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Climate Change Litmus Test Labels Lawmakers 'Affirmers' Or 'Deniers'

Valters Boze/flickr
King tide in Miami Beach last September. The cyclical high tide is predicted to bring even more water into the streets as seas continue to rise.

A climate change litmus test has been circulating around Tallahassee. The man behind the test wants to get lawmakers and other state leaders on the record about their feelings regarding climate change and the risk to Florida.

Bart Bibler is tallying the results and posting them at Tallahassee350.org, an affiliate of a larger environmental group.  "A stable climate is considered to be about 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide, and globally we've now crossed 400 and we're climbing," Bibler says. "So that's why the international climate change group is called 350.org. Let's get the climate back down to 350 parts per million of CO2."

Bibler created the litmus test to find out the official position of lawmakers and other state leaders on climate change.  "An affirmer is one that recognizes that climate change is real and is now primarily caused by human activity and that we must immediately and aggressively try to mitigate its consequences," Bibler says. He labels those who don't sign their name to the litmus test as 'deniers.'

The test says:

  • I hereby acknowledge that climate change is real and is now primarily caused by human activity.
  • I recognize that this is a grave threat to the future of Florida and the planet.
  • I understand that we should think globally, but we must act locally.
  • Since Florida is one of the most vulnerable places on our planet, and is named The Sunshine State, I agree that we should be leaders in renewable energy, and we should begin immediately.
  • I am confident that if we aggressively begin a renewable energy path, this will ensure significant job creation and a sustainable economy in Florida.

Bibler was engrossed in controversy last year involving the Gov. Rick Scott administration’s unofficial ban on the term “climate change.” He received a written reprimand from the Department of Environmental Protection for injecting his personal opinion into a conference call about climate change. He recently left his job at the department and is now working for a solar energy company. 

He spoke with WLRN’s Gina Jordan at the Capitol.