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No, Marco Rubio didn't quite deny climate-change. At least not yet


The question, put by ABC's Jonathan Karl, was straightforward: "Let me get this straight: You do not think that human activity – the production of CO2 – has caused warming to our planet."

But Sen. Marco Rubio didn’t give a straightforward answer to the yes-or-no question.

“I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying,” Rubio said on This Week. “And I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it. Except it will destroy our economy.”

So Rubio’s not saying he doesn’t believe in man-made climate change, but he’s disputing “the way these scientists are portraying” it. 

Karl, in closing his “This Week” profile of Rubio, didn’t follow up by asking whether that was a yes or a no. And he attributed Rubio’s presidential ambitions to “talk like that that Rubio hopes will appeal to the conservatives he’d need to win the conservative nomination.”

Sure. But make no mistake, Rubio has long flirted with climate-change denialism. Rubio has been giving climate-change “talk like that” since at least 2007. On Aug. 25 of that year, then-Florida House Speaker Rubio penned a Miami Herald op-ed that bashed then-Gov. Charlie Crist’s cap-and-trade climate-change plans as “European-style big government mandates” that could have “negative consequences.”

Lauding Crist's “willingness to spend political capital tackling such an important issue,” Rubio said the approach would “have little, if any, impact on our environment and make life in Florida more expensive… Floridians are already paying too much in taxes and insurance. The last thing we need is an increase in our utility bills.”

Rubio then and now is playing a cautious game with climate change, never outwardly saying that human kind was not playing a role in global warming.

In 2009, the height of Obama’s popularity, Rubio said he believed cap and trade was “inevitable” and that “Florida should position itself for what I believe is inevitable.. do everything it can to be an early complier so it that can access early compliance funds and so that it can help influence what that cap and trade looks like at the federal level. So I'm in favor of giving the Department of Environmental Protection a mandate that they go out and design a cap and trade or a carbon tax program and bring it back to Legislature for ratification sometime in the next two years.”

A year later, U.S. Senate candidate Rubio (who beat Crist in the U.S. Senate race) would not have even countenanced such a plan.

And when Crist allies said he was flip-flopping, Rubio and his camp pointed out the cleverness of Rubio’s statements and cooperation on global warming legislation: He made sure to show enough support for it outwardly while insisting nothing happen until any plan return to the Legislature – which is dominated by Republicans where a significant number are climate-change deniers.

So does Rubio believe some weather events are attributable to man-made climate change and, if so, what percent?

We asked this of his media shop Wednesday and got back the standard Rubio reply: “He’s not a meteorologist.”

For years, Rubio has said that – only to then suggest he doesn’t believe what a majority of climate scientists and their research say about climate change.

For the past week, the Democratic National Committee has called Rubio a climate-change denier. First statement the DNC singled out was this Rubio line given to CNN “I think it's an enormous stretch to say that every weather incident that we now read about is -- or the majority of them -- are attributable to human activity.”

Actually, that might be true. But only because of one word “every.”

CNN didn’t follow up. Just like ABC. So if you wonder why politicians prefer TV news interviews, consider that.

Like CNN, ABC asked about climate change in reaction to a report this week showing more evidence for man-made climate change. But time and again, Rubio wasn’t asked specifics and he gave answers that allowed him to shift the focus – away from whether and how much he believed in man-made global warming and toward the safer ground where he criticized the remedies for climate-change.

“I don't agree with the notion that some are putting out there, including scientists, that somehow there are actions we can take today that would actually have an impact on what’s happening in our climate,” Rubio said (he wasn’t asked, however, about geo-engineering). “Our climate is always changing. And what they have chosen to do is take a handful of decades of research and say that this is now evidence of a longer-term trend that’s directly and almost solely attributable to man made activity. I don’t know of any era in world history where the climate has been stable. Climate is always evolving. And natural disasters have always existed.”

The ABC interview that aired on This Week didn’t include this quote that it posted on the web and that indicates Rubio believes the climate is changing:

“The fact is that these events that we’re talking about are impacting us, because we built very expensive structures in Florida and other parts of the country near areas that are prone to hurricanes. We’ve had hurricanes in Florida forever. And the question is, what do we do about the fact that we have built expensive structures, real estate and population centers, near those vulnerable areas? I have no problem with taking mitigation activity.”


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Rubio says man's role in climate change is "folklore". What more do you need to know? Also a pro-creationist, Marc Rubio "the age of the Earth is a mystery" clearly lives in the Dark Ages. The guy can't even drink water without making a a fool of himself on national TV. Ted Cruz, Rick Perry, Scott Walker, Michelle Bachmann, Chris Christie, Sarah Palin, The Mittster, yet another Bush, oh and don't forget Rand Paul, now Marc Rubio..wow what a line-up. The great state of Florida can do so much better. Or, bring back Donald Trump, at least he was funny!

Can't take anymore

Trump's hairpiece has more integrity than Marcocito. I cannot believe the man actually has any beliefs of his own, just the ability to endlessly pander without even blinking.


I'm surprised Marc Caputo is parsing Rubio's words in such a way as to give him an 'out', or 'benefit of doubt' as it were.

Rubio's words - and I heard them myself on This Week this morning - seemed pretty clear: Rubio does not believe our human activities have had any significant impact on climate. Any statistical changes anyone will point out he will attribute to ‘natural’ causes.

He said: “I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying”. If that is not denying the science of climate change, what is?

The problem with this type of thinking is that if we don’t acknowledge our role in the creation of the problem, we will never be able to solve it, but Rubio seems fine with that.

“... I do not believe that the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it.”

So Mr. Rubio, why don’t you write some legislation and get it passed that WILL do something positive for the citizens of Florida?

But, as Alfred E. Newman said “Why worry?”. When the sea rises and obliterates Florida’s economy (and real estate market) altogether, you’ll have relocated to Branson while everyone here has to try to sell their houses for pennies on the dollar and/or live in houseboats.


Thank God we're getting pushback on these Climate Doomers. The Democratic Party is rapidly turning into a Doomsday Cult, and it is doing to be destroyed because of it. The global climate is clearly not co-operating with the climate models, and we are sick of these folks pointing to every weather event as evidence of anything. When the opposite happens, they of course fall back on the old weather is not climate. If the middle class doesn't fork over $ 850 billion for a carbon tax, we're all doomed. God Lord, this is insanity, folks.


This article betrays a common misunderstanding. This is not an argument between acceptors and deniers of science. It is an argument between what might be called warmists and lukewarmists. Almost no one doubts that human activity has had an influence on climate. The question is how much, and how does the human factor compare to natural forces.

The response of global temperatures to human emissions of CO2 is called climate sensitivity, and in the science community there is a growing feeling - admittedly still a minority view - that climate sensitivity is low. The fact that temperatures have not risen at all since 1998 means that the number of those prepared to challenge the rather contrived consensus will grow much larger. Truth will eventually prevail, and future generations will marvel at the fact that we worked ourselves into a moral panic over a small increase in warming in the late 20th century that was well within natural variation.

Gary Lohr

All of you bedwetting lefties need not worry; If ever Rubio were to be nominated, all of his marital infidelites would be exposed. Cheating on your wife is in the Hispanic DNA code, and his will certainly become common knowledge.

ed jenkins

The citizens are thankful for this voice of reason Rubio who continues to promote a business friendly environment in our free market country. There are some unstable people who behave like chicken little whenever the temperature or other various factors are different one day than they were the previous. These simple minded people are not aware that the temperature and various other weather conditions have never been nor will they ever be constant as our planet has gone through periods of intense heat at formation to various ice ages. Unfortunately for these people they are not aware that our planet does not have a thermostat which citizens can control so that temperatures do not change although they have never answered the question of what is the correct temperature, humidity, barometric pressure or other measure which if the planet can be set to they will not complain any more.

The reality is that those complainers are communists and jealous people who have not achieved success who want to see others brought down to their level rather than a higher level of economic performance for all.


We can't even control the rain; but some conveniently fantasize controlling the climate with heavy taxation. I think the denial here has been assigned to the wrong crowd.

Seth Platt

What the Marco refuses to recognizes is the costs of not acting to prevent climate change far outweigh those to mitigate it. There are also many high paying green jobs that can and will be created with or without the help of Marco. If he can turn his back on his own home town that will undoubtedly suffer the consequences of sea level rise and deny scientific consensus while sitting on the Senate Science Committee, he cannot be trusted to fulfill his current seat.
Marco is a cold war baby that will never grow out of his narrow minded conservative rhetoric.

Bob Young

Senator Rubio is correct. The trivial amounts of CO2 being emitted by human activity, is NOT a primary driver of climate. Solar activity is. The so called climate models have been abjectly wrong since they are programmed to predict catastrophic warming based on minute increases in CO2 levels. The empirical data hasn't supported this, but yet the modelers keep telling us that their models are correct and nature is WRONG.

R. Lampe

I believe that all scientists backing measures that include the transfer of wealth, should make known their names and professional background. I could technically call myself a climate specialist since I have an above average interest in climate history.

R. Lampe

I believe that to react from fear of what the government tells you is an awful unhealthy way to look at the future. If you believe that any government will not try to deceive you at any time, especially when money is at stake, then you are also being deceived by yourself.

D Phillips

The UK's climate change head in the 1990's and 2000's, then a proponent of radical reaction to climate change warnings, now has a different perspective. After studying the underlying science for over 20 years, he no longer believes that climate change is a crisis. He is uncertain that man's role plays a significant role. Moreover, he believes that we should not take any action on climate change for at least 50 years when we might have a better knowledge. Why do so moany individuals who learn their science in popular periodicals and TV soundbites, think they are better informed?


Climate is not weather
weather is not climate

Anyone who uses one to deny the other is ignorant(eg Rubio). If you don't know why figure it out

The greenhouse effect accounts for 55F of the atmospheric temp. 10% of the greenhouse effect is due to CO2. Human activity dumped enough CO2 to increase CO2 50% (just add what we burned,etc etc) .... do the math its not hard if you are educated

Shripathi Kamath

SO Rubio is not a scientist, and he also does not believe the scientists who are telling him that global warming is real, and has a significant man-made component to it.

So why exactly should Marco Rubio be trusted on this matter at all?

Mark Anderson

Very few scientists are Republican, for a good reason.

JD Swallow

Shripathi Kamath: Do you think that Hussein Obama has a better idea of what the global climate is with this kind of "science adviser"?
The Ehlrichs and Holdren also gave voice to cooling alarmist Reid Bryson, who said this in his essay in their edited book of essays published in 1971, Global Ecology:
“I believe that increasing global air pollution, through its effect on the reflectivity of the earth, is currently dominant and is responsible for the temperature decline of the past decade or so.”

During the 1970s, there was also concern about anthropogenic global warming at some future date. The Ehrlichs and and Holdren covered this base in Ecoscience (p. 686):
“There can be scant consolation in the idea that a man-made warming trend might cancel out a natural cooling trend. Since the different factors producing the two trends do so by influencing different parts of Earth’s complicated climatic machinery, it is most unlikely that the associated effects on circulation patterns would cancel each other.”

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