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Talk? Why not?


Published:   |   Updated: July 18, 2014 at 12:39 PM

Scientists from a number of universities in Florida want to take Gov. Rick Scott to the woodshed. The governor’s offense? Not being on the orthodox side of one of the great contemporary politico-media obsessions, climate change.

Scott has told the Associated Press he would be “happy to meet” the 10 experts in marine systems, atmospheric science and other climate change-related fields at the University of Miami, Florida State, Eckerd College and Florida International. A letter the governor’s office received Tuesday said, “We are scientists and we would like the opportunity to explain what is at stake for our state.”

The governor responded “I’m not a scientist” when asked about a federal report that outlined the predicted risk that rising sea levels resulting from climate change pose to coastal areas of Florida and elsewhere in the country. The scientists apparently hope they can get Scott to back the carbon dioxide-emission reductions that climate change activists have been advocating.

We’re not scientists either, so we don’t feel the need to argue about whether global climate is changing. Much of the land mass we now call Florida was once underwater and some sort of climate change explains why that is no longer the case.

If sea levels rise, coastal dwellers will adapt. The costly carbon controls the scientists and others are advocating for Florida and the rest of the country won’t make much of a difference. Here’s one reason why: China and India are burning mountains of dirty old coal every day as they strive to become economic superpowers and they aren’t going to stop anytime soon — even if they get a letter from the Florida scientists.

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