Gov. Rick Scott scheduled a 30-minute meeting Tuesday with climate scientists. Ten oceanography, marine and atmospheric scientists sought an audience with Scott after Scott sidestepped questions about climate changes by saying he was “not a scientist.”
The group includes professors from Florida State, Florida International and the University of Miami. And they have a 30- minute power point presentation documenting a relationship between greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.
Climate change is an issue in coastal Florida because much of the coastline is only a few feet above the current sea level. Broward, Palm Beach, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties have formed a compact to address the loss of fresh water wells and and flooded storm water systems by the encroachment of a rising Atlantic Ocean.
Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist met with Florida State professor Jeff Chanton last July after he and his colleagues wrote Scott. When he arrived for the meeting Crist quipped that like Scott he was not a scientist either but that he could talk to one.
Crist used the meeting to draw a contrast between his and Scott’s environmental records.
The Scott campaign treated that meeting as a campaign stunt and pointed out that Crist flew to the meeting/press conference in a plane owned by James Finch, who has been cited by the state for violating environmental permits.
Tuesday, Scott’s campaign sent out a press release announcing Scott’s meeting with the scientists and praise by former Crist appointees about Scott’s “Let’s Keep Florida Beautiful” initiative.