GOP’s Future Still Stuck In The Past: Rubio Claims There’s ‘Reasonable Debate’ On Cause Of Climate Change

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a much-speculated presidential contender, has been hailed as the future of the Republican Party. But at a BuzzFeed event on Tuesday night, Rubio showed no signs that the new GOP is any different from the old. In fact, Rubio sounded exactly like Mitt Romney when he discussed the scientific consensus on climate change.

Rubio said he has “seen reasonable debate” over whether humans are causing climate change:

MARCO RUBIO: Anything that we would do on [climate change] would have a real impact on our economy, but probably, if it was only us doing it, a very negligible impact on the environment….

The U.S. is a country, not a planet. On the other hand if we unilaterally impose these things on the economy it will have a devastating impact. There has to be a cost benefit analysis to everyone of these principles people are pushing on. The benefit is difficult to justify when it’s only us doing it, no one else is doing it.

BEN SMITH: Do you see global warming as a threat to Florida?

RUBIO: The climate is always changing, that’s not the question. The question is if man made activity is what’s contributing the most to it. I know people said there’s a significant scientific consensus on that issue, but I’ve actually seen reasonable debate on that principle.

Romney made similar remarks on the campaign trail, when he said “we don’t know what’s causing climate change.”

However, Rubio gets the math wrong on the costs of climate change, especially in a state as vulnerable as Florida: One study shows that worsening extreme weather would cause Florida to lose up to $345 billion by the end of the 21st century from tourism losses, hurricane damages, real estate losses, and increased costs of electricity generation. By comparison, climate action imposes little cost.

So far, Republican attempts to “rebrand” the GOP show a party repackaging old policies in name only. Rubio’s recent record includes dabbling in creationism, voting against the Violence Against Women Act, and a poor attempt to moderate his anti-LGBT record.

32 Responses to GOP’s Future Still Stuck In The Past: Rubio Claims There’s ‘Reasonable Debate’ On Cause Of Climate Change

  1. Mike Roddy says:

    You don’t rise that high in the Republican Party unless you are a denier. Rubio is willing to allow Miami to be underwater in the service of his political ambitions.

    “The benefit is difficult to justify if it’s only us doing it”. Huh? We are one of the few developed nations right now that is not doing it.

  2. Mitch Beales says:

    Republicans don’t have a clue what “reasonable” or “debate” means.

  3. Chris says:

    He still thinks there is reasonable debate about the age of the Earth and the Universe.

  4. Will Fox says:

    “Some scientific conclusions or theories have been so thoroughly examined and tested, and supported by so many independent observations and results, that their likelihood of subsequently being found to be wrong is vanishingly small. Such conclusions and theories are then regarded as settled facts. This is the case for the conclusions that the Earth system is warming and that much of this warming is due to human activities.”
    — The National Academy of Sciences

  5. The “stupid party” digs in deeper.

    I have to believe that younger Repubs like Rubio and Bobby Jindal (who warned the GOP about being the “stupid party”) would be open to some one-on-one persuasion from Republican and Christian climate scientists. Also religious leaders. They need to be turned outside the public eye, and make it seem like their own idea, to save face.

    There’s some big upside for the first prominent Republican presidential hopeful to get out in front of his party on this issue.

    And the thing about other countries–they’re not going to do anything until we do. This should play squarely into the Republican notion of the US as world leader.

    Come on, Rubio. Sit down with Katherine Hayhoe and then step up!

  6. Fraidknot says:

    And still reasonable debate that the Earth is flat.

  7. DaveE says:

    “Anything that we would do on [climate change] would have a real impact on our economy”–probably true, but in fact those impacts could be very positive.

  8. Joan Savage says:

    “Anything that we would do on [climate change] would have a real impact on our economy.” – Rubio

    Yes. And in the long run, for the better.

  9. Bill Wilson says:

    His finger in the winds of his donors and party is the wether he believes and follows. The Reppublicans stand in front of their man made fans of denial for their benefits and the costs are socialized and thus not analized.

  10. Sasparilla says:

    Ah yes, but the Fossil Fuel Industry, the Koch’s and their campaign contributions/bribes say there is still debate.

  11. SecularAnimist says:

    Rubio will say whatever the Koch Brothers pay him to say.

  12. Sasparilla says:

    Ahhh, well we had a month without mention of the next presidential election. I love Rubio’s Fox News logic on why we shouldn’t take action…what a loser. On the other hand, I’ll bet the Democratic contenders will sound like Senator Obama on climate change did in 2008.

    My gut says the GOP won’t turn back on their fossil fuel bribed view of climate change until they are thrown out of both houses and the presidency decisively and for an extended period of time (past midterm elections) maybe not even then, based on the primary election funded threat of control these forces have inside that party (would seem a 2020 timeline at the earliest IMHO).

  13. Paul Magnus says:

    “The benefit is difficult to justify when it’s only us doing it, no one else is doing it.”

    what a load of tosh. Basically the GOP is and is run by people who are incapable of seeing the benefit of working together to achieve synergy in overcoming a threat or achieving a goal. They are desperately afraid of losing what relative wealth they have over others at alls expense. We see this time and time again. They are wallowing in and drowning in selfish greed. Easter island syndrome.

  14. M Tucker says:

    “So far, Republican attempts to “rebrand” the GOP show a party repackaging old policies in name only.”

    Yes, well that is exactly what rebranding means. Republicans are not going to change policy they just want to sound different. If that doesn’t get them more wins in the next election they will tamper with how electoral votes are awarded. Since they refuse to change their policies they must continue with doublespeak, too bad Orwell is not around to witness this.

  15. David Goldstein says:

    He and his ilk – the one’s in policy and leadership positions – are committing crimes against humanity when they make statements such as these. They are criminals- nothing less – and of a much more odious variety than most criminals. I still seethe that Pres. Obama did not strongly declaim Rick Perry’s directly defamatory statements against climate scientists. By letting such statements slide, he is aiding and abetting destructive ignorance. Where is the righteous anger??

  16. doninsd says:

    In 1900 the world population was 900 million, today it is close to 7 billion. Anybody that seriously says adding that many heat generating, energy using entities to the earth does not change the environment is either lying through their teeth, or is seriously mentally impaired.

  17. Agree. They are the aggrieved disentitled.

    I have some hope that “conservative” first and second generation children of immigrants don’t have that sense very deeply, and can be persuaded that common sacrifice is not the same thing as a giveaway and doesn’t cheapen their achievements. They don’t have a vestigial notion that this country was founded by white English-speakers for white English-speakers, which seems to drive a lot of white “conservative” attitude.

  18. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    The unnatural selection for the dumbest, most ignorant and most devious is a wonder to behold. The process has been going on in Australia for about forty years, and is known as ‘the march to the Right’ of both major parties. That not a single politician has broken from the consensus and denounced the social viciousness, the one-sided class war for the rich, the eager participation in wars of neo-imperial aggression or the suicidal denial of the ecological crises, tells you just about all you need to know about the calibre of the creatures who rise to the top in public life.

  19. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    That there are still dullards and ignoramuses about, in huge numbers, who prefer nonsense, pernicious nonsense, to science and rationality, tells you all you need to know about the malignant influence of money in human affairs. And money seems mysteriously attracted to the worst types.

  20. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    They simply do what the weight of money tells them to do. It’s as simple as that. ‘The Best Democracy that Money can buy’.

  21. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    It’s the ‘our economy’ bit that is the key. ‘Our’ means ‘us’, which means his financiers, which means the fossil fuel loons. ‘Our’ does not encompass all the ‘little people’.

  22. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Very witty! The old, castrated sheep, lucky that the ‘costs’ are not ‘analised’. It would be rather uncomfortable, to say the least.

  23. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    As John Norton, a colourful Sydney identity in the 19th century and early 20th, observed, ‘An honest copper is one who, once bought, stays bought’.

  24. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    It’s exactly what the hard Right in Australia say. ‘Why should little old Australia do anything, when we are so tiny?’ And Rightists everywhere need only argue thus ( a real crock in Australia as we have nearly the highest per capita emissions, and export far more in the form of coal and gas)in every single country, and nothing gets done. The idea of global co-operation, with all those dreadful non-Europeans, doesn’t appeal at all, naturally.

  25. Rabid Doomsayer says:

    This is all coming to an end far sooner than any realize. We had the opportunity to save much and build something better.

    That the human population has far overshot the planet’s carrying capacity is evident in so many ways. Climate change is probably the worst problem we face, but far from the only one. Politics too can be unsustainable.

    One such as Mulga told me twenty years ago that the US would destroy itself. Then I could not see that ever happening. Now all the forces he talked about are evident even to my eyes.

  26. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Or both.

  27. sandyh says:

    Another science denier. This guy wants to bring his Flat Earth philosophy to the world stage when he becomes president?

  28. Charles says:

    It’s taken the extremists in the GOP 30+ years to gain total control of the party. Rebranding won’t happen overnight. I would expect it to take at least 25 years. First they need to purge the current leadership in the Congress and ‘red state’ legislatures to prove they will be able to govern from a center/right position. (While I vote liberal, I can live with a government that is a little right of center.)

    Voting for a moderate or center/right Republican candidate won’t affect change because the leadership is still extremist and the extremists will set the agenda. Just look at the states where the GOP controls the legislature along with the governors mansion if you need proof.

  29. Conservatives who are in denial about climate change, perhaps thinking it is a liberal plot should visit the website of ConservAmerica (, formerly “Republicans for environmental Protection.

  30. Scott says:

    Just Another Republican sellout.

  31. mathazar says:

    At least in Australia, we actually have three Ministers for climate change.

  32. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    Larry, Curly and Moe- all useless.