Friday, May 16, 2014

A very bad week for US Senator Marco Rubio: Climate change denier … by gimleteye

This week Marco Rubio's legacy as a climate change denier finally caught up with him.

We've been more critical of Rubio on this blog for his refusal to meet with scientists, a documented fact, than perhaps any other media outlet. The record is in our archive.

You can take the boy out of West Dade and its insta-grow suburbs bordering the Everglades, we wrote, but you can't take West Dade out of the boy. That is to say that Rubio has a very narrow understanding of the world.

His ascension through Florida's legislature was based on loyalty to then Governor Jeb Bush (remember the Obiwan moment? Again, our archive). Rubio, a Bush consigliere, quickly learned to reduce complex issues by reading executive summaries, memorize bullet points, and redeliver scripts persuasively to a television camera.

That is exactly what he has done on climate change, representing the extremist right wing of the GOP.

At the National Press Club this week, Rubio was confronted by reporters asking him what scientific evidence he could cite to support his claim that climate change was not occurring. It was a deep embarrassment, and one that widened as newspaper editorials across the state of Florida and the nation have singled out Rubio.

Rubio instantly ran to Fox News to cover. This morning, the Miami Herald also gave Rubio cover. Marc Caputo reports that Rubio is not a climate change denier, but a climate change skeptic.

We have a word for that: BS. (And for pandering to Rubio, shame on the Herald.)

A skeptic does not refuse to meet with scientists. Two years ago, EOM wrote, "Florida is in the cross-hairs of climate change, with its economy at severe risk. Yet US Senator Marco Rubio refuses to meet with qualified climate change scientists to review the facts. Dr. Harold Wanless, chair of the Dept. of Geology of the University of Miami, personally handed an invitation to Senator Rubio to meet with climate change scientists, who never responded to Dr. Wanless despite promising he would."

A skeptic would meet with scientists, and then have an explanation why only 3 percent of the world's climate experts are more informed than the 97 percent who factually assert that climate change is a man-made phenomenon. A denier like Marco Rubio refuses to meet with scientists. Marco Rubio is a climate change denier.

A skeptic does not blatantly ignore evidence in his own community of the costs and impacts of climate change, then say that the economic costs of meeting climate change are too expensive. A skeptic doesn't look at the geologic record, hundreds of thousands of years before homo sapiens emerged, and deny the facts that C02 emissions are higher than they have been in the history of civilization.

A skeptic doesn't stand on American exceptionalism -- as Marco Rubio does -- and then ignore how his own embrace of climate change denial has diminished America's standing in the world.

Yesterday, US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse from Rhode Island sent Marco Rubio an unusual appeal to reconsider his position. We hope Senator Rubio does, but as the latest Rick Santorum, we suspect Mr. Rubio has been tasked to walk point by the extremist right to create some room for others to fold in behind him. For this, he will be rewarded. And for that, we should be more than skeptical. Angry, is the better word.


Anonymous said...

Wow! That is quite a slapdown by Sen. Whitehouse.

Unfortunately, the Sen. from RI knows more about, and appears to care more for, our State than our Junior Senator.

Anonymous said...

Extremists; entitled like everyone else to their own opinions but not their own facts. These guys in the 1950s used to be the John Birch Society. Now they own the Republican Party.

Anonymous said...

Rubio can actively fight against Miami Beach receiving any federal funds for drainage projects. Either the bay is rising or Miami Beach is sinking.

Harry Emilio Gottlieb said...

Any chance an investigative reporter could please research the high school and college report cards of Marco Rubio. How did he do in science and history? Isn’t there a minimum “C” grade requirement,
in order to qualify for Congress? Or is simply having a pulse sufficient?

Rubio claims to be skeptical about science in general and mankind’s influence on Climate Change in particular. Does he accept the fact that the earth revolves around our sun? That comets and eclipses don’t predict doom. That natural selection and species evolution are real. If not, then will Neil deGrasse Tyson please help us with an intervention and send him the DVD’s of “Cosmos”.

You have to wonder if Rubio knows anyone that smokes cigarettes!
How many years of inhaling tar, nicotine and a long list of carcinogenic does it to take before the human body reacts negatively? How much damage has mankind done to our atmosphere, seas, lakes, rivers, earth and food chain since the industrial revolution began around 1760?

Is Rubio really that blatantly ignorant of science and history? Or is he just dumbing down his political rhetoric, so as to be more appealing to his Tea Party constituents? Either way, our country and civilization deserves considerably better!

Anonymous said...

Actually, it was a very good week for Rubio. He strengthened his base, and that is what is politically important: strengthening your base, not trying to convince your opponents.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, I would have hoped that Rubio's base was the people of Florida.

This isn't about "denial" - science isn't a belief anyway - it is about blowing the dog whistle saying "I oppose everything Obama" even if it means selling out your own people.

To be non-partisan about it, Rubio suggests that Democrats would have voted down the Cap/Trade bill too. That's true because of oil-state dems.

But Florida doesn't have an oil industry, so he's selling out just to be a contrarian and get noticed.

Anonymous said...

The cost of gaming the system for big oil and attacking renewables like solar: China now spends more than the US in solar.

From Forbes:

"According to China’s 12th Five-Year Plan for Economic and Social Development (2011-2015), the country will spend $473.1 billion on clean energy investments over the next five years. China’s goal is to have 20 percent of its total energy demand sourced from renewable energy by 2020."

They are already working to corner the market on production of solar, and the per-watt retail cost of solar panels is below $1 per watt (it was above $6 just a decade ago).

We stand to lose out to China in a big way in yet another industry we invented because of people like Rubio.

Anonymous said...

Now, why in the world would Rubio listen to Whitehouse, who is a Democrat?? Rubio acted like a typical Republican when he shifted the argument from climate change to abortion. That is such a typical tactic of those kinds of people. Another commenter was right: Rubio had a great week - he strengthened his base.

Armando said...

I ask again . . . what did our cavemen ancestors do to cause global warming and end the ice age? Was it their cars?

Why can't anyone answer this question>

Anonymous said...

With one simple question, Armando exposed the global warming cultists to be complete morons. Bravo, Armando. Bravo.

Anonymous said...

Climate change is happening but it is caused by solar variations beyond human control.

The most apparent variations in solar intensity are linked to the 11-year sunspot cycle. Satellite observations indicate that solar intensity only varies by around 0.1% or about 0.24 W per m2 over one cycle. As a result, the timing and amount of change in solar radiation are unable to account for the large and steady increase in temperature since 1970.
It has also been hypothesized that the sun varies on longer timescales than the 11-year sunspot cycle. However, reconstructions of the long-term variations in solar activity over the last 400 years are only able to explain a small fraction of the warming observed in the industrial period.

Anonymous said...

Plants emit more carbon dioxide than humans, so why aren't we blaming them?

Anonymous said...

Rubio is such a lightweight.

Anonymous said...

He was able to make it to the Senate. Whereas the real lightweight, in spite of changing parties, couldn't do it.

Anonymous said...

To Armando,
The retreat of the ice and glaciers in cave mans time did not happen within a 100 Years, but over thousand Years time. It's the speed of change that's pointing to man made convincingly. Including the worst change:
The explosive expansion of the human race with its consumption habits.

Sorry to rain on your parade.

Science Teacher said...

The last anon is incorrect. Actually, the shifts from cold stadials to the warm interstadial intervals (aka global warming) during the last glacial period occurred in a matter of decades, with air temperatures over Greenland rapidly warming 8 to 15°C.

Source: Huber, C. et al. Isotope calibrated Greenland temperature record over Marine Isotope Stage 3 and its relation to CH4. Earth and Planetary Science Letters 243, 504-519 (2006)

Anonymous said...

Science Teacher proves the global warming crowd will just make things up when they are stumped! Love it!

Ted Baker said...



Anonymous said...

Charlie Crist picked up a ton of political capital when he GAVE Rubio his job. CC bought the Governor's mansion back by dropping out of the Senate race...