Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) was unable to name a single source when asked on Tuesday to name the information he is reading that has led him to recently further cement himself as a denier of human-caused climate change.
At a National Press Club event, Rubio was asked by an audience member, via a moderator, “what information, reports, studies or otherwise are you relying on to inform and reach your conclusion that human activity is not to blame for climate change?”
But Rubio was unable to respond with a single source, and dodged the question.
“Well, again, headlines notwithstanding, I’ve never disputed that the climate is changing, and I’ve pointed out that climate to some extent is always changing, it’s never static.” Rubio continued:
That’s not the question before me as a policymaker. If we ban all coal in the U.S., if we ban all carbon emissions in the United States, will it change the dramatic changes in climate and these dramatic weather impacts that we’re now reading about? And anyone who says that we will is not being truthful. The truth of the matter is the United States is a country. It is not a planet. And so there are things that we can do to become more efficient in our use of energies, there are things we can do to develop alternative sources of energy, there are things we can do to be better stewards of the energy resources that we have like natural oil and gas. But for people to go out and say if you passed this bill that I am proposing, this will somehow lead us to have less tornadoes and hurricanes. And that’s what I take issue with.
While his answer did not satisfy the question he was asked, it is actually something of a walk back from comments the Senator made over the weekend, when he said, “I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it.” Instead, he says, the United States can’t do it alone — something he’s said before.
Rubio is right that the United States can’t single-handedly reverse climate change — nothing can, and its effects are already being seen across the globe. But the U.S. does account for 19 percent of total carbon emissions in the world, just behind China, and a change to carbon emissions standards here at home — indeed any substantial reduction in greenhouse gas — would lessen the amount being pumped into the atmosphere and worsening climate change.
Rubio, who is publicly entertaining the idea of running for president, has been on a kick of climate denial lately. As the largest-ever report on climate change impacts in the United States came out last week — and predicted severe storms and sea level rise for Rubio’s home state of Florida — the Senator declared simply that President Obama is, “not a meteorologist.”