Posted by: coastlinesproject | December 6, 2014

Florida; Why its important to keep speaking truth to power

3. David Hastings: Proving politicians don’t need to be scientists to understand climate impacts
This year, politicians’ favorite attempt to avoid answering questions on climate change seemed to be: “I’m not a scientist”–as though that somehow disqualified them from having to address the issue.

One of the elected officials ducking climate-related questions in this way was Florida Governor Rick Scott who leads a state on the frontline of climate-driven rising sea level. Thankfully, Florida is also home to scores of scientists who study climate change. One of them, David Hastings, a marine science professor at Eckerd College, joined with several other researchers to respond directly to Gov. Scott. “We are scientists,” Hasting and his colleagues wrote, “and we would like the opportunity to explain what is at stake for our state.”

The effort paid off. Gov. Scott agreed to meet with Hastings and four other climate scientists and, afterward, he changed his tune, at least somewhat. Instead of arguing with other politicians about whether or not climate change is real, Gov. Scott has started arguing about solutions.

By speaking (scientific) truth to power, Hastings and his colleagues helped align the political discussion in Florida with scientific reality.

 

Read more in; Islands in the Storm, Storm Surge; A Coastal Village Battles the Atlantic, Beach Wars; 10,000 Years on a Barrier Beach. Available in local bookstores, and Amazon, Also See Strawberry Hill, UPNE, and Schiffer book tabs at the top of this page.

 

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