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Is man responsible for climate change?

This is a RUSH transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," May 21, 2014. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

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O'REILLY: "Personal Story" segment tonight Senator Marco Rubio made some controversial statements about climate change last Sunday.


SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R), FLORIDA: I don't know of any era in world history where the climate has been stable. Climate is always evolving and natural disasters have always existed.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: But let me get this straight. You do not think that human activity and the production of CO2 has caused warming to our planet.

RUBIO: I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it.


O'REILLY: The Senator joins us now from Washington. Before we get to that, I'm going to ask you the same question I asked Kirsten Powers. Do you believe President Obama is bored? Is he -- what is it that there is no urgency and that's these things, you know scandals whatever you're going to call them keep happening and the White House doesn't seem to know anything about it? What is that?

RUBIO: Yes I would point to three things. I think at first they a systemic problem of governing. Again I mean this is a campaign that was very good at messaging but they have no competence in terms of governing. So that's the first part of it. The second part of it I think is any time an issue arises they are more concerned about what they are going to say than what they are going to do. I mean to them it's an opportunity to message as opposed to an opportunity to solve it.

And here's the third problem. Any time the criticism arises from Republicans, their first reaction is not to look at it and say well let's see there is some credibility here. Their first reaction is to label it and treat it as some sort of a partisan attack.

So for example, I have been in the senate now three and a half years. A significant amount of my constituent case work, are complaints about the V.A. We have been hearing that and reporting that as of other offices for a while. And the initial reaction is always that's just partisan Republicans trying to embarrass us. So those three things I think really explain why these things keep happening.

O'REILLY: Do you believe that the President is incapable of admitting a mistake? And I'll point to Sebelius who is in charge of the disastrous rollout for Obamacare. And now, Shinseki, no doubt is he a patriot. But he is an incompetent administrator. I think that's beyond the reasonable doubt. So these people should have been replaced immediately when these bad things break. You know like the Los Angeles Clipper owner. He's out of there in two days you know when you have something like that the leadership has to change. But it doesn't. Why do you think that is?

RUBIO: Well I think again part of it is this initial reaction to circle the wagon and say you know we're going to protect our people this is a partisan attack.

O'REILLY: But why -- why protect incompetent people?

RUBIO: Yes that's a good question. Let me give you an example of that. We have a bill that I have filed that allows the director to fire incompetent middle level managers. The administration does not support that because they are more interested in protecting the sanctity of civil service than they are in being able to hold people accountable. So even if you fired Shinseki, you're still going to have a systemic problem in that agency -- a very serious one now.


O'REILLY: But at least you send a message.

RUBIO: Right.

O'REILLY: But at least you send a message as the leader.

RUBIO: Right. But my point is you still want to be able to fire the people that work there.

O'REILLY: Right. But the President doesn't even send any messages. He doesn't seem to be that outraged about this stuff and it's one after the other after the other. All right.

RUBIO: Because, again, they always take these criticisms as a partisan thing when, in fact, this is a very valid and legitimate complaint that people have. A very serious crisis.

O'REILLY: All right. It is. And they should be seeing the polls and the American people are turning against the administration.

Now, you said flat out bold and fresh statement that you don't believe the scientists on global warming. Are you're going up against these people -- ok. Go ahead.

RUBIO: No, here's the point. First of all I have never denied the climate is changing. That shouldn't surprise us. The climate is always changing.

The second point on the science is, the left loves to go around saying there is a consensus. There is a consensus. There is a majority of scientists that say that global carbon emission by humans causes some changes in the climate. What there is no consensus on and they conveniently ignore is there is no consensus on the sensitivity of the climate. How much is it changing and how much of it is directly attributable to human carbon emission. There is no consensus on that which is why the models vary so greatly, which is why despite 17 years of dramatic increases in carbon production by humans surface temperatures in the earth have stabilized.

But here is the last point which is indisputable. None of these proposals that liberals want us to impose on ourselves would do anything about the problem. There are 35 gigatons of carbon emitted into the atmosphere this year. We Americans are only responsible for six of it. By the year 2050 China and India alone will produce 50 gigatons. These laws they want us to pass would destroy our economy and would have zero impact on these issues they keep raising. And that's the part they don't want to debate at all. The proposals they want --

O'REILLY: That's what I said last night. All right I agree with you on that but I -- but I do believe that all people should work together for a cleaner planet. I mean I really believe that.

RUBIO: Well and I can tell you that I think technology -- I think technology and innovation will take us there. Not cap and trade.

O'REILLY: All right Senator we appreciate your time tonight. Thank you.

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