The issue of climate change is one that deeply divides the American electorate and continues to drive a wedge between both political parties. Continuing the trend, one top Republican has taken a firm step with the party line.
During an interview with ABC this past weekend, Republican senator from Florida, Marco Rubio stated that he didn't believe in climate change or that humans contribute in any way. Rubio even went as far as to say he doesn't believe scientists on the issue of climate change even though 97 percent agree that climate change is not only happening, but that humans have had an impact.
“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.”
Taken aback, host Jonathan Karl doubled down on his question for Rubio and the Florida Republican continued his Tea Party molded response.
Karl: But let me get this straight, you do not believe human activity — C02 — has caused warming to our planet?
Rubio: I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientist are portraying it...and I do not believe the laws that they propose we pass will do anything about it. Except, it will destroy our economy.
Marco Rubio seems to be positioning himself as the Tea Party favorite in the upcoming 2016 presidential election. By taking a hard-line stance against climate change, Rubio shifted the discussion to the economy. While the economy is the most important factor heading into the election, by moving so far to the right on the issue of science, Rubio will leave himself vulnerable to more moderate establishment Republicans. The far right and Tea Party have taken an anti-science approach and even when nearly all scientists agree in manmade climate change, the far political right have found a way to believe that the scientists are wrong and the conservative politicians are right.
Climate change is something that many people can't wrap their finger around because it happens slowly and over a long period of time. The economy is something people feel day in and day out, but for the "average Joe," climate change doesn't seem to have such big effect on their daily lives. If people want know where to stand with issues of science, listening to scientists as oppose to Republican politicians seems to be the smart choice.