Florida Democratic gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist on Friday delivered the perfect response to Republicans who claim they lack the scientific background to express an opinion as to whether man-made climate change is real.
“I’m not a scientist either, but I can use my brain, and I can talk to one,” Crist said Friday at a Florida State University presentation on greenhouse gases and rising sea levels, according to SaintPetersBlog.
The claim is a common refrain in the Republican Party. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) explained in 2012 that, while he "wasn't a scientist, man," he believed the age of Earth was "one of the great mysteries." House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) similarly said earlier this year that he was "not qualified to debate the science over climate change." And Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) also used the line when asked whether he was worried that rising sea levels posed a threat to his coastal home.
President Barack Obama made hay out of the line in June, slamming politicians who use it for failing to curb the harmful effects of carbon emissions.
“Let me translate," he said in drought-stricken California. "What that means is, ‘I accept that man-made climate change is real, but if I admit it, I’ll be run out of town by a radical fringe that thinks climate science is a liberal plot.'"
"I'm not a scientist either, but we've got some good ones at NASA," he added.
Crist, who is a former Republican, currently leads Scott 45 percent to 40 percent in Florida’s hotly contested governor’s race, according to a new Quinnipiac University survey.