Energy & Environment

Rick Scott meets with climate scientists

Florida Gov. Rick Scott  (R) met with a panel of climate scientists to learn about the impact of global warming on Tuesday.

Scott, who is facing a tough reelection race, has been facing mounting pressure to meet with the scientists from multiple Florida universities.

{mosads}The five scientists who sat down with Scott for a 30-minute meeting gave the governor a briefing on the potential impact of rising sea levels in Florida, and data linking greenhouse gas emissions and temperature to climate change, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

The scientists told Scott that carbon dioxide levels are estimated to reach higher peaks than recorded in the last 440,000 years by 2100. 

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

A marine scientist from Eckerd College told Scott scientists were looking to lawmakers to take action.

“As scientists, we’re the map makers,” Hastings told Scott, according to the Sentinel. “As policymakers, you’re the navigators. You’re at the helm and we’re looking for leadership. … Some of us believe it is the time for decisive action.”

After the meeting, Scott left without answering questions. A spokesman told the Sentinel he had a staff meeting.

Scott’s opponent, Democrat Charlie Crist, has distanced himself from the governor on climate change, declaring himself a “believer.”

Scott has used the common Republican answer, “I am not a scientist,” when asked if he believes in climate change.

When asked by reporters if the scientists thought Scott had changed his mind about global warming after the meeting, Chanton said “what he saw today, I don’t know how he couldn’t be.”

Scott recently unveiled a new environment platform, which included funding for conservation projects, and possible fines on polluters in the states.

Tags Charlie Crist Climate change Florida Rick Scott

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