On Sunday, Senator Marco Rubio sat down with ABC News’ Jonathan Karl to discuss his potential run for President in 2016. Towards the end of the interview, Karl brought up the subject of climate change, which Rubio dismisses as a natural part of the environment and not a result of human actions.
Rubio was emphatic about this point:
“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. 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 do not agree with that. …I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it. And I do not believe that the laws they propose we pass will do anything about it. Except, it will destroy our economy.”
This flies in the face of recent reports, both domestic and abroad, that point to humans as prime contributors to greenhouse gases and global warming. On March 28, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change stated that “things are worse than we predicted,” and warned that if carbon emissions are not curbed, extreme environmental disasters are on their way.
This report was bolstered by the White House’s own 2014 National Climate Assessment, released on May 6, which places the blame squarely on human shoulders: “The amount of warming projected beyond the next few decades [is] directly linked to the cumulative global emissions of heat-trapping gases and particles.”
Rubio’s belief in natural over human climate change also clashes with American popular opinion, according to a recent Gallup poll. Fifty-seven percent of Americans now say that humans are the cause of global warming.
But Senator Rubio remains steadfast in his opinion. Critiquing current President Barack Obama on his climate policies, Rubio told CNN’s Bill Weir that Obama’s “not a meteorologist” and should refrain from empty environmental policies that will do nothing but harm the economy.
Rubio has yet to weigh in on Climate Central’s April 2014 report on his home state’s rising sea level. According to the non-profit group, Florida’s coast is primed to experience regular six-foot floods within this century, resulting in tens of billions of dollars in property damage.