Stuff that matters


REUTERS/Chris Keane

Rubio’s new climate excuse: “I am 100 percent in favor of mitigation, if in fact sea levels are rising.”

The Florida senator and former presidential candidate argued against policies to reduce carbon emissions at a debate against challenger Rep. Patrick Murphy on Monday, not paying mind to the irony that rising seas nearly lapped at his feet.

Rubio said he’s all for an “all-of-the-above energy strategy,” including renewables.

“I just think it’s frankly irresponsible not to also say we’re going to fully utilize natural gas and oil and nuclear energy. And, yes, clean coal technology has a place in it as well. We should have the broadest, most diverse energy subset possible.”

All-of-the-above is a handy talking point used by politicians who tend to want to keep fuels dirty, and it’s generally panned as ineffective means of reducing carbon emissions. Same goes for the myth of clean coal, which is hardly so clean.

At a presidential debate earlier this year, Rubio dismissed sea-level rise as “higher sea levels or whatever may be happening,” despite the fact that 2.4 million people are at risk from rising seas in South Florida alone. A new study shows a 400 percent increase in flooding in Miami Beach in just the last decade.

You’ll have to forgive Rubio, though. He’s not a scientist, man.