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scottOne month ago, ten climate scientists sent a letter to Governor Rick Scott offering to explain how climate change is affecting Florida. This week, the governor took them up on the offer. 

Scott can no longer be appropriately placed in the climate denial camp. Whereas in the past his position was unequivocal (in 2010 he told reporters he had “not been convinced that there’s any man-made climate change”), more recently he has taken to dodging the question altogether.

In May of this year, Scott repeatedly answered questions on climate change with the refrain, “Well, I’m not a scientist.”

That’s what prompted ten Florida scientists to write the governor a letter. “We note you have been asked several times about how, as Governor, you will handle the issue of climate change,” they wrote. “You responded that you are ‘not a scientist.’ We are scientists and we would like the opportunity to explain what is at stake for our state.”

To the governor’s credit, on Tuesday he allowed the scientists to do just that. Not so creditable is that he gave them all of half an hour to explain why southern Florida is on the verge of sinking under the Atlantic Ocean.

The scientists later admitted that they were frustrated by the time crunch, but they felt that they made the best case that they could given the circumstances. They began by explaining how ice cores mined from glaciers can reveal the temperature and atmospheric content of past centuries, and how higher concentrations of greenhouse gases correlate with higher temperatures.

Ben Kirtman, a professor of meteorology and physical oceanography at the University of Miami, explained that natural events like El Nino, volcanoes and solar irradiance are not enough to cause the weather extremes the planet is currently experiencing. He and his colleagues focused their talk on how man-made emissions influence global warming, and how that will lead to sea level rise and a disappearing southern Florida.

Now that Governor Rick Scott has been given his introductory course in climate change, perhaps he’s thinking a little differently on the subject. Maybe not. Either way, David Hastings of Eckerd University told reporters at the scene, “We’d be willing to try again.”

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3 Responses

  1. hikesocal says:

    The only thing I see changing in his outlook will be a concentrated effort to save turtles.
    It's a family thing.

  2. dbg says:

    Half hour to explain complex, and important science shows the Governor is not serious. Seems to me like a PR stunt…

  3. orlandochris says:

    Adrian Wyllie deserves my vote and yours too. 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.

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