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Meeting With Scientists on Global Warming, Gov. Scott Shows No Interest in the Science

| August 20, 2014

If a large part of the Greenland Ice Sheet melts, the impacts will be enormous. Red areas in this image of southern Florida show locales with elevations at or below five meters and connected to the sea. (University of Arizona)

If a large part of the Greenland Ice Sheet melts, the impacts will be enormous. Red areas in this image of southern Florida show locales with elevations at or below five meters and connected to the sea. (University of Arizona)

Amid questions about his views on global warming, Gov. Rick Scott on Tuesday met with five Florida scientists who urged him to prepare the state for the coming challenges posed by climate change.

They spent their 30-minute appointment with the governor going over evidence that the earth is warming and sea levels are rising as a result.

“It’s going to be a different planet for our children,” said Jeff Chanton, an oceanography professor at Florida State University.

“You’re at the helm,” David Hastings, a professor of marine science and chemistry at Eckerd College, told the governor. “We’re looking for leadership.”

The scientists asked Scott to act quickly to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions and to expand the state’s commitment to energy efficiency and alternate sources of power, such as solar.

Scott, a Republican running for re-election, said little, other than to ask whether the professors’ students were getting jobs in Florida.

“He didn’t reflect on the science,” Hastings said afterward. “So he asked modest questions, but he did not ask questions that reflected his understanding of the material.”

The meeting came after Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist, who during an earlier stint as governor took action to curtail climate change, met with the scientists and embraced their message.

In 2010, during his first run for office, Scott said he wasn’t convinced climate change was man-made. Since then, when asked how he’d handle the problem, he’s said he’s “not a scientist.”

That’s why scientists — oceanographers, marine biologists, geologists and chemists at Florida universities — wrote Scott in July, “We are scientists and we would like the opportunity to explain what is at stake for our state.”

They warned that “Florida is one of the most vulnerable places in the country with respect to climate change, with southeastern Florida of particular concern.”

Also, they wrote, Florida must submit a plan to the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency by the end of the year, explaining how the state plans to reduce its greenhouse-gas emissions 38 percent by the year 2030, as required by the Obama Administration’s Climate Action Plan.

At Tuesday’s meeting, they used graphs and charts to show Scott how temperatures, sea levels and greenhouse-gas emissions have risen since the pre-industrial age. They told him Florida’s barrier islands were being swallowed by the ocean and that salt water was rising in the streets of Miami Beach.

They also told him the response to climate change could offer a unique opening to Florida’s economy, by spurring the growth of renewable-energy technology and businesses.

“There are tremendous business opportunities here in Florida,” said John Van Leer, an associate professor of ocean sciences at the University of Miami. “Massachusetts has pitiful sunlight compared to Florida, but they’ve got (80,000) to 90,000 solar workers in Massachusetts.”

Van Leer also said a delayed response to climate change would be costly in the fiscal sense. “The longer you wait, the cost of the solution goes up about 40 percent a decade,” he said.

Scott did not take questions after the meeting. Earlier in the day, speaking to reporters after a Cabinet meeting, he said, “What I’m looking forward to with the scientists today is listening to their solutions. That’s what our citizens care about. Being in business, you have to solve problems, so…”

–Margie Menzel, News Service of Florida

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17 Responses for “Meeting With Scientists on Global Warming, Gov. Scott Shows No Interest in the Science”

  1. Green is the New Red.

    There is no such thing as man made global warming.

    If global warming is taking place there is nothing you could do, or anyone could do to stop it.

    This is a scam to milk people out of money and give the commies power. Yes there is still communists around and they are the “Green” movement.

    Could I be any clearer?

    Do not fall victim to these alarmists, follow the money.

    • NortonSmitty says:

      You want some money to follow? 97% of the scientists, peer reviewed studies and real data put forth overwhelmingly agree that there is no doubt the climate is changing and it is caused by man and his greenhouse gasses. The three percent who disagree, and get at least 50% of the media coverage, are 100% funded by the oil and gas industry. And it doesn’t take a bloodhound to follow that trail Mike.

      But so many prefer to follow the teachings of Professors Hannity, Limbaugh and O’Reilly on this subject.

    • Do you still believe the earth is flat too? There is almost 100% agreement among the brightest scientists in the world that we have a problem with global warming and 97% say it is due to human conduct. Big Tobacco used the same argument (not 100% certainty that cancer is caused by smoking) that global warming deniers now claim there is not 100% certainty.
      Since when do reasonable people need 100% certainty before making major life decisions! like who to marry! what kind of job should I get, or whether to be a vegetarian?
      After all, there is only one place to get chocolate!

  2. Binkey says:

    It was above his head, and why should he care, he’ll be dead by then. I’m so sick of him.

  3. PC LOVER says:

    Oh ! we can trust Crist to do what he said because he is a true Republican,,,nono,,,Democrat,,,nono,,,,,independent,,,,,nono,,,, whatever he has to say to get elected he will. THATS OUR CHARLIE!

  4. Edman says:

    It is so sad how easily people are swayed by ideologues and ignore scientists. Facts do matter and we ignore them at our own peril. Just saying something is not true is just foolish. The science proving climate change has been verified and is irrefutable.

  5. Diana L says:

    Not accepting and acting on man made climate change is idiotic. Plain and simple.

  6. Sherry Epley says:

    To live on this planet and deny all the scientific proof that human pollution has a massive effect on our environment is ridiculous and incomprehensible. Of course our living on this earth impacts it! Of course we can and should be doing something about it! If we can put a man on the moon, we should be doing whatever we can to mitigate climate change!

    I would say, follow the money alright. . . the KOCH brothers are adding to their billions by maximizing profits on polluting fossil fuels while lobbying against cleaner solar and wind power:

    Meanwhile, we are literally throwing away the future of the earth so that the 1% can continue to stuff their profits into off shore accounts. Have you deposited any “trickle down” money today?

    • “To live on this planet and deny all the scientific proof that human pollution has a massive effect on our environment is ridiculous and incomprehensible. ”

      This statement is equal to saying the Ant hill on the corner of Nova and LPGA BLVD is ruining the water quality of the Hudson River.

      Keep falling for it people and it will bankrupt your country as China, Russia and the other half of the world pass you by economically and take over. They are all laughing at you right now.

  7. OrlandoChris says:

    I am very pleased that Adrian Wyllie will be a part of the debate. Floridians deserve to hear from all the candidates to be well informed. 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.

  8. Sandra Reynolds says:

    Of course the governor showed no interest in the scientific fact of climate change. He does not want to ostracize himself from his Republican voters.

  9. A.S.F. says:

    Rick Scott is not interested in anything other than the advancement of Rick Scott. Period.

  10. Derrick R. says:

    Global Warming haha another discovery by Fat Cat Al Gore. At the rate we’re going our own Government will have killed us off before any of our great great great grandchildren’s great great grand children are truly effected by it. Many scientist now admit it’s a farce and that no matter what the US does the rest of the world really doesn’t care about it unless they can make a dollar from it. More people in these 3 worlds have cell phones than toilets and potable water. Sure the mighty US government can ban whaling and limit harvest of the seas but they can’t do crap about what other countries do. Really all cone needs to do is look at the world and our involvement in the current state of affairs. To nit pick on our Governors regardless of who they are for an alleged global made up crisis is not fair. And before you all crash on this fact . The Global /Climate Change BS has been on the radar of the left for some 20 years now right? So what did the last two guys in office do ? Nothing ! In fact our last Governor did far less to help the Florida taxpayers and our enviorment that the current one. Stop it already with the bias reporting already.

  11. Carl says:

    Of course he wouldn`t it would cost him and his Rich oil and coal burning friends lots of money , its why he vetoed the speed rail , people would have commuted on that and not bought as much gas , and its why he outright refused to cooperate with Obama on cleaning up our power plants that burn fossil fuels , vote this ever SOB out !!!!!!

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