12, 2014 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  10. rob s

    " Rubio says humans aren't behind climate change "
    whoever you are Rubio, you are so full of crap its pouring out of your mouth !!!
    look back about 100-150years and look at our enivrinment. everything nice and happy and clean. along comes the the industrail revolution and the wonderful litte invention called the Internal Combustion Engine, and the burning of coal for power. ever since our environment has gone south. i am not saying the the industrial revolution is/was a bad thing
    are you peoples aware(probably not) that for every gallon of gasoline that is burnt, twenty(20) pounds of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide are left behind ??? multiply that by the amount of gas guzzlers that are loose on the roads, and you get, what ? SMOG !

    okay, yeah the ICEs have become much better and lots more efficient, butt, the result is still the same 20lbs/gallon. which is neat because a gallon weighs about 8lbs. thats an increase of 12lbs.
    wake up and smell the exhaust !

    May 12, 2014 10:31 am at 10:31 am |
  11. DC Johnny

    Advocates for systematic global warming policy changes are essentially willing to trade prosperity and economic growth for worldwide misery and despair, so long as it tries to solve the potential problems of environmental change.

    And, just as Rubio stated, the "attempt" will go fruitless. We can try to reverse the course of the industrial revolution with painful legislation, but it will predictably amount to nothing but a ruined economy.

    May 12, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  12. sammieb51


    May 12, 2014 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  13. ldean50

    I teach junior high, and I require credible references when the kids write a paper. Now, they are going to say, "References, we dohn't need no stinkin' references. We can pull it out of our arse like Marco Rubio." You have to laugh when he states, "Obama is not a meteorologist." Really? Does anybody alive think Obama wrote these reports? And you're a lawyer? Where are your references? Oh, that's right. We don't need them.

    May 12, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  14. george kamburoff

    This is not a political issue,it is a scientific issue. It is not a matter of debate, it is a matter of measurement.

    Tell Rubio to go back to school and get educated.

    May 12, 2014 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  15. mike electrician

    So he says "the president is not a meteorologist", but what, this guy is, and it would be funny if it wasn't so sad, he actually equates meteorology with climatology. Ok Mr. Rubio, find me a bank/panel of scientists (from a legitimate university) who back your claim that human activity is not the main propellant of climate change and perhaps I may be persuaded.

    May 12, 2014 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  16. caseyhd

    Well I'm sure Rubio knows more than the scientific community about this. I mean how could spewing millions of tons of trapped carbon back into the atmosphere create a problem?

    May 12, 2014 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  17. Dan

    Rubio thinks his beliefs should hold more weight than science or scientific facts. To remind you, facts are observations of the real world that are repeatedly confirmed by multiple scientists over a period of time. Fact: CO2 levels are the highest they have been in at least 800,000 years, probably much longer. Fact: Earth's temperatures are rising faster than ever before in all of geologic history, according to all of our numerous climate proxies. Fact: climate proxies are preserved physical characteristics of the past that stand in for direct measurements. Some people are rational, some are irrational. Senator Rubio has made it ever more clear that he is of the latter persuasion.

    May 12, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  18. johnk

    Is this guy for real? And he is wanting to run for the oval office, get serious. Look, 7 billion live now on earth the most ever. A majority all use fossil fuels to travel, heat, cook, make things. What about waste products from humans, I am talking about everything. All of this does have a impact on earth. Finally here is the reality, no one is really coming up with a viable plan to curb climate change. What about better preprations, money set aside for recovery from disasters? More aggressive energy alternatives for the planet. How about curbing over populations. Ever hear of the Thomas Maltius theory on over population and what the planet can really support? This is foresight not hindsight. A real leader is a visionary not a boob.

    May 12, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  19. Kathy in Indiana

    Yipes, the age old question and or the bible....I think I'll go with science. We have fossils. They have unproven stories. I hope Rubio knows how to swim...

    May 12, 2014 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  20. CO2_sensitivity_overestimated

    There has been no warming trend over the past 17 years. And that is a fact. Climate scientists have overestimated the sensitivity of CO2 to cause warming.

    And now global warming agenda has been hijacked by politicians who see this as an opportunity to impose carbon taxes so that they can redistribute this wealth to their favored constituency as happened in Australia.

    And Aussies were smart enough to see through this scam and voted out the labor government that spend carbon tax dollars on social programs.

    May 12, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  21. dl

    "Sen. Marco Rubio says he doesn't believe humans are causing climate change and ..." – believers are those who feel things are true with out base in fact... typical religious person..

    May 12, 2014 10:38 am at 10:38 am |
  22. cdnjim

    "I believe" statements do not supersede research, facts and evidence. If you choose to offer an opposing view to the accepted scientific worldview, you must submit your own research, and evidence to be peer-reviewed the same as all scientists do. Those opposing climate change, and the human causes of it have, according to my reading, never submitted a study, or research or an opinion paper citing evidence and facts that would cause us to question what research and actual study of the data are clearly demonstrating. Rubio just moved himself into the scientifically illiterate camp and deserves no public voice on this matter. CNN might as well interview tinfoil hat people about climate change since this is the level of credibility he is showing.

    May 12, 2014 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  23. whatnow

    Sorry, Mr. Rubio, but I'm going with the scientists on this one. However, I am certain that it will gain you lots of funding from those corporations who want to continue to business as usual with little concern for the environment or health of people.

    May 12, 2014 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  24. Anonymous

    and he is an expert in this area ?

    May 12, 2014 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  25. svscnn

    Yeah, we're supposed to take the word of a guy who was caught in a bald-faced lie about his family's immigration from Cuba and who used campaign funds for personal expenses over the majority of scientists and an international panel of experts.

    Just imagine if this right-wing pandering fool actually became POTUS. Curdles the blood just thinking about it.

    May 12, 2014 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
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