Scarborough: Left 'Overreached' on Climate Change

Monday, 12 May 2014 10:59 AM

By Wanda Carruthers

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Though mankind may be contributing to climate change, the left overreached on the issue a decade ago, and Republicans aren't going to embrace policies that will kill jobs just because of "ideological rampages," MSNBC's "Morning Joe" host Joe Scarborough said Monday.

Scarborough was responding to a statement by Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio where he downplayed the role of modern-day activities on climate change. In an interview Sunday on ABC's "This Week," Rubio said he did not "believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it."

Scarborough, a former Florida Republican congressman, said former Vice President Al Gore and other climate change proponents went too far when drawing a line in the sand, proclaiming it was an all-or-nothing issue.

"A lot of us believe the left has overreached on this issue. And we're not going to throw people out of work because of their ideological rampages," Scarborough said.

As early as 2002, Americans had accepted the idea that climate change existed and should be addressed, he said.

"Look at the polling numbers from 2004, 2005, 2006. Americans were actually bought in to the concept of climate change, and that we needed to move aggressively on it," he said.

That changed, Scarborough said, when the issue became like the "Salem witch trials," where if people didn't believe in "the most extreme view" of climate change, they were labeled "anti-science."

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Story continues below video.

"People on the far left have been like televangelists over the past 10 years, where you either believe in their form of climate change that, like Al Gore said, 'The waters are going to rise, and we're going to be submerged in Florida in 50 years, or else you're going to hell' — some sort of climate hell," he said.

Scarborough said, "A lot of us reject that," and maintained it is possible to believe that climate change exists, but also oppose policies that would hurt jobs and the economy.

"There are variations of that," Scarborough said. "You can believe there is climate change, as I do. You can believe that human activity has played a significant role, as I do, without believing that we need to adapt job-killing legislation."

"Morning Joe" panelist Willie Geist said on Monday's show that climate change is not a big issue for voters, and predicted that Rubio's position on it "is not going to hurt him in a primary."

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