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. Gunderson

    Eh, Whazzat you say?,
    Man is causing the Earth to Warm up? So what we do? Oh, I know. Just shut down all manufacturing that is causing climate change. OK, now what? You go to grocery store for your vittles but store no longer exist. Climate change, you know. so now you have to scrounge for food. Nothing new. Cave man had to scrounge for food, now it your turn. Didn't "Annointed One" say he wanted to make gas prices go thru roof so you would stop using so much? Um, well, you have him. Now what?

    May 12, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  2. blome Sarah blome

    He obviously doesn't know squat, other than how to fill his pockets with big oil and energy money, he obviously has never heard of greenhouse gasses, but he has heard of "political contributions ".

    May 12, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  3. yeahright

    Marco, please show us your peer reviewed studies to back up your "opinion".

    May 12, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  4. Kelly Shatzer

    Wow. CNN should do their due diligence and research how much money the petroleum industries and the Koch brothers have given to Rubio. And this moron thinks he is ready to be President? Scary thought. Either he is so stupid and blindly ideological as to truly not believe what 99% of the world's scientists are saying, or he is a blatant liar and a shill for the petroleum industry, and a psychopath, knowingly choosing money over the well-being of millions of people whom climate change will effect. Either way, he is unfit to be President. He is unfit to be in power at all, much like most of his Republican friends.

    May 12, 2014 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  5. anothermuse

    As usual the article sites the inflammatory statement, not the context. Rubio's point is solely that the science does not say that human activity is the SOLE cause, or even the primary cause. Humans have an impact, yes..The climate has been in flux since the dawn of time.

    He might be wrong, but the headline is misleading. Shocking.

    May 12, 2014 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  6. PGM

    We can easily transition to renewable forms of energy if we do it over a 10-15 year period. The main thing is that we get the majority of the key developed economies to start right now. As we move away from fossil fuel energy sources we will still need energy so solar panels will ahve to be amde and maintained, wind turbines will need to be manufactured and replaced and serviced. The list goes on with geothermal as another source of energy. The fact that we can't prevent climate disaster doesn't mean we have to accelerate it or contribute to it. Really smart science would help us steer away from extreme outcomes from as long as possible. Right wing Nut denial is not leadership on an economic, political or socially responsible level of any kind. Younger and more well balanced Republicans who truly want to champion the princilpes of less government and balanced budgets need to rid their Party of anti science climate change deniers who also court the notion that evolution is a theory not a scientific account of the world. We can all wish upon a star at Disney World but it doesn't make the world stand still in 1955 – wake up Right Wingers! The very industrial revolution that brought us forward is based upon science so now you want to limit the infromation that it provides?

    May 12, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  7. DG

    I am an Independent and he just lost any chance of my vote. He was already going to get the Right vote and the Left vote is going for a DEM. I would have been happy if he said that humans impact climate change and possibly are a factor but to what extent...we don't know. However, that's not what he said. No Rubio or any other Republican candidate taking this sort of stance.

    May 12, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |

    We all should worry about our prime farmland and topsoil that is being lost due to development .

    May 12, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  9. Dr veruju

    Just goes to show what a stooge he is.
    Most of the global warming is anthropogenic.
    He should go to realclimate dot org to find out the truth.

    May 12, 2014 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  10. Rob

    The Earth has had cycles throughout geologic history where it has been both warmer and cooler and with most points in between and this was occurring well before man arrived on the scene. One large volcanic eruption puts more gas and particulates in the air than all of mankind's activity since the industrial revolution. Think of the huge wildfires that must have raged on this planet before man was around to put them out. How much carbon dioxide and particulates did an event like that cause?

    It is the height of hubris to believe that man has any effect on climate on this planet. I can't fault scientists for riding the "climate change" hobby horse...that is where the grant money is right now. But all seem to be completely ignoring natural causes because you can't legislate those away.

    May 12, 2014 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  11. Sds65805

    Climate change not with-standing. Pollution is BAD. Our earth is a closed environment, much like a terrarium. If you pump smoke and chemicals into a terrarium, any organism in the terrarium will eventually die from the pollution. Sure the earth is a self cleaning organism, but there are limits to HOW MUCH it can clean. Dumping unnecessary pollutants into the system is just STUPID.

    May 12, 2014 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  12. Rudy NYC

    The world has been going through climate change sense the last ice age its naturally getting warmer for now until we get a big asteroid or a super volcano we better be careful what we wish for . If you just want to worry about something the worse thing they can do is kill us ?
    There's just one problem with your theory, guy. Scientists measuring polar ice core samples estimate that ice ages tend to come about once every 100,000 years, with the last one being nearly 100,000 years ago. In other words, the Earth should be moving into a cooler phase, not a warmer phase, as you suggest.

    May 12, 2014 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  13. treblemaker

    And before the Industrial Revolution, there were virulent diseases such as Black Plague, smallpox, polio, TB, and countless others that posed more of a threat to humankind than the weather. Having said that, the one argument in favor of human activity causing global weather change is the melting of the Arctic ice cap and the melting of the permafrost in the tundra. The polar ice caps hold the world's fresh water supply. In my mind, the global weather change started with the deforestation of the Amazon jungle. That, more than anything, upset the delicate balance of the symbiotic relationship between plants and humans, and released excess CO2 into the atmosphere that could not be absorbed due to the loss of said jungle. It took some time, but now along with the Industrial Revolution of the Asian countries (NOT the USA alone, but in tandem with the Western world), the balance has been altered. In time the weather changes will compromise food and water supply throughout the world, and that will destroy the economy faster than any government policy. I just hope it's not too late.

    May 12, 2014 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  14. Frank Pina

    This is coming from the same person that same on live national TV that he is a legal expert because he watches a lot of legal tv shows. This fool doesn't have a chance, and he doesn't have the hispanic vote, we don't like him.

    May 12, 2014 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  15. jake

    Human's are to blame for climate change, and Marco Rubio's dry mouth is proof of it. Years ago people's mouth's didn't stick together in a disgustingly display of dried up crust on the sides of the lips, and tongue's didn't stick to the roofs of mouths when delivering a rebuttal to the American people. Look no further that Marco Rubio's sticky, dried up mouth to see that climate change is real and we are to blame for it.

    May 12, 2014 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  16. Dan

    " 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." But hey, I'm Rubio.

    May 12, 2014 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  17. TooClose2DC

    Here is how I know it is humans. Until the late 1960's the max population was ~2 billion people. It took thousands of years to get to that point. In the last 40+ years, we have tripled our population. A sudden growth in population like that is definitely going to affect a lot of things including climate as the increased demand causes more greenery to be lost, more poisons to land in the earth and oceans, more food sources to be harvested. I do think we have tilted from a symbiotic relationship with the earth to a parasitic relationship.

    May 12, 2014 11:13 am at 11:13 am |
  18. MrAnonymous

    Rubio should listen more closely to what the scientists are saying. First, they have gone to great lengths to say that individual weather events cannot be attributed to climate change, but that the changes in global averages can be. Additionally, he must have missed the IPCC Working Group Report III that just came out saying that the global economic impact of tackling the problem would be 0.06%, which is far better than the cost of doing nothing.

    May 12, 2014 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  19. Rick McDaniel

    Rubio just proved, he has no ability to distinguish between truth and fiction. That automatically disqualifies him from any chance of being elected President, whatsoever.

    May 12, 2014 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  20. elucidated1

    I love it Humans have affected the world for centuriies, but Rubio wants us to believe that humans have had NO effect on the world climate? Nice.

    May 12, 2014 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  21. MAngelline

    He, along with his wife interviewed years ago on one of the Sunday shows. He was just becoming a prominent voice in the Republican party. I still remember thinking the pair looked like Dumb and Dumber. My opinion hasn't changed in regard to him. Don't know about the wife as she has been smart enough at least to stay out of the limelight!

    May 12, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  22. Charlie

    Marco Rubio is one scary guy.

    May 12, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  23. Dan

    He may be right, the proposed actions may not stop the damage. Is the answer to just bury your head in the sand and hope it all fixes itself? Maybe God will shine his love down on the atmosphere and clean breezes will restore the balance?

    May 12, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  24. Hogarth

    As long as there are politicians like Rubio and the ignorati who support him, humanity is doomed.

    May 12, 2014 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  25. Kenneth Newman

    Stupid is as stupid does!!! But what would you expect, he's from Floriduh!!!!

    May 12, 2014 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
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