Marco Rubio, Climate Scientist

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.

BACKGROUND

2010 Study: 97% Of 908 Climate Scientists With 20 Or More Papers Published Are Convinced By The Evidence Of Human-Induced Climate Change. According to Journalistsresource.org, “About 97% of the group with the most expertise — the 908 climate scientists with 20 or more papers published – are convinced by the evidence of human-induced climate change. Those who are unconvinced by the evidence make up ‘only 2% of the top 50 climate researchers as ranked by expertise (number of climate publications), 3% of researchers of the top 100, and 2.5% of the top 200.’” [Journalistsresource.org, 6/3/12, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2010]

Survey Of Scientific Papers Found That 97.2% Of Research Papers Expressing An Opinion About The Existence Of Human-Caused Global Warming Agreed That The Phenomenon Was Real. According to Environmental Research Letters, “We analyze the evolution of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic global warming (AGW) in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, examining 11 944 climate abstracts from 1991–2011 matching the topics ‘global climate change’ or ‘global warming’. We find that 66.4% of abstracts expressed no position on AGW, 32.6% endorsed AGW, 0.7% rejected AGW and 0.3% were uncertain about the cause of global warming. Among abstracts expressing a position on AGW, 97.1% endorsed the consensus position that humans are causing global warming. In a second phase of this study, we invited authors to rate their own papers. Compared to abstract ratings, a smaller percentage of self-rated papers expressed no position on AGW (35.5%). Among self-rated papers expressing a position on AGW, 97.2% endorsed the consensus. For both abstract ratings and authors’ self-ratings, the percentage of endorsements among papers expressing a position on AGW marginally increased over time. Our analysis indicates that the number of papers rejecting the consensus on AGW is a vanishingly small proportion of the published research” [Environmental Research Letters, 2013]

Phillips: “Our Influence” Is Responsible For More Republicans Being “Suspect Of The Science.” According to the National Journal, “Tim Phillips, president of Americans for Prosperity, says there’s no question that the influence of his group and others like it has been instrumental in the rise of Republican candidates who question or 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.’” [National Journal, 12/1/11]

2008: Florida Director Of Americans For Prosperity Called Rubio “A Strong Ally.” According to the St. Petersburg Times “House Speaker Marco Rubio is pursuing legislation similar to the revenue and spending cap considered this afternoon by the Taxation and Budget Reform Commission. “Speaker Rubio is a strong ally,” said Adam Guillette, Florida director of Americans For Prosperity, a group that worked with TBRC Commissioner Mike Hogan. Guillette said he had planned to meet again with Rubio tomorrow but is putting it off until later in the week or next week.” [St. Petersburg Times, 2/11/08]

David Koch Contributed $4,800 To Rubio In 2010. According to Influence Explorer, David Koch contributed a total of $7,200 in 2010 with two separate contributions of $2,400 on 3/17/10, 3/17/10, and a third attempted contribution on 3/25/10, which was refunded. [Influence Explorer, 5/11/14]

Charles Koch Contributed $2,400 To Marco Rubio In 2010. According to Influence Explorer, Charles Koch contributed $2,400 to Marco Rubio in 2010 (3/17/10). [Influence Explorer, 5/11/14]

Over His Career, Rubio Has Received $32,200 From Individuals And PACs Associated With Koch Industries. According to Open Secrets, Rubio has received $32,200 from individuals and PACs associated with Koch Industries. [Open Secrets, 5/12/14]

Rubio Was Only Senator To Receive “Perfect” Rating From Koch-Backed AFP In 2013. According to the Daily Caller, “To one conservative group, Marco Rubio is the only perfect senator. Americans for Prosperity, a self-described ‘free market grassroots organization,’ announced its scorecard of the 112th Congress on Wednesday. That group ranks lawmakers by percentage based upon votes they took on certain bills that affect ‘economic freedom.’ The only senator to get a perfect 100 percent rating? Rubio, the freshman Florida senator thought to be gearing up for a possible 2016 presidential race. According to the group, this year’s scorecard includes votes on ‘repeal of President Obama’s new health care law, preempting EPA’s purported authority to regulate greenhouse gases, [House budget] Chairman Paul Ryan’s budget, ending ethanol subsidies, several Congressional Review Act resolutions to overturn new regulations, and the fiscal year 2012 appropriations bills.’” [Daily Caller, 2/20/13]