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Progress Florida poll: Climate change top issue for Floridians

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Climate Change. Climate Change. Climate Change. Climate Change. Climate Change. Climate Change. Climate Change. Climate Change. Climate Change. Climate Change. Climate Change. Climate Change. Climate Change. Climate Change. Climate Change. Climate Change.

That should sufficiently annoy Gov. Rick Scott, who is accused of directing state employees in various departments, particularly the Florida Department of Environmental Protection,  not to use the term “climate change.”

The group Progress Florida has requested a trove of emails between Scott and the FDEP related to his alleged unwritten policy banning not just “climate change,” but also “global warming.” The public records request also includes any official documents containing information about the policy.

The group has also delivered thousands of signed petitions to the FDEP inspector general  calling for an investigation into the matter.

“Florida is on the front lines of climate change, with its extended coastline and a large metropolitan area like Miami jeopardized by sea-level rise, so strong bipartisan concern over this issue is not surprising,” said Tom Jensen of Public Policy Polling.

Now they’ve also released results of a poll of 923 registered Florida voters aimed at demonstrating the issue is real among most Floridians.

“Instead of listening to his oil industry donors, Gov. Scott should start listening to Florida’s citizens and scientists who overwhelmingly agree that climate change is an important issue,” said Brant Olson, campaign director, Forecast the Facts.

When asked how important issues surrounding climate change, renewable energy and the environment are, 52 percent of respondents said they were very important. Only 21 percent indicated the issues were “not too important” or “not important at all” with 3 percent indicating they were unsure.

“We find it telling that an issue deemed important by more than three quarters of Floridians has essentially been banned from discussion by our climate-denier-in-chief, Gov. Rick Scott,” said Progress Florida Executive Director Mark Ferrulo.

The Public Policy Polling survey included 425 Republican voters and 371 Democrats. It was conducted between March 19 and 22 and has a margin of error of 3.2 percent.

Janelle Irwin has been a professional journalist covering local news and politics in the Tampa Bay area since 2003. She also hosts a weekly political talk show on WMNF Community radio. Janelle formerly served as the sole staff reporter for WMNF News and previously covered news for and various local neighborhood newsletters. Her work has been featured in the New York Daily News, Free Speech Radio News and Florida Public Radio and she's been interviewed by radio stations across the nation for her coverage of the 2012 Republican National Convention. Janelle is a diehard news junkie who isn't afraid to take on big names in local politics including Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn, the dirty business of trash and recycling in St. Pete and the ongoing Pier debacle. Her work as a reporter and radio host has earned her two WMNF awards including News Volunteer of the Year and Public Affairs Volunteer of the Year. Janelle is also the devoted mother to three brilliant and beautiful daughters who are a constant source of inspiration and occasional blogging fodder. To contact, email

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