Protecting Florida for the Future

Gov. Rick Scott meets with scientists but remains silent on climate change

TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott listened to five of Florida’s top climate scientists Tuesday as they urged him to show leadership and develop policies to offset the impact of human-induced climate change to the state.

But the governor whose campaign strategy has been to say nothing on the issue except that he is “not a scientist,” stayed true to his plan. He would not comment, question or commit to whether or not he believes the warnings by the experts deserve his attention.

“Thank you all,” Scott said as the scientists finished their presentations within the 30-minute time period set aside to meet with them. His policy aide, Noah Valenstein, thanked the scientists for attending, and the governor exited the room. Next on the governor’s schedule was “staff and call time,” his aides said.

The scientists, who are at the top of their fields at the University of Miami, Florida State University and Eckerd College had asked for the meeting a month ago to explain the urgency of developing a more activist set of policies to mitigate the impact of global warming.