Sen. Marco Rubio made headlines this weekend with an eyebrow-raising rebuke of science. Here’s what the 2016 presidential hopeful told ABC’s Jonathan Karl:
“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 manmade activity, I do not agree with that.”
It’s unclear when Sen. Rubio became a connoisseur of climate science with the authority to chide the 97% of climate scientists who agree that humans are contributing to climate change. Perhaps it has something to do with his courting of the far right and their deep-pocketed, Koch-funded outside groups like Americans for Prosperity, which promises to spend $125 million this year to buoy candidates that embrace their extreme agenda. AFP’s president, Tim Phillips, hasn’t parsed words in bragging about their role in pushing Republican candidates to deny climate science:
“We’ve made great headway. What it means for candidates on the Republican side is, if you … buy into green energy or you play footsie on this issue, you do so at your political peril. The vast majority of people who are involved in the [Republican] nominating process—the conventions and the primaries—are suspect of the science. And that’s our influence. Groups like Americans for Prosperity have done it.”
So there you have it. Marco Rubio was born and raised in Miami, a city that is severely threatened by rising sea levels associated with climate change. He has an opportunity as a Senator to take action on climate change, stand up for his constituents, and help protect his home state. But he’d rather protect his political aspirations, spewing the mythical rhetoric that the Koch brothers and their allies have made mainstream in today’s GOP. At least we know where his priorities lie.
Read more after the jump.