For Next GOP Debate, Put Climate Change Deniers Like Marco Rubio in the Spotlight

CNBC EVENTS -- The Republican Presidential Debate: Your Money, Your Vote -- Pictured: Marco Rubio participate in CNBC's 'Your
CNBC EVENTS -- The Republican Presidential Debate: Your Money, Your Vote -- Pictured: Marco Rubio participate in CNBC's 'Your Money, Your Vote: The Republican Presidential Debate' live from the University of Colorado Boulder in Boulder, Colorado Wednesday, October 28th at 6PM ET / 8PM ET -- (Photo by: Jason Bahr/CNBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Voters on the coasts got a chance to think about climate change this week with super high tides flooding and eroding beaches, wetlands, and coastal roadways.

On CNBC this week during the GOP presidential debate, the only climate change question was directed to N.J. Gov. Chris Christie, who could not avoid the dismal, extraordinarily costly outcomes of Superstorm Sandy.

Christie's response to a question on energy policy was: "let's throw everything we can at the wall and see what sticks." "Let the free market decide." A television viewer could almost feel the rest of the GOP candidates shrinking away from the question on stage. Why? There is nothing free about the rules governing energy production. Although it is a common mantra by the GOP that government should not pick winners and losers, in fact GOP and Democratic-controlled Congresses have always picked winners and losers in the energy sector, through price and production supports, environmental regulations, and tax code advantages.

For many years, University of Miami geologist Dr. Harold Wanless has been making the case for sudden, rapid sea level rise. His testable hypothesis is based on core samples drilled at the perimeter of the southern Everglades.

Recent scientific evidence of rapid change backs up Dr. Wanless: "There (The Greenland ice sheet), previous aerial and satellite imagery indicates that a sub-glacial lake pooled for more than forty years. More recent images suggest that the lake likely emptied through a meltwater tunnel beneath the ice sheet some time in 2011. "The fact that our lake appears to have been stable for at least several decades, and then drained in a matter of weeks - or less - after a few very hot summers, may signal a fundamental change happening in the ice sheet," Dr Howat said. Dr Howat's group calculated that the lake that formed it likely contained some 6.7 billion gallons of water. And it disappeared in a single season - remarkably quickly by geologic standards. The scientists characterized the sudden drainage as catastrophic."

For years Florida scientists including Dr. Wanless begged for a meeting with U.S. Senator Marco Rubio. (Read our archive.) Rubio refused. These days, Senator Rubio claims he is not a denier but a climate change skeptic. A skeptic remains open to argument and persuasion. By refusing to meet with climate change scientists -- in other words, ignoring the best available evidence -- Rubio is a denier at a time when climate change deniers everywhere else are putting on their civilian clothes and melting into the crowd.

The anti-government, anti-regulatory mob hasn't figured out who the perpetrators are, but it will and when they do, watch out for low-flying objects.

Alan Farago is board president of Friends of the Everglades and co-blogger of Eye On Miami.