"Sure, the climate is changing, but it always has been": Rubio wriggles like a hooked worm on the question of man-made climate change

Rubio earned a Masters in non-answers for his equivocation on a topic of vital importance to his state

By Scott Eric Kaufman
March 11, 2016 8:34AM (UTC)
main article image
Republican presidential candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., speaks during a campaign rally in Hialeah, Fla., Wednesday, March 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (AP)

Given that Thursday night's debate is in Florida -- the state that all climate models agree will be the second one to disappear into the ocean after Louisiana if major changes to environmental policy aren't embraced -- it's not surprising that CNN's Jake Tapper asked the Republican hopefuls about their position on the anthropogenic nature of climate change.

The GOP candidates, of course, wriggled like hooked worms against the inevitable, beginning with Marco Rubio, who as a Florida senator should be more concerned than most.


"Sure, the climate is changing," he said, "and one of the reasons the climate changes is because the climate has always been changing." Which is, of course, true -- systems in flux seek equilibrium, etc., but that has no bearing on whether human activity has upset that equilibrium, or whether changes in human behavior can render parts of the planet that will soon be uninhabitable, re-habitable.

Rubio did, however, have a clever -- albeit empty -- retort: "As far as law in Washington go, we can pass [them] to change the weather, [but] there's no such thing."

Scott Eric Kaufman

Scott Eric Kaufman is an assistant editor at Salon. He taught at a university, but then thought better of it. Follow him at @scottekaufman or email him at skaufman@salon.com.

MORE FROM Scott Eric KaufmanFOLLOW scottekaufmanLIKE Scott Eric Kaufman

Related Topics ------------------------------------------

2016 Gop Primary Climate Change Cnn Cnn Gop Debate Elections 2016 Marco Rubio Video