Yesterday, Marco Rubio explained that when it comes to climate change, his priority is the economy over the wellbeing of the planet. As a Republican with Presidential ambitions, he walks a fine line between climate skeptic and Senator of a state already seeing the firsthand effects of climate change, including sea level rise and stronger hurricanes. It has not even been one week since Hurricane Michael wiped out some towns in Florida. Climate change is not his priority? Michael will undoubtedly be the twelfth billion dollar storm this year, with an expected cost of $30 billion.
As a father, he is harming his and other children’s future to benefit a small percentage of uber-wealthy people. Rubio has explicitly pushed for larger families and unsustainable families and the cheap labor and hungry consumers they create: That is THE WORST way to exacerbate climate change and other crises in the long term, the timeframe that really matters.
He and his colleagues push for the deregulation of corporate activities while playing semantics with stances on whether climate change is man-made. But it’s those regulations that protect our planet for all of us, for all of us, not to mention the future that Rubio’s own children with inherit. There will be no way to have a successful economy with the outrageous costs that climate destruction is causing if we continue on this path. We must put greed and consumerism aside to enable a habitable, stable future for the next generation.
Last week’s alarming climate change report made it clear that drastic changes in human behavior will need to occur if we are to mitigate the climate ecocide that is already underway. Are we willing to do that? If current trends continue, we are on course for endless drought, flooding, wildfires, heat waves, weather-related disasters, and food and water scarcity. Coastal towns where vast portions of the population reside, including Rubio’s own South Florida which is already flooding, will be swallowed by the seas.
Is it fair to subject our kids to that chaotic, unsafe future? By our own nature, we are reluctant to accept uncomfortable facts and problems that are not immediate. But it’s time to face them because our kids have a right to a fair start.
It’s not an either-or proposition. We can have a thriving economy and a sustainable planet. Yes, we need leaders to enforce environmental measures, participate in the Paris Climate Agreement, and call for corporate responsibility. But we all have a responsibility at the individual level as well to reduce our impact.
The best way we can do that is by choosing to have smaller families – at usually that means one or two kids. Having one less child saves more harmful emissions than changes in transportation, energy, or diet.
Why not set up our kids to thrive in safe, healthy, and sustainable communities where everyone has a fair start in life? Isn’t that the future we want?
Senator Rubio is morally obligated to take the most effective response to climate change, which has been recognized as a national security threat. That response is better family planning.
We are calling on him to reverse his stance and to join us in asking the U.N. to recommend smaller families across the globe.