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Jul 21, 2014 05:00 AM EDT

Eckard Prof Urges Florida Gov. to Reduce Carbon Emissions in State

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Florida Governor Rick Scott has agreed to officiate a meeting on climate change to develop effective strategies for reducing carbon pollution in the state.

David Hastings, a professor of marine science and chemistry at the Eckard College, along with 10 other prominent scientists, wrote a letter to the governor about the urgency to introduce ways to lower the state's carbon intensity rate by 38 percent by 2030. Scientists also highlighted the importance of complying with standards laid down by the Environmental Protection Agency.

An excerpt of the letter:              

"We note you have been asked several times about how, as Governor, you will handle the issue of climate change. You responded that you were 'not a scientist.' We are scientists and we would like the opportunity to explain what is at stake for our state."

A recent National Climate Assessment reported that Florida is one of those areas in the country that are most susceptible to climate change, sea level rise, extreme heat episodes, and water scarcity.

"This is not a meeting to talk about theoretical action," Hastings said. "The governor needs to set up a transparent process on the federal government's climate action plan. It is complex and important - this is how we're going to reduce heat-trapping gasses for the next 20 years," the Tampa Tribune reports.

Hastings also said that this meeting will be educative and informative to Scott, who did not believe in climate change during his campaign for governor in 2010. It is necessary for policymakers to comprehend the significance of current and future environmental effects of Climate Change.

Charlie Crist, a predecessor of Scott, was more active on issues related to environment and climatic conditions. He hosted a global-warming conference, created a state energy and climate commission, developed standards for lower emissions from automobiles, and opposed construction of coal-fueled power plants.

However, the Republican-dominated Legislature did not approve many of Crist's initiatives.

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