Thursday, February 20, 2014

OFA again targets Marco Rubio as being a climate denier

Posted By on Thu, Feb 20, 2014 at 3:05 PM

Volunteers with Organizing for America (OFA), the community organizing project of the Democratic National Committee designed to help advocate for President Obama's policy positions, held events all across the county on Thursday, calling out members of Congress who they contend refuse to accept the basic science of climate change.

In Tampa, that meant attending the local district office of Senator Marco Rubio, one of only two federal lawmakers in the entire Sunshine State listed by OFA as "climate deniers."

"We are continuing to voice our concern about Senator Rubio's continuing denial of human factors in climate change," said Roger Crescentini, who led a handful of activists hoping to meet with staff members in the Senator's office.

Unbeknownst to them, however, Rubio recently moved his Tampa office from near the sprawling USF campus in North Tampa to West Kennedy Blvd.

Disappointed that they could not make direct contact with local staffers of the Senator, Crescentini and friends showed this reporter the letter they wanted to distribute to his staff that asked him to clarify four points:

1)Why do you deny this point?
2) What scientific evidence can you cite that refutes this point?
3) What information sources do you rely on to form your opinion?
4) What facts are missing, in your view, that would influence you to change your mind?

"Florida is one of the most vulnerable areas of the world to the impact of climate change as the scientists have predicted," Crescentini added, referring to countless studies that indicate that the state could see sea levels rise by as much as four to six feet by the end of the century.

OFA has a separate webpage that lists 160 members of Congress who they claim are in the denial phase when it comes to acknowledging man-made global warming. Surprising, perhaps, is the fact that just two of those people represent Florida in Congress: Rubio and GOP Representative Jeff Miller from the Panhandle region.

Miller has been quoted as saying “It wasn’t just a few years ago, what was the problem that existed? It wasn’t global warming, we were gonna all be an ice cube. We’re not ice cubes. Our climate will continue to change because of the way God formed the earth."

"The sooner they get on this problem, the sooner they work on it to solve it, the better off we will be," OFA's Tom Filbert said.

On Sunday Secretary of State John Kerry gave a speech in Jakarta, where he called the threat of climate change "the greatest challenge of our generation."

Kerry also dismissed skeptics as members of the "Flat Earth Society" for doubting the reality of catastrophic climate change, saying,"We should not allow a tiny minority of shoddy scientists" and "extreme ideologues to compete with scientific facts." But those statements were challenged in an op-ed in Thursday's Wall Street Journal by two University of Alabama professors of atmospheric science who were also members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore. They wrote:

Most of us who are skeptical about the dangers of climate change actually embrace many of the facts that people like Bill Nye, the ubiquitous TV "science guy," say we ignore. The two fundamental facts are that carbon-dioxide levels in the atmosphere have increased due to the burning of fossil fuels, and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a greenhouse gas, trapping heat before it can escape into space.

What is not a known fact is by how much the Earth's atmosphere will warm in response to this added carbon dioxide. The warming numbers most commonly advanced are created by climate computer models built almost entirely by scientists who believe in catastrophic global warming. The rate of warming forecast by these models depends on many assumptions and engineering to replicate a complex world in tractable terms, such as how water vapor and clouds will react to the direct heat added by carbon dioxide or the rate of heat uptake, or absorption, by the oceans.

Meanwhile, this is not the first time OFA has gone after Rubio for being a climate change denier. When the organization first made an issue of Rubio's statements on the issue last summer, PolitiFact went in to investigate.

Their response? Such a charge is "Mostly true."

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