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floodGovernor Rick Scott will be running for his next term against former governor Charlie Crist. Crist, unlike Scott, was an environmental advocate even when he was a Republican. Now Crist is running on the Democratic ticket, and he wants his job back.

Opinion polls show that climate change is foremost in Floridians minds. It’s not surprising. Over the last few years, increased floods, more extreme weather and a slowly rising sea level have convinced many residents that their state needs a comprehensive climate action plan.

Charlie Crist served as Florida’s governor from 2007 to 2011. In that time, he established mandates for renewable energy, programs to cut greenhouse gas emissions and made climate adaptation a major priority.

In his first term, Scott did his best to steamroll these initiatives. He has remained cagey about his views on climate change, telling reporters in recent months only that he’s “not a scientist” and unqualified to offer his opinion on the subject. That’s why it was so surprising when he accepted 10 climate scientists’ offer to sit down and learn about how climate change is endangering his state – even if he did give them only half an hour to do it.

But the meeting was a major disappointment. As InsideClimateNews’ Katherine Bagley summed it up, “Scott spent 10 of the allotted 30 minutes on small talk, ended the meeting a few minutes early and left without asking a single question.”

Crist is most definitely making the environment a key plank in his campaign, and Tom Steyer’s super PAC, NextGen Climate, is offering him its full support (and several million dollars).

Rick Scott now has a difficult choice to make. Despite the Republican party’s steadfast refusal to admit climate change is largely affected by human emissions, Florida’s voters are not so sure. If Scott gives in, he may win some votes but he could also lose the support of his party.

“He’s caught in the crosshairs,” said Frank Jackalone, the senior organizing manager for the Florida Sierra Club.

This year, political races throughout the U.S. are putting many politicians in the same compromising position.

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2 Responses

  1. orlandochris says:

    Why vote between 2 known liars? Florida, we are fortunate enough not to be stuck picking one liar or the other this time. We actually have an alternative. Take advantage of the opportunity. Adrian Wyllie deserves my vote. He is a honest average Floridian just as you and I , that is willing to stand up and do something for the interest of all of us here in Florida. The other candidates both Republican and Democrat are owned and controlled by special interest, like puppets and will lie to your face to gain your vote, then continue the same old agenda that we complain about year after year. Time to get off this merry-go-round, election after election, thinking it will be any different. Take a stand, vote for the candidate that loves this state and is willing to take time out of his life, effort and money to SERVE the people of Florida and stop voting for these ‘paid for’ career politicians that are only out for money and fame and have zero interest in us Floridians. Even if it’s just for honesty alone, vote for Adrian Wyllie instead of the other two (Scott/Crist) which are proven liars. The choice is yours and yours alone, if you want the same old corruption and slap in the face, go ahead and vote for one of the two puppets (Scott/Crist) OR do what is right for our (yours and your children’s) future and vote for Adrian Wyllie. Support him by donating to his campaign, spreading the word and contribute to the super brochure program which I think is very powerful. Visit his website today.

  2. […] month, Florida Governor Rick Scott gave a handful of scientists 30 (actually 20) minutes to explain why his state needs a climate change plan. He left without asking a single […]

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