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. Sniffit

    "can't Rubio have a differing opinion without being lambasted on this board? "

    Nope. Not when it's not a matter for opinion. Science =/= opinion. Science is about objectively measurable data. Rubio might as well be whining that "nuh uh, the sky is green."

    "Cave man had to scrounge for food, now it your turn. "

    Newsflash: 14.5% of households (containing 16M children) are still reduced to "scrounging for food" in America TODAY...and it's because of cavemen like Rubio and the plutocratic economic policies they support, which redistribute wealth upwards. Yes, that's inconvenient for you. What's your rebuttal? Something something Benghazi?

    May 12, 2014 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  2. Gabe

    Politicians like Rubio are as damaging to the planet as human caused global warming. How unfortunate to have people like this in Washington.

    May 12, 2014 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  3. gtx

    To all who own a car that burns gasoline. For each gallon of gas you use 1400 gallons of air to enable that burning.
    What do you think?

    May 12, 2014 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  4. Wingrider

    Not to say that humans are cot a contributor to the Global warming condition, but to what extent? If the USA were to take the lead, that would be one thing, but we seem incapable of leading. The USA is about 330 million, the world is about 7.3 billion. So we have about 5% of world population, and generate about 1/3 of the GHG emissions. That means if we reduce out carbon emissions by 10%, and we are 5% of the population – we can solve about 5% of 10% of the world problem, or 0.5% of the problem. Keep fighting the good fight, but you are urinating against the tide.

    May 12, 2014 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  5. Jeff

    The most ridiculous claim concerns not the cause of the current cycle of climate change, but the claim that the proposed responses will "destroy" our economy. History and fundamental economic theory tells us that the opposite is likely to be true. At base, most of the proposals address inefficiency and transitioning from shrinking, volatile and increasingly expensive energy sources. In other words, most of these proposals would be wise and economically beneficial (and probably economically critical) in the long run, regardless of the climate issue.

    May 12, 2014 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  6. 2_indy1600

    I do not deny climate change, it's just that it's too late. The earth's MANTLE is coming apart, and the earth's axis shifts with every major quake. This is God's earth. The fact that you share it with people across the globe might make you want to ask yourself if the dimworld is really serious about stopping CO2, why is China allowed to foul the air to such a degree? Why should this country's approach depend on developing economies? In case you haven't noticed there is NO ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT happening, people. Maybe we should invest in Ukraine...more "flexibility" there.

    May 12, 2014 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  7. Bill from GA

    Carbon Dioxide levels in the atmosphere have been rising since the beginning of the Industrial Age, when they were around 280 parts per million. In the 1950's they were around 316ppm. Now they are around 400ppm, and increasing at a continually rising rate.

    I will trust that the scientists are accurate in their measurements, leaving to doubt only the effect that has on the planet. I have no doubt. The Flat-Earthers claim no effect. Maybe they plan to develop ocean-front resorts in the Arctic.

    May 12, 2014 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  8. Martha in CF

    Rubio still has milk on his lips. I don't think he has studied too hard on the subject of climate change. He needs attention and now this subject got him some.

    May 12, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  9. sonny chapman

    Look at a picture of Downtown Beijing on a bad day. It ain't volcanoes.

    May 12, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  10. vikingwoman

    Yeah, well if Rubio says he Thinks humans are not responsible that's all we need right!? Then we can go back to sticking our heads in the sand & live in blissfull denial! A better approach would be to pay attention to the data & figure out how to make changes that will be a Boon to the economy! But that would take having to actually Work for your salary! Can't have that...sooo, 99 out of 100 scientists are Wrong!!

    May 12, 2014 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  11. ProudDem

    Madness. There is no "opinion" here. This is incredibly simple. You can do an experiment in a lab, and they have, many times, that proves that more carbon dioxide in the air causes higher temperatures. That's just physics. No one can argue that we are dumping massive amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. That is also a fact. 2 plus 2 equals 4...there is no "opinion" about it.

    If a republican wants to argue about what's the best way to combat this, fine, but those that just try to say it doesn't exist are fools at best and liars at worst. If you look at the TWO percent of "scientists" who don't agree that this is man made, most of them are funded by big oil companies.

    May 12, 2014 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  12. NealR2000

    I wholeheartedly agree with him. Even IF, and that's a big if, humans are having an effect on climate, it's both small, and like he said, impossible for us to alter through any additional human modification. All it will do is run our feeble economy even further into the ground, while emerging nations, who have no honest intentions of tackling climate change, get even further ahead of us.

    May 12, 2014 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  13. oliver

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

    Sums it up completely. Rudio knows more then those "elites" with their fancy degrees and edge-uh-macations. My gut tells me, poison the planet. Ain't no thang. YEEEEEHAAAWWW!

    May 12, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  14. humtake

    Been saying it a long time. Regardless if humans are the cause or not, climate change is inevitable. Instead of trying to spend billions on fighting it, we should be spending billions on upgrading the world's infrastructure to ensure we can survive the effects of climate change. It's kind of common sense but too many people in this world feel as if they can stop natural cycles from happening instead of looking at the big picture.

    May 12, 2014 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  15. The Republican Party Is Dead To Me

    Now the republicans believe they are scientists. Evil maybe, but scientist NO.

    May 12, 2014 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  16. rla

    When China and russia and India and the third world do something than we should pitch in but right now we are throwing good money after bad! AND this is still not anywhere near settled science... Progressives and the dims need a strawman to beat on during the uncoming elections... Obama and the dims lie like rugs -as the old saying goes-- nothing he has promised has come about except divisive policies and rhetoric, poorer poor, destroyed middle class and debt that is unbelievable.. You believe these people you must also believe in fairy dust

    May 12, 2014 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  17. Concerned Veteran

    Mr. Rubio is either an intelligent man that is denying climate change because he believes it to be the best political angle or he is a man incapable of analytical thinking. That makes him either a liar that lies at the possible detriment of the future of the human race (especially his present constituency) or an idiot. I really hope this senator is an idiot because that is far less offensive and dangerous than the former.

    If we can take money out of politics we won't have to read stories like this any more.

    May 12, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  18. greenaxe

    .....AND the earth is 4,000 years old. Scientific fact vs. the GOP.

    May 12, 2014 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  19. Tom

    Clearly Rubio is Presidential material. He has the denial of science down pat.

    May 12, 2014 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  20. gsmith


    Global Warming is a Hoax. The Democrats want your money, so they invented Global Warming. This is why you should never vote for a Democrat.

    May 12, 2014 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  21. Smeagel4T

    Well if Rubio says it, then I feel SOOOO much better.

    Hey Marco, do you get a check from the Koch Brothers each time you say it, or did they purchase some kind of bulk package?

    May 12, 2014 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  22. Stu

    He's lost it – humans are not only contributing but also accelerating the process.

    May 12, 2014 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  23. bob

    People are NOT tHE SOLE CAUSE. There has been climate fluctuations for millions of years (remember learning about the Ice Age in school???). But human activities in the last few hundred years (more fossil fuel use, etc) has certainly ADDED TO IT, accelerating the current trend. To simply state "we are not involved" shows either a very poor science background from school, or a tendency to say whatever his potential supporters want to hear (irregardless of the truth).

    Either way, given the number of tech issues he will be encountering in government ( such as regulations, etc) which require at least a minimal familiarity with technology and the sciences, I would not support him.

    May 12, 2014 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  24. Jodo

    Many years ago glaciers covered much of what is now Tennessee. And during another era, the Ozark Mountains were at the bottom of a vast ocean.

    The climate changed. It happens. It was not caused by people driving Cadillacs.

    May 12, 2014 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
  25. Merl Vandervort

    Is the GOP a stupid attractant?

    May 12, 2014 11:33 am at 11:33 am |
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