MSNBC’s Melber Mocks 'Flat Earth' Rubio on Global Warming

One day after Chris Hayes suggested that global warming skepticism should disqualify a person from holding public office, another MSNBC primetime host attempted to ridicule those who doubt the science. This time, it was Ari Melber, who has been guest-hosting The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell for several weeks now. On Wednesday's show, after playing a clip of President Obama mocking skeptics as members of the “Flat Earth society,” Melber sneered, “It seems like if you want to be a serious contender for the 2016 Republican nomination, you have to be unserious about a lot of things, and potentially a member of that Flat Earth society.”

Melber was referring specifically to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) and rolled out a clip of Rubio telling ABC’s Jonathan Karl that he doubts the science of global warming because “our climate is always changing.”


The host then went into full-out mocking mode as he mimicked Rubio: “The climate’s always changing. Now that came from a man who, when asked how old he thought the Earth was, answered, ‘I'm not a scientist, man.’”

A few minutes later, when Melber brought up Rubio again, he couldn’t resist jabbing the senator once more. He said, “I want to put up on the climate question – and the climate is changing all the time.” This drew snickers from his guests, with MSNBC contributor Richard Wolffe joking, “Just today we went from spring to something else. I don’t know what it was!”

MSNBC may laugh, but our planet certainly has gone through periods of heating and cooling before, including hundreds of thousands of years before humans were around. But perhaps Melber and Wolffe are engaging in ridicule as a “tool of progress,” as Chris Hayes said Tuesday night, in order to silence all dissent against their worldview.

Below is a transcript of the segment:

 

BARACK OBAMA: Climate change has become a partisan issue. But it hasn't always been. I don't have much patience for anyone who denies that this challenge is real. We don't have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth society.

ARI MELBER: It seems like if you want to be a serious contender for the 2016 Republican nomination you have to be unserious about a lot of things, and potentially a member of that Flat Earth society. One of those aspiring members, Senator Marco Rubio. Just last week, a report on climate changed listed his hometown of Miami as one of the most vulnerable cities, but the junior senator was having none of it.

JON KARL: How big a threat is climate change?

MARCO RUBIO: Yeah, I don’t agree with the notion that some are putting out there, including scientists, that somehow there are actions we can take today that would actually have an impact on what’s happening in our climate. Our climate is always changing.

JON KARL: Let me get this straight. You do not think that human activity, the production of CO2 has caused warming to our planet?

MARCO RUBIO: I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way the scientists are portraying it. That's what I do not – and I do not believe the laws they propose we pass will do anything about it, except it will destroy our economy.

ARI MELBER: The climate’s always changing. Now that came from a man who, when asked how old he thought the Earth was, answered, “I'm not a scientist, man.” Yesterday, Marco Rubio tried to walk back his unscientific statements on the climate.



(...)

 ARI MELBER: I want to put up on the climate question – and the climate is changing all the time.

[laughter]

RICHARD WOLFFE: Just today we went from spring to something else. I don’t know what it was.

Paul Bremmer
Paul Bremmer is a Media Research Center News Analysis Division intern.