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Scientists offer up solutions on climate change, now ask Gov. Rick Scott to hear them

 Gov. Rick Scott asked for solutions and so they brought them.

Scientists, business leaders, local elected officials came up with a lengthy list of ways Florida could help to address climate change and on Friday delivered a letter to the governor and asking him for, yes, another meeting.

This comes as the governor's silence on climate change, his campaign's receipt of millions from the utility industry, and his failure to create a state energy policy in the face of rising sea waters has become a vulnerability in his race for governor.

NextGen Climate, the political committee founded by California billionaire Tom Steyer to target climate change skeptics, has spent more than $12 million in Florida for a campaign to defeat Scott's re-election bid. They are running television ads in the crucial Tampa Bay media market, have opened 21 offices, and say they have more than 500 staffers, canvassers and volunteers across Florida. They also built an ark and trucked it across the state to get TV time. 

Scott won't say if he believes that humans, fossil fuel or other factors contribute to the earth's warming but he did agree to meet with five scientists Aug. 19 in his office. Before the meeting, he said he was a less interested in causes than he was in addressing them. During the meeting, he asked no issue-related questions but said he was a "solutions guy." 

The scientists took that as a call to action. They joined with elected officials and business leaders and convened the Climate Science & Solutions Summit at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg last week. It was a standing room only crowd.

A summary of the suggestions that emerged was written up for the governor and signed by 50 of the participants, delivered to the governor's office today with a request for a in-person meeting. 

The governor's silence, failure to create a state energy policy and acknowledge the effects of rising sea waters on the state's coast as become a vulnerability in his race for governor. NextGen Climate, the political committee founded by California billionaire Tom Steyer to target climate change skeptics, has spent more than $12 million in a campaign aimed at defeating Scott's re-election bid. They are running television ads in the crucial Tampa Bay media market, have opened 21 offices and say they have more than 500 staffers, canvassers and volunteers across Florida.

The Summit was initiated by the scientists who met with Governor Scott in August. The Summit itself and the resulting Solutions Agenda is a response to Governor Scott’s repeated requests - both before and after the meeting - that he’s a “solutions guy” and wanted them to bring him solutions.

Meanwhile, expect more on the climate kerfuffle. On Monday, families with children and red wagons will deliver petitions with more than 85,000 signatures to the governor, urging him to develop a strong plan to meet the EPA’s Clean Power rules. The event is sponsored by the Florida’s Clean Future coalition.

Here's the l;atest letter to Scott:  Download Solutions letter to Gov. Scott

October 16, 2014

 

The Honorable Rick Scott

Governor, State of Florida

The Capitol

400 S. Monroe St.

Tallahassee, FL 32301

 

Dear Governor Scott:

 

Last week, approximately 250 people attended the Climate Science and Solutions Summit at Eckerd College in St. Petersburg. As the Tampa Bay Times reported, the summit, which was directly inspired by your August meeting with a group of leading climate experts, "brought together scientists, government officials and entrepreneurs to discuss what has worked and what has not as the atmosphere and oceans heat up."

 

Although you couldn't make it to the summit, you have asked for “solutions”. It is our aim to bring forward the optimal ways to deal with the challenges to Florida stemming from climate change. Along those lines, we respectfully request the opportunity to brief you on the carefully-crafted solutions we discussed at the Climate Science and Solutions Summit. These include:

 

·       Limiting carbon pollution by:

o   developing a strong plan for meeting the EPA’s Clean Power Plan standards,

o   ramping up energy efficiency measures,

o   instituting policies that encourage solar energy and electric vehicles (e.g., car charging stations, development of battery storage),

o   increasing public transportation initiatives (e.g., Greenlight Pinellas, Rail)

o   developing cellulosic biofuels.

·       Prioritizing statewide policy measures that emphasize:

o   integrated resource utility planning to bring forward low cost energy options

o   competition among energy resources to ensure the lowest cost to consumers.

o   aggressive efficiency standards and goals, such as energy benchmarking, auditing and transparency work,

o   an end to the practice of 2-year payback screens for conservation goals,

o   abatement of the Tangible Personal Property Tax on leased solar equipment,

o   innovative financing mechanisms for energy efficiency and solar power (e.g., Property Assessed Clean Energy - PACE; and Community Development Finance Institution - CDFI),

o   mandatory, ambitious Renewable Portfolio Standards,

o   repeal of nuclear cost recovery provisions

o   third-party Power Purchase Agreements, and

·       Instituting mitigation measures in the areas of:

o   transportation,

o   wetlands enhancement,

o   weatherization,

o   LED street lighting.

·       Adopting adaptation solutions such as:

o   planning for sea-level rise (e.g., the South Florida Regional Climate Compact, and the Tampa Bay Regional Planning Council),

o   developing robust building energy codes,

o   addressing energy resilience and

o   building solar-ready roofs.

·       Incorporating educational opportunities such as:

o   public hearings,

o   integration of climate science into K-12 curriculum,

o   advancing public transportation,

o   forming a Civilian Conservation Corps, and

o   prioritizing initiatives to encourage people to buy locally and consume "lower on the food chain.

·       Promoting technology and career opportunities in:

o   manufacturing,

o   solar,

o   agriculture, and

o   retooling and innovation.

·       Implementing measures aimed at reducing public health risks, such as      asthma and pulmonary diseases, stemming from combustion of fossil fuels.

·       Supporting academic resources, such as the Florida Climate Institute.

 

We strongly believe that these measures and more, taken together, would provide real, effective, timely, market-based and cost-effective solutions to enable Florida, known to be ground zero for climate change, to take in protecting residents and businesses from the worst affects of climate change while reducing the carbon pollution driving it.

 

We are excited to present these solutions to you.  We welcome the opportunity to answer any questions you might have, and look forward to your response.

 

Sincerely,

 

James & Brooke Anderson

301 41st Ave, St. Pete Beach, FL 33706

 

Dr. Donald Axelrad

6457 Fitz Ln, Tallahassee, FL 32311

 

Melissa & Jason Baldwin

7403 Alafia Ridge Loop, Riverview, FL 33569

 

Derek Anthony Bedami

4721 W Wallcraft Ave, Tampa, FL 33611

 

Kelly Benjamin

Climate Organizer, Physicians for Social Responsibility

301 E Lambright St, Tampa, FL 33604

 

Dr. Henry Briceno

Florida International University/SERC

11200 SW 8th St, OE#148, Miami, FL 33199

 

Joling Campo

4310 39th St S, St. Petersburg, FL 33711

 

Chris Castro

Sustainability Program Manager and Senior Energy Advisor,

City of Orlando

2502 Montana St, Orlando, FL 32803

 

Jeff Chanton

Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science,

Florida State University

117 N Woodward Ave Suite 102, Tallahassee, FL  32306

 

Melissa L. Crogle

3399 Mermoor Dr  #306, Palm Harbor, FL. 34685

 

Shayla Dougher

221 Whitesand Ct, Casselberry, FL 32707

 

Edyta Dowksza

1731 Kirtley Dr, Brandon, FL 33511

 

Karen Elfallah

6070 Oakhurst Dr, Seminole, FL 33772

 

Robert G. Ellingson

Professor, Dept of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Science,

Florida State University

P.O. Box 3064520, Tallahassee, FL 32306

 

Elizabeth Forys

Professor of Environmental Science & Biology,

Eckerd College

4200 54th Ave S, St. Petersburg, FL 33713

 

Rick Gilbert

Vice President, Solar Source

10840 Endeavour Way, Largo, FL 33777

 

Susan Glickman

Florida Director Southern Alliance for Clean Energy

PO Box 310, Indian Rocks Beach, FL 33785

 

Jude W. Grosser

Professor, Citrus Research and Education Center,

University of Florida

700 Experiment Station Road, Lake Alfred, FL 33850

 

Guy Hancock, DVM, MEd

11371 122nd Ter, Largo, FL 33778

 

Peter W. Harlem

10225 Montego Bay Dr., Cutler Bay, FL

 

Mary Beth Hartman

Center for Environmental Studies,

Florida Atlantic University

3200 College Ave DW-313, Davie, FL 33314

 

David Hastings

Professor, Marine Science and Chemistry,

Eckerd College

4200 54th Ave S, St. Petersburg, FL 33713

 

Dr. Brian K. Haus

Professor, Dept. of Ocean Sciences-

Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences,

University of Miami

4600 Rickenbacker Cswy, Miami, FL 33149

 

Caitlyn Hayes

4200 54th Ave S Campus Box #909, St. Petersburg, FL 33711

 

James W Jones

Distinguished Professor Emeritus, Florida Climate Institute,

University of Florida

1741 Museum Rd, Gainesville, FL 32611

 

Robert B. Keim

Advisor, UU Ministry for Earth

6010 CR 634, Bushnell, FL 33513

 

Amy C. Kelly

154 Carlyle Dr, Palm Harbor, FL 34683

 

Christa Kirby, Ph.D.

1111 Spencer Ave, Clearwater, FL 33756

 

Ben Kirtman

Professor and Associate Dean for Research;

University of Miami

4600 Rickenbacker Cswy, Miami, FL 33149

 

Kara Korona

2911 Forestwood Dr, Seffner, FL 33584

 

Karen Langbehn​

​PhD Candidate, University of South Florida ​

470 3rd St S Unit 715,  St. Petersburg, FL 33701​

 

Lisa Lanza

2043 San Marino Way S, Clearwater, FL 33763

 

Dr. David Letson

Professor- Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Miami

4600 Rickenbacker CSWY, Miami FL 33149

 

Barbara Letvin

1219 Hominy Hill Dr, Trinity, Florida 34655

 

Janet C. Long

Commissioner, Pinellas County Board of County Commissioners

315 Court St, Clearwater, FL 33756

 

Dr. J. William Louda

Scientist Emeritus, Environmental Sciences Program,

Florida Atlantic University

777 Glades Rd, Boca Raton, FL 33431

 

Timothy A. Martin

Professor, School of Forest Resources and Conservation,

University of Florida

PO Box 110410, Gainesville, FL 32611

 

Vasubandhu Misra,

Associate Professor, Dept. of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Science, Florida State University

Co-Director, Florida Climate Institute, FSU

2000 Levy Ave, Building A, Suite 292, Tallahassee, FL 32306

 

Thomas J. Morgan Jr.

Assistant in Medicine, Florida State University

600 W College Ave, Tallahassee, FL 32306

 

Jack Nazario

            Commissioner, City of Belleair Bluffs

100 Bluff View Dr, Belleair Bluffs, FL

 

Karl Nurse

Council Member, City of St. Petersburg

P.O. Box 2842, St. Petersburg, FL 33731

 

John H. Parker,

Professor Emeritus of Environmental Science and Chemistry,

Florida International University

11200 SW 8th St, Miami, FL 33174

 

Dolores Paterno

5301 13th Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33710

 

Ashley Wilson Pimley

830 Lantana Ave, Clearwater Beach, FL 33767

 

William J. Reid

1421 18th Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33704

 

Darden Rice

Council Member, City of St. Petersburg

PO Box 812, St. Petersburg, FL 33731

 

Kathleen Kay Riley

1514 10th Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33705

 

Lynn Ringenberg, M.D.

President, Physicians for Social Responsibility/Florida

PO Box 13901, Tampa, FL 33681

 

Sandra Ripberger

7412 Riverview Dr, Bradenton, FL 34209

 

Zoë Shribman

54th Ave S, St. Petersburg, FL 33711

 

Brian Soden

Professor, University of Miami

4600 Rickenbacker Cswy, Miami, FL 33149

 

Claire A. Stiles, Ph.D.

Professor Emerita, Eckerd College

2577 69th Ave S, St. Petersburg, FL 33712

 

Nicole Torres

Environmental Studies Student

6975 15th Ave N, St. Petersburg, FL 33710

 

John Van Leer

Professor, University of Miami

4600 Rickenbacker Cswy, Miami, FL 33149

 

Laura Wetzel

Professor of Marine Science, Eckerd College

4200 54th Ave S, St. Petersburg, FL 33711

 

Katie Erica Wheeler

Eckerd College Student

45 Old Pecos Ln, Santa Fe, NM 87508

 

Robert White

2407 Needham Dr, Valrico, FL 33596

 

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