The Effect Of Climate Change On Florida's Political Climate
The National Climate Assessment released by the White House last month noted that Florida is “exceptionally vulnerable to sea level rise” and other effects related to climate change.As other coastal states and the Obama administration take measures to combat these effects, Florida’s top politicians on both sides of the aisle are speaking out on the issue.
Republicans like Gov. Rick Scott, U.S. Senator Marco Rubio and former Governor Jeb Bush warn against what they see as alarmist policies that could harm the state’s economic recovery. Many also challenge the idea that climate change is man-made.
Democrats like Scott’s likely gubernatorial opponent Charlie Crist plan to place efforts to battle the effects of global warming - and the GOP’s skepticism of the issue — in the forefront heading into an election this fall.
How the issue plays a role in Florida’s governor’s race is being closely watched by groups around the country. The Super PAC NextGen Climate, backed by billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer, aims to spend 100 billion dollars to influence seven races around the country, including the Scott-Crist contest.
Susan MacManus, professor of political science at the University of South Florida, joined First Coast Connect guest host Fred Matthews to discuss how the climate change debate could affect this year's elections.
You can follow Fred Matthews on Twitter @FMATT99.