Evangelicals Urge Rick Scott To Act On Climate Change As A 'Pro-Life' Issue

Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks with members of the media, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014 at the University of Miami Miller School of
Florida Gov. Rick Scott speaks with members of the media, Monday, Sept. 22, 2014 at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

A group of evangelical Christians is taking to the airwaves in Florida to urge Republican Gov. Rick Scott to take action on climate change, arguing that it, too, is a "pro-life" issue.

"I'm pro-life, and I'm pro-family," says one female voice featured in the ad, sponsored by the Evangelical Environmental Network. "And I do believe we should do all we can to protect our environment. It was given to us by God."

"Climate change is real. It endangers the health of our children, worsens poverty throughout the world, and threatens our economy," says a male voiceover. "Call Governor Rick Scott and tell him as pro-life Christians we believe care for God's creation is one of the greatest moral challenges of our time. Tell Governor Scott now is the time to act to curb climate change."

Scott has been a target of a number of campaigns asking him to acknowledge the reality of climate change. Earlier this year, Scott avoided a question from a reporter about whether he believes climate change is happening, after previously saying he did not believe it was. A group of climate scientists recently organized a meeting with Scott to encourage him to take action on climate, and billionaire investor Tom Steyer's group NextGen Climate Action recently launched an ark tour to call him out on the issue. Scott is currently up for reelection in the state, and is facing former Gov. Charlie Crist in a close race.

Evangelical Christians have also been working to convince Scott. The latest ad is running on Christian radio stations throughout the state.

"I think his heart is in the right place," Alexei Laushkin, vice president of the Evangelical Environmental Network, said about Scott in an interview with The Huffington Post. Laushkin said the group has organized 60,000 pro-life Christians in the state to contact Scott's office since May, asking him "to bring conservative leadership to this question."

"He's a fellow Christian. We believe he will do the right thing on this issue," said Laushkin. "We believe the intention is there, now we just want to see some follow-through. We think his conservative leadership is needed. It would be a game-changer in our mind."



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