Rubio to take on climate change in GOP's State of Union response
WASHINGTON - Sen. Marco Rubio will offer up the Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address this week, demonstrating the younger, more diverse face of the party as the nation confronts such issues as immigration.
But Rubio doesn't think much of climate change, one of the other hot political topics of the moment. That puts the 41-year-old Rubio squarely in the anti-science wing of his party and among a shrinking number of Americans with doubts about global warming.
The Florida senator earlier this month in an interview questioned whether "man-made activity" is contributing most to global warming, and he suggested there's reasonable debate on whether there's "significant scientific consensus" on the human role. He also questioned whether there's anything the government can do to make a difference.
"When you look at the cost-benefit analysis that's being proposed, if you did all these things they're talking about, what impact would it really have on these changes that we're outlining?" Rubio said during the interview with BuzzFeed. "On the other hand, I can tell you the impact it would have on certain industries and on our economy, and that's where it falls apart."
The Sierra Club in Florida issued a statement that oozed with incredulity. In recent years, extreme weather has "seriously damaged Florida's infrastructure," said Frank Jackalone, the staff director of Sierra Club Florida.
Already, local governments are developing regional plans to deal with rising seas, which are projected to make problems much worse along the Florida coastline. Studies show that Florida faces some dire consequences even with modest sea level rises. They include saltwater intrusion into freshwater supplies, damage to infrastructure such as roads and sewer lines, and flooding that could force people to abandon beachfront property. Some studies show sea levels rising as much as six and a half feet over the next century, said Harold Wanless, chairman of the geology department at the University of Miami.
"We cannot afford to sit idly while the threat of climate change becomes a dangerous reality," Jackalone said. "By denying the climate crisis and rejecting climate action, Marco Rubio's got his head buried in the sand - and that's a bad place to be when the seas are rising."
A spokesman for Rubio, Alex Conant, said, "Sen. Rubio doesn't think that big government can control the weather. But big government can hurt Florida's economy and destroy jobs."
There's no doubt that fiscal matters, immigration and gun control are expected to take precedence in the coming months. Yet Obama almost certainly will address climate change in his State of the Union speech. Obama said last month in his inaugural address that Americans have a moral obligation to address the consequences of global warming, and he's expected to offer more details Tuesday night.
Already, federal agencies are beginning to issue climate adaptation plans that outline what can be done to limit exposure of federal programs, assets and investments to the impacts of climate change, including sea level rise or more frequent or severe extreme weather. The Environmental Protection Agency warned in its preliminary adaptation plan that until now, the agency "has been able to assume that climate is relatively stable and future climate will mirror past climate."
"However, with climate changing more rapidly than society has experienced in the past, the past is no longer a good predictor of the future."
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Mark Marks said:
I don't understand why some people can have faith in god yet not believe the evidence of climate change. Oh well.
February 10, 2013 9:45 am
Michael Layon said:
The UL has become a progressive trashcan! "That puts the 41-year-old Rubio squarely in the anti-science wing" A the hypothesis "climate change is anthropogenic (manmade)" has never been proven. it is contentious, there is NO consensus. Scientists rarely agree on anything. Mr Gore perpetrated the idea thanks to the UN and its agenda 21, though MR Gore is not a scientist himself. Is climate changing? YES!!!! Is such change the result of man? hardly has as much been actually studied, let alone proven. The federal government has funded research to study climate change so long as the underlying assumption is that such change is anthropogenic in nature. NEVER have we asked the question and addressed it of whether such change in anthropogenic. One thing is concrete, the emission of carbon dioxide is directly proportional to the quality of life in a given population. Third world countries generally have a small "carbon footprint" which is a completely made up term with no meaning and no correlation any changes in climate. Further, if one wishes to call republicans anti-science I am calling you a ignorant lying *********. Look at the NIH budget-Thanks to Obama and 111th congress (both houses Dem Majority) now funded at levels below that of when the "evil" Bush took office. Medical research is plummeting and being off-shored by our dear leader because no one in his jack booted party will blame him for his actions.
February 10, 2013 10:41 am
John Forrest said:
Man does not have the ability to change the climate of a planet. We can mess it up and make it stink, but we cannot change its climate. Only our arrogance allows us to think that we have that much control over things that God made. If climate change was real, why is it that only the most productive western nations are feeling the need to make changes to their lifestyle in order to effect the change? In the meantime, China, India and the East continue to pollute the air like pros. Climate change is nothing but a threat to our economy and it looks like there are a lot of dopes falling for the anti-US, climate change story. The fools will continue to believe anything and everything the left wing media tells them.
February 10, 2013 11:41 am
John Mercier said:
Michael Layon... Not exactly. The studies look at past climate change before humans could have ever been a factor. This is why specifically man-made components are less in the media. John Forrest... Individually, we can change a micro-climate, which means as a species we can change the climate. Take a barefoot walk on a hot day across a paved area, then across a grassy area, and finally under a shaded area.
February 10, 2013 2:18 pm
Michael Layon said:
Mr Mercier, some studies look at past climate change. Some studies try to evaluate the current extent to which man is impacting "climate" NOAA not only issues grants, they have an entire site dedicated to brainwashing science out of "climate science". I wanted to ask the NH teacher this year who went on a NOAA paid vacation whether they discussed climate change and the possible etiologies of such. Unfortunately no comments were allowed on that article. The breadth of what has been investigated is broad, but is far biased to the unproven hypothesis that climate change in anthropogenic. One can prove this beyond a reasonable doubt, by reviewing publications and grants. Re the walk on a hot day, after you take that walk, the pavement is still hot, the grass cool (if moist) and the shaded area somewhat cooler. My walk did not affect the temperature enough to matter. I could take that walk infinitely and the forces of nature FAR outweigh any impact I have on temperature. That big round thing in the sky is lot more meaningful than CO2 or MH4. In fact the best insulator in our atmosphere is water vapor. When I urinate in the ocean I impact its volume about as much as man affects the temperature on earth...
February 10, 2013 3:12 pm
John Mercier said:
Michael Layon... Did the trees just all of a sudden uproot and move themselves? Did the grass just magically teleport from Europe? Did the non-human species of fauna lay the pavement?
February 10, 2013 3:42 pm
Bob Lake said:
Rubio - the republican savior.
February 10, 2013 4:51 pm
MICHAEL KING said:
John you really do have a front seat at the kool aid bar. Mark Marks, what? I am curious based on what fact do the climate changers believe in? 4k years ago egypt was in a 200 year long drought. What caused that all those chariots consuming carbon based energy fuels? Recently I read an article thar claimed the biggest influence on our weather/climate was/is the sun. John, take a seat w/Al Gore and his climate change stance. You do know that he stand to make Millions of $ on the carbon buying thing correct? Al aint all that bad, he amde plenty olf green ($) goliing green with Al Jazzera. John you a 1% like our Gov? An eletist telling the rest of us how to live.
February 10, 2013 7:26 pm
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