In an effort to push Gov. Rick Scott into the debate on climate change, ten prominent scientists from the state’s top universities on Tuesday asked to meet with him to explain the impact human-induced global warming will have on Florida.
"We note you have been asked several times about how, as Governor, you will handle the issue of climate change,’’ the professors wrote in the two-page letter. "You responded that you are ‘not a scientist.’ We are scientists and we would like the opportunity to explain what is at stake for our state."
Scott initially denied the impact of human-induced global warming when he first ran for office in 2010 saying he has "not been convinced that there's any man-made climate change." He has since been reluctant to engage on the issue, answering only, "I’m not a scientist,’’ when he was asked about it.
The scientists, who are the top in their fields at the universities of Miami, Florida State, Florida International and Eckerd College, believe they can explain simply why they believe the governor should care.
"Florida is one of the most vulnerable places in the country with respect to climate change, with southeastern Florida of particular concern,’’ the scientists wrote. "This is not a hypothetical. Thousands of scientists have studied the issue from a variety of angles and disciplines over many decades.
Photo: Jeff Chanton, atmospheric science professor at Florida State University hands letter to Kim McClure in Gov. Rick Scott's office