Fla. Christians Petition Gov. on Climate Change, Slam Rubio

Tuesday, 20 May 2014 12:03 PM

By Joe Battaglia

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Evangelical leaders in Florida believe that Gov. Rick Scott should take an active leadership role on climate change, and that Sen. Marco Rubio's stance on the issue is off-base.

On Tuesday, Joel Hunter, pastor of Northland church in Longwood and a spiritual adviser to President Barack Obama, is hosting a panel discussion on why Christians should care about climate change. One of the panelists, the Rev. Mitch Hescox, president of the Evangelical Environmental Network, is gathering signatures on a petition urging Scott to make climate change one of his priority issues.

"As Christians, we believe that God's grace empowers us to honestly confront the challenges we face and change for the better," the petition states. "We are failing to keep our air and water clean for our children, contributing to a changing climate that most hurts the world's poor, and putting Floridians at risk as temperatures and sea levels continue to rise. To meet these challenges, we need leaders who understand our duty to God’s creation and future generations. That's why we are calling on Gov. Rick Scott to create a plan to reduce carbon pollution and confront the impacts of a changing climate."

Hescox also penned a letter to Rubio, slamming his recent radio comments doubting man’s contribution to climate change on The Sean Hannity Show.

Story continues below video.



"I think the scientific certainty that some claimed isn’t necessarily there, as to what percentage of a contribution man-made activity has made to that," Rubio told Hannity. "Here is what's more important as a policymaker. Their claim is that if we stop doing certain things that will change back. That's absurd. In the very reports that they cite, they admit that's not the case. So you'll have a tornado somewhere and a drought and you'll have the president and his supporters show up and say that this is happening because of climate change, as if to imply that if we eviscerate our economy by imposing cap and trade, these things will stop happening. That's ridiculous."

Rubio went on to suggest that his liberal critics on climate change are hypocrites for believing that life does not begin at conception.

"All these people always wag their finger at me about science and settled science," Rubio said. "Let me give you a bit of settled science that they'll never admit to: Science is settled, it's not even a consensus — it is a unanimity — that human life beings at conception. So I hope the next time that someone wags their finger about science, go ask one of these leaders on the left: 'Do you agree with the consensus of scientists that say that human life begins at conception?' I'd like to see someone ask that question. It's never asked. And that's not even a debatable thing. We can actually see that happening. I mean, that is a proven fact. That's a scientific consensus they conveniently choose to ignore."

Hunter, who has urged his congregation to do their part in conserving energy as part of the "moral responsibility of the church to lead in areas that can benefit and protect people," believes that Rubio is taking the wrong approach in defending his position.

"I'm pro-life, so everything about it, I'm in," Hunter told the Tampa Bay Times.  "But even if that's true, two wrongs don’t make a right. It's not like you can prove the validity of your stance by saying the other side has a wrong stand. That's not logical."

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