We Don't Mean To Alarm You, But The News Is Talking About Climate Change
Hello Wonks and welcome to another edition of the Sunday Rundown! Time to look at the stupid, asinine or plain just lies spewed forth on the political Sunday shows. So let's jump right in.
Appearing on CNN's State of the Union with Jake Tapper, Senator Marco Rubio of Florida was asked about climate change and its effect on intensifying storms like Hurricane Michael or rising sea levels in Florida. Rubio began by admitting climate change was real:
TAPPER: A new report from the UN outlined a dire global forecast within the next 20 years. The Union of Concerned Scientists said Florida could lose more than one million homes by the end of the century due to rising sea levels because of climate change, which they say is manmade. What do you say to constituents who say, well, who ask, why are you not one of the leaders in Congress on this issue?
RUBIO: Well, I would say that that's not true. We are. We -- for example, we have funded this study in Congress that I have pushed for to better understand exactly what you have just said, primarily on the Atlantic side. Sea level rise and changes in the climate, those are measurable. So I don't think there's a debate about whether that is happening, because you can measure that.
Now Rubio's newfound admission that climate change is real was surprising -- or not, since he still insists that he's not sure humans affect it.
TAPPER: Do you believe it's at least in part manmade?
RUBIO: Yes, look, scientists are saying that humanity and its behavior is contributing towards that. I can't tell you what percentage of that is due to human activity. And I think many scientists would debate the percentage of what is attributable to man vs. normal fluctuations.
Just like he's been saying for years:
Even less surprising when you remember how he was part of the 2013 "Gang of 8" senators that were supposed to solve immigration reform. The same "Gang of 8" whose work he then threw away in 2016 to try to get elected. So if you had hope that Rubio might finally do something that requires action, you haven't paid attention to Marco Rubio.
Tapper then asked Rubio to think what legacy he would leave behind. Rubio was typical Rubio:
TAPPER: Yes. And, in 20 years, are you going to be able to say to your children and my children, these are the three or four things that I pushed for in Congress to help mitigate this factor?
RUBIO: Sure. Well, certainly, mitigating sea level rise, because no matter what we do -- no matter what we do with laws -- if, tomorrow, we stopped all carbon -- let's say we went to all solar panels and did all that stuff, which is not realistic, there still would be -- this still -- this trend would still continue. And so we're going to have to do something about the impact that it's having on low-level coastal areas. And that means mitigation, hardening, lifting -- how we manage water. We're all over that. We have been working on that very hard and continue to, strategies to mitigate against those factors that are going to be in place no matter what happens with our energy policy. But I'm also not going to destroy our economy. There's a reality here and there's a balance on that end of it that we need to be focused on.
Yes, God forbid we make hard choices and sacrifices to save Florida from drowning or getting blasted away by hurricanes. Truly inspirational leadership for the people of your state, Rubio.
Seen here remembering how much fun he had in his "cocaine days"
Due to Hurricane Michael's devastation, Kudlow was asked about the UN Climate Change Report and what Trump intends to do about it. Kudlow responded in his usual Kudlow way:
KUDLOW: Well look, we're always studying these things. I mean you had I guess Bill Nordhaus from Yale got a Nobel Prize on his own economic work with respect to climate change.
I respect that, he's a really brilliant guy. The issue here though is magnitudes and timing. Personally I think the UN study is – is over – way, way too difficult. I won't say it's a scare tactic, but I think they overestimate.
These models have not been very successful in the last 20 years and we have to be cognizant of the work that needs to be done. I'm not denying any climate change issues, George.
Then Kudlow said something that should set off ALL alarm bells:
KUDLOW: I think we're still exploring all of that. I don't think we should panic. I don't think there's a, you know, imminent catastrophe coming. But I think we should look at this in a levelheaded and analytic way.
And finally we end on the retiring senator of Arizona and human personification of a thoughts and prayers tweet, Jeff Flake. Also appearing on ABC's "This Week," he had concerns about climate change:
STEPHANOPOULOS: We just saw Larry Kudlow downplay the UN's findings on climate change. We've seen dramatic shifts in how Republicans think about climate change over the last several years. Are they going in the wrong direction?
FLAKE: I think so. I think that we've got – I mean there's been more recognition among Republicans, the administration hasn't taken the view of the some of us that this is something we really need to deal with.
But once again, as it is with the current batch of Republicans, give them long enough on a mic and you'll here what the true motivation is:
FLAKE: I hope that we can move along with the rest of the world and – and address this. It's – it's going to be challenging. Obviously that report that came out is – is pretty dire, but there are things that we can do and should do and I think Republicans need to be at the forefront if we want to keep – keep our place and keep our seats.
Oh, Jeff Flake. Never stop being the hollow man you are. Just keep warning all Republicans if they don't change their course, you'll just keep voting for every aspect of their agenda anyways until you retire. If we somehow harness your perpetual concerned inaction, we might just have enough renewable energy to solve the whole climate change crisis.
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