California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks during his annual State of the State address to a joint session of the Legislature, Jan. 21, 2016, in Sacramento, Calif.
Photo by Rich Pedroncelli/AP

California’s Jerry Brown has a response for Florida’s Rick Scott

Last week, Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) decided to pick a curious fight with California. In retrospect, he probably should have thought this through a little better.
To briefly recap, the Republican governor announced that he was on his way to the Golden State, where he’d try to convince business leaders to relocate. As part of the pitch, Scott, relying on his economic development organization, launched radio ads touting Florida’s lower minimum wage, non-existent state income tax, and weaker regulations.
The response from California Gov. Jerry Brown’s (D) press secretary was pretty compelling in its own right, but the governor himself took some time to reply to Rick Scott directly yesterday. The L.A. Times reported:
Brown’s letter to Gov. Rick Scott was billed as a plea for the Florida Republican to get engaged on the issue of climate change. But he also made it clear that he sees nothing wrong with California’s economic health these days.
“Rick,” Brown wrote, “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.”
As it turns out, Brown didn’t just send correspondence to his cross-country critic. The Californian also sent a report from a non-partisan climate initiative: “Come Heat and High Water: Climate Risk in the Southeastern U.S. and Texas.”
As Brown seemed eager to note, the report said, “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 Democratic governor concluded, “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.”
As best as I can tell, Scott, a climate denier, has not yet responded. Here’s hoping it’s because the Florida governor is still reading the report and coming to terms with its findings.