Floridians worried about climate change

Floridians seem a lot more worried about climate change than Marco Rubio is

In Florida, the threat of climate change — principally manifested in the form of rising seas — is kind of obvious. As we’ve reported here previously, there are already parts of the state, especially southeast Florida, that are complaining of beach erosion, more frequent flooding of neighborhoods, and saltwater intrusion into groundwater supplies.

Even many Republicans in southeast Florida, accordingly, don’t seem to have time for denying climate change and think it’s time to just start adapting to the problem.

[Forget “bans” on talking about climate. These Florida Republicans are too busy protecting their coasts]

Is Florida Sen. Marco Rubio (R), who just announced his presidential candidacy, one of them? It doesn’t appear so. In the past, he has expressed doubt as to whether “human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it.” And earlier this year, Rubio voted “nay” on an amendment introduced by Sen. Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) to express the sense of Congress that “climate change is real” and “human activity significantly contributes” to it.

Now, a new analysis by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication suggests that vote puts Rubio pretty far away from the views of his Florida constituents. The Yale research (based on this Nature Climate Change paper) examined the climate views of people in all 50 states, and provides a state by state breakdown of how many think global warming is either mostly human caused or caused by “both human activities and natural changes,” versus how many say it is either “not happening” or “caused mostly by natural changes.” Then, the analysis further compared those views with votes on the Schatz climate change amendment for all 100 U.S. senators.

In Florida, 56 percent of citizens opt for at least partial human causation and only 42 percent opt for “not happening/natural,” according to the Yale analysis. That’s a 14-point difference — with Rubio, based on his vote, presumably on the side of the minority.



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