If American presidents need to prove a basic ability to accept facts, then Senator Marco Rubio of Florida—who’s publicly mulling a run — just disqualified himself from competition.Paul Whitefield at The Los Angeles Times:
In an interview with ABC on Sunday, days after the release of an alarming White House report on the present and future effects of climate change on the United States, Mr. Rubio said:
“I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it.” [...] Here’s the kicker: Mr. Rubio sits on the Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and the Subcommittee on Science and Space.
Marco Rubio wants to be president of the United States this century. Much of coastal Florida probably won’t be underwater until next century. As with most political careers, timing is everything. [...] To be fair, Rubio didn’t go off the deep end. He didn’t deny that the climate is changing. He just said it’s not our fault, so why not adopt Mad magazine’s Alfred E. Neuman approach: “What, me worry?”Much more below the fold.
Or, to put it in terms the Koch brothers would approve of: “Let’s make money while the sun is still shining.” Because, you know, there will be big bucks in building seawalls and dikes and the like as the water laps at our coastal cities in 100 years or so.
Steve Chapman at The Chicago Tribune:
In 2012, Rick Santorum called global warming a "hoax." Mitt Romney originally acknowledged humans were causing the climate to heat up, but reversed course, saying, "I don’t know if it’s mostly caused by humans." That position is what primary voters demand. So expect the Republican Party to keep denying what is increasingly untenable to deny.Alec MacGillis at The New Republic:
It would be one thing if Rubio was trying to downplay man-made climate change if he was the senator from a state that is greatly dependent on drawing fossil fuels out of the earth and pumping carbon dioxide into the atmosphere—say, Oklahoma or West Virginia or North Dakota. But Rubio represents Florida, and is in fact from Miami. Which—how to say this nicely?—is in the process of drowning. [...] Meanwhile, the projections of the damage sea-level rise will do to major American cities show Miami faring worse than any other except New Orleans. A mere five-foot rise would flood 20 percent of Miami and 94 percent of Miami Beach (compared with a mere one percent of Baltimore and seven percent of New York.) A 12-foot-rise would flood all of Miami Beach and 73 percent of Miami. (Tampa doesn’t fare a whole lot better.)Jeffrey Kluger at TIME looks at Rubio's disingenuousness:
The same disingenuousness is true of Rubio’s statement to CNN that, “I think that it’s an enormous stretch to say that every weather incident that we read about or a majority of them are attributable to human activity.” Again, it would indeed be a terrible stretch if scientists were saying such a thing—which is why they’re not. Indeed, it’s why they stress again and again that weather isn’t climate, that today’s heat wave in Arizona or flood in Colorado is nothing more than bad news for the people who live there, but that over time—say, over “a few decades of research”—trends emerge, patterns reveal themselves, and scientific theory becomes inescapable if still incomplete fact.And finally, The Washington Post:
Rubio may realize all that already or he may not—only he knows. Either way, by saying the things he’s said he has indeed made a strong case that he’s ready to run for president—and an even stronger case that he’s not ready to hold the job
On Sunday, Mr. Rubio insisted that he is ready to be president. We hope he does not count sidling up to climate change denial as a qualification. It is quite the opposite.