Rubio’s dog-whistle on climate change

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During his response to the State of the Union, Senator Marco Rubio said, “

When we point out that no matter how many job-killing laws we pass, our government can’t control the weather — he accuses us of wanting dirty water and dirty air.”

Jonathan Chait sees Rubio’s comment as climate skeptic dog whistle:

[W]hat’s going on here is that Rubio wants to uphold the Republican position without coming across to non-Republicans as a total yahoo. So he is not directly questioning the carbon-climate link, but instead moving his skepticism to the climate-weather link. Saying “government can’t control the weather” sounds plausible enough — a way to take a position that doesn’t sound completely insane to audiences but is, in fact, completely insane. In this way, it is the quintessential Marco Rubio utterance.

Ezra Klein also pushes back:

No one suggests the government can control the weather. The argument — which is thoroughly in line with market-based economics — is that carbon can be priced to better reflect the harm it does to the environment.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.