FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Republicans Attack the Pope

Last week climate change denier, US Senator from Florida and GOP presidential hopeful Marco Rubio offered comments in response to the Papal encyclical on climate change by Pope Francis.

Rubio said first that he finds it “ironic that a lot of the same liberals who are touting the encyclical on climate change ignore multiple pronouncements of this pope on the definition of marriage and the sanctity of life.”

Rubio’s lead-in, in other words, is Nixonian: shifting from an indefensible position on climate change by blaming “liberals”, as though they should be placed in context, against the moral authority of the church before agreeing with the pope on the urgency for action to stop global warming.

Then, Rubio added: “I have no problem with what the pope did.”

Really. Although Rubio says he has “no problem” with the pope, he hasn’t acknowledged climate change in the past. His record is clear. Marco Rubio won’t even sit down to listen to climate change scientists who have asked for meetings with him, for years.

He immediately follows, “He (the Pope) is a moral authority and as a moral authority is reminding us of our obligation to be good caretakers of the planet. I’m a political leader and my job as a policymaker is to act in the common good.”

Reading carefully: Rubio is not only making a distinction between moral and political authority, he claims the moral authority of the pope is passive compared to political authority. An interesting view for a follower of Christ’s teachings.

Moreover, if what a politician does, is to “act” in the common good, as opposed to moral authority which is passive , how is it not in the common good to be “a good caretaker of the planet”?

As though some distant part of his brain had alerted him to the danger of spreading false dichotomies among likely American voters, Rubio slightly reworked his theme on the run, “And I do believe it’s in the common good to protect our environment. But I also believe it’s in the common good to protect our economy.”

This is Marco Rubio veering back to the Jeb Bush and GOP meme on global warming and the encyclical: that the pope should stay with religion and not meddle in economics, the realm of politics.

Finally, Rubio remembers the bullet points on the Fox News cheat sheet, “There are people all over this planet and in this country who have emerged from poverty in large respect because of the availability of affordable energy. It creates industries. It makes the cost of living lower. And we have to take that into account as well.”

If Marco Rubio had paid any attention at all to the environment during his political career — from the perspective of West Miami built haphazardly in former Everglades wetlands — he would understand that harm to the environment weighs most heavily on those least capable of bearing the costs: the poor, the needy, and the powerless. But Rubio, as state legislator in Florida and Jeb Bush loyalist, did not pay attention: while in the state legislature he did not just do the bidding of powerful economic interests that comprise Florida’s shadow government; he lead from the front.

The Republican notion on climate change — compelling civilization to walk forward while looking down at our shoelaces ignores the facts that Pope Francis offered in his encyclical: unless we deal with the causes of global warming now — right now — we face a global economic catastrophe that will first affect the poor but leave no one standing.

“We have to take that into account as well”, ie. the argument that short-term economic priorities trump long-term security is the famous refuge of climate change dodgers. The reason: implicit in “take that into account as well” is delay and driving debate back into the high weeds of uncertainty.

Almost on cue, the Obama administration yesterday released the first analysis of imminent costs to the US economy from global warming. “In the absence of global action to curb greenhouse gas emissions, the United States by the end of the century may face up to $180 billion in economic losses because of drought and water shortages, according to a report released Monday by the White House and Environmental Protection Agency. White House officials said the report, which analyzes the economic costs of a changing climate across 20 sectors of the American economy, is the most comprehensive effort to date to quantify the impacts of global warming.” (NY Times)

In his response to the papal encyclical, his own words demonstrate why Marco Rubio is unqualified to be president. To much of the world, it is a surprise that climate change deniers like Rubio are U.S. senators at all.

Alan Farago is president of Friends of the Everglades and can be reached at afarago@bellsouth.net

More articles by:

Alan Farago is president of Friends of the Everglades and can be reached at afarago@bellsouth.net

bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
March 27, 2020
Friday - Sunday
Rob Urie
Bailouts for the Rich, the Virus for the Rest of Us
Louis Proyect
Life and Death in the Epicenter
Paul Street
“I Will Not Kill My Mother for Your Stock Portfolio”
Jeffrey St. Clair
Roaming Charges: The Scum Also Rises
Pam Martens - Russ Martens
Stimulus Bill Allows Federal Reserve to Conduct Meetings in Secret; Gives Fed $454 Billion Slush Fund for Wall Street Bailouts
Jefferson Morley
Could the Death of the National Security State be a Silver Lining of COVID-19?
Ruth Hopkins
A Message For America from Brazil’s First Indigenous Congresswoman
Kathleen Wallace
The End of the Parasite Paradigm
Anthony DiMaggio
Misinformation and the Coronavirus: On the Dangers of Depoliticization and Social Media
Andrew Levine
Neither Biden Nor Trump: Imagine Cuomo
David Rosen
God’s Vengeance: the Christian Right and the Coronavirus
David Schultz
The Covid-19 Bailout: Another Failed Opportunity at Structural Change
Evaggelos Vallianatos
In the Grip of Disease
Edward Leer
Somebody Else’s World: An Interview with Kelly Reichardt
Robert Fisk
What Trump is Doing in the Middle East While You are Distracted by COVID-19
Daniel Warner
COVID-19: Health or Wealth?
Thomas Klikauer – Norman Simms
Corona in Germany: Hording and Authoritarianism
Ramzy Baroud
BJP and Israel: Hindu Nationalism is Ravaging India’s Democracy
Richard Moser
Russia-gate: the Dead But Undead
Ron Jacobs
Politics, Pandemics and Trumpism
Chris Gilbert
Letter From Catalonia: Alarming Measures
Richard Eskow
Seven Rules for the Boeing Bailout
Jonathan Carp
Coronavirus and the Collapse of Our Imaginations
Andrew Bacevich
The Coronavirus and the Real Threats to American Safety and Freedom
Peter Cohen
COVID-19, the Exponential Function and Human the Survival
César Chelala - Alberto Luis Zuppi
The Pope is Wrong on Argentina
James Preston Allen
Alexander Cockburn Meets Charles Bukowski at a Sushi Bar in San Pedro
Jérôme Duval
The Only Oxygen Cylinder Factory in Europe is Shut down and Macron Refuses to Nationalize It
Neve Gordon
Gaza Has Been Under Siege for Years. Covid-19 Could Be Catastrophic
Alvaro Huerta
To Survive the Coronavirus, Americans Should Learn From Mexicans
Prabir Purkayastha
Why the Coronavirus Pandemic Poses Fundamental Challenges to All Societies
Raouf Halaby
Fireside Chatterer Andrew Cuomo for President
Thomas Drake
The Sobering Realities of the American Dystopia
Negin Owliaei
Wash Your Hands…If You Have Water
Felice Pace
A New Threat to California’s Rivers:  Will the Rush to Develop Our Newest Water Source Destroy More Streams?
Ray Brescia
What 9/11 Can Teach Us About Responding to COVID-19
ADRIAN KUZMINSKI
The Covid-19 Opportunity
John Kendall Hawkins
An Age of Intoxication: Pick Your Poison
Kollibri terre Sonnenblume
The Propaganda Virus: Is Anyone Immune?
Nicky Reid
Fear and Loathing in Coronaville Volume 1: Dispatches From a Terrified Heartland
Nolan Higdon – Mickey Huff
Don’t Just Blame Trump for the COVID-19 Crisis: the U.S. Has Been Becoming a Failed State for Some Time
Susan Block
Coronavirus Spring
David Yearsley
Lutz Alone
CounterPunch News Service
Letter from Truthdig’s Editor-in-Chief Robert Scheer to the Publisher Zuade Kaufman
CounterPunch News Service
Statement From Striking Truthdig Workers
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail