Climate change -- the accompanying rising sea levels -- is one of the biggest issues facing Florida's future. Yet, Governor Rick Scott has done very little to address it.
Well, he's finally decided to at least listen. His office announced today that he'll meet with climate change scientists later this month. They'll only get 30 minutes of his time, though.
Back in July, a group of ten climate change scientists sent Scott a letter requesting a meeting.
"We are scientists, and we would like the opportunity to explain what is at stake for our state," read the letter. "Those of us signing this letter have spent hundreds of years combined studying this problem, not from any partisan political perspective, but as scientists -- seekers of evidence and explanations. As a result, we feel uniquely qualified to assist you in understanding what's already happening in the climate system so you may make the most effective decisions about what must be done to protect the state, including reducing emissions from fossil fuel burning power plants."
Scott's likely Democratic opponent Charlie Crist seized on the opportunity, and decided to meet with the scientists himself.
Scott, who originally said he'd have a member of his administration take the meeting, reversed course and decided to sit down with the scientists himself.
Aug. 19th" target="_blank">According to Naked Politics, that meeting is now set for Aug. 19th for just 30 minted.
"It's fair to have a fight over what the right policy is -- he has a right to disagree," said University of Miami professor Ben Kirtman during a conference call. "But to deny that the best available science can help guide those decisions is disingenuous."
During his 2010 campaign, Scott said he was not convinced that global warming is a problem and later said he didn't believe human activity could cause changes to the atmosphere. Since then, he's answered questions about climate change with variations on the answer, "I'm not a scientist."
And, yet a part of a politicians job is to meet with experts from several pressing fields to determine the best policy. Oddly, it's taken Scott a long time and a big bit of campaign pressure to finally do so.
Scott may not be a scientist, but 3 and a half years into his governorship of a state particularly vulnerable to rising sea levels, he's finally decided to talk to some. For 30 minutes.