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Audubon: Majority Voters Support Crist on Climate Change

March 16, 2009

Florida's Governor Charlie Crist has new support for his policies on climate change – a new report from Audubon Florida shows that as many as 83 per cent of Florida voters support his proposals for clean cars, renewable energy, and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The study also found that the majority of voters believe that global warming is a fact, that it is caused by humans, and that Florida is at risk.

Eric Draper, policy director for Audubon Florida and author of the study, says people know what's going on.

"The public is, one; very informed, and two; concerned, and three; they actually support the policies that have been recommended by Charlie Crist to do something about it."

Draper says Crist has made combating climate change a top priority, sending bills to the legislature calling for adoption of the California standards for clean cars, and requiring utilities to work toward providing electricity through renewable sources like solar.

Draper says the governor's recommendations so far have been blocked by the state legislature.

"Charlie Crist took an aggressive stand. He recommended clean cars, renewable energy, and regulating greenhouse gases. The legislature responded by saying 'no no no'."

He says Florida is one of the biggest contributors in the world to greenhouse gas emissions, and one of the places most at risk.

"If we start right now and we reduce Florida's contribution to global warming, then we do a good job of making sure that our kids and grandkids don’t have to pay for our problems."

Draper says both the governor and the public recognize that Florida is vulnerable to the effects of global warming. He says scientists predict increased storm activity, increased coastal erosion, and sea-level rises that could put some Florida cities under water.

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Gina Presson , Public News Service - FL