Florida Gov. Scott’s latest lame PR stunt – going to California this week to try and poach jobs – is flaming out in an embarrassing way. On Monday, California Gov. Jerry Brown wrote the below letter to Gov. Scott mocking his effort to denigrate California’s economy, and more importantly, calling out Scott for ignoring something that will have a disastrous impact on Florida’s economy if left unchecked: climate change.
Dear Governor Scott,
I’m writing to welcome you back to California – a state that in the last year has added more jobs than Florida and Texas combined. We’re home to Hollywood, Silicon Valley and more than 50 Fortune 500 companies. We attract more than half of the nation’s venture capital investment, win more than a quarter of the nation’s patents and grow much of the nation’s fruits and vegetables. Our budget is balanced. We’re paying down debt and building a solid rainy day fund.
Rick, a fact you’d like to ignore: California is the 7th largest economic power in the world. We’re competing with nations like Brazil and France, not states like Florida.
If you’re truly serious about Florida’s economic wellbeing, it’s time to stop the silly political stunts and start doing something about climate change – two words you won’t even let state officials say. The threat is real and so too will be the devastating impacts.
To help you get a better grasp on things, I’m enclosing a recent report authored by the Risky Business Project, a nonpartisan climate initiative led by Hank Paulson, Michael Bloomberg and Tom Steyer. It’s titled, “Come Heat and High Water: Climate Risk in the Southeastern U.S. and Texas,” and finds:
“Florida faces more risk than any other state that private, insurable property could be inundated by high tide, storm surge and sea level rise. By 2030 up to $69 billion in coastal property will likely be at risk of inundation at high tide that is not at risk today. By 2050, the value of property below local high tide levels will increase to up to about $152 billion.”
The report also notes that Florida’s economy could suffer billions of dollars in additional losses as labor productivity drops and storm damage mounts due to extreme weather events.
So, while you’re enjoying a stroll on one of California’s beautiful beaches this week, don’t stick your head in the sand. Take a few minutes to read the rest of this report. There’s no time to waste.
Edmund G. Brown Jr.