05/15/2014 02:06 pm ET Updated May 16, 2014

Sheldon Whitehouse Slams Marco Rubio's Climate Change Comments In New Letter

In a new letter sent to Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) slams the potential 2016 presidential candidate for his recent statements on climate change.

Rubio told ABC News on Sunday that he did not "believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it."

Whitehouse recently traveled to Florida to observe the effects of climate change. In a letter obtained by The Huffington Post, he responded to Rubio's comments, saying they were out of step with what Floridians were experiencing.

"I met Floridians who know that climate change from carbon pollution is real, and who have to adapt to the effects while Congress does nothing to stop the carbon pollution causing these rapid changes," Whitehouse says in the letter, citing specific effects of climate change in areas like Jacksonville and Southeast Florida.

"Monroe County has a Republican mayor who is putting climate and energy policy at the heart of her 20-year growth plan ... [Miami Beach] Mayor [Philip] Levine is pushing a $400 million plan to make the city’s drainage system more resilient in the face of rising tides," Whitehouse adds.

On Tuesday, Rubio claimed he "never disputed that the climate is changing."

"There are things that we can do to become more efficient in our use of energies, there are things we can do to develop alternative sources of energy, there are things we can do to be better stewards of the energy resources that we have like natural oil and gas," he said.

In his letter, Whitehouse clearly isn't buying Rubio's response thus far.

To deny the cause of climate change and assert that we shouldn’t try to do anything about it is to condemn our children and grandchildren to a much different world than the one you and I have come to love. Furthermore, our economy is already being harmed by climate change. Sea level rise and coastal flooding from extreme weather are already realities in Broward County and other areas – stressing infrastructure like waste water and drinking water systems. This has a real cost for taxpayers in Florida and Rhode Island... I hope you will reconsider your views about climate change, and I would welcome the opportunity to discuss this matter with you further.

Read the full letter below:

Whitehouse Letter



What Climate Change Just Might Ruin