Barack Obama Trolled Rick Scott on the Environment During State of the Union

Barack Obama delivered his State of the Union last night, and pretty much everyone is talking about the moment in the evening when the president did some trash talking at Republicans who sarcastically applauded his declaration of not campaigning anymore by claiming it's because he won both elections. Boom. Mic drop.

But there was a similar moment during the speech, when Obama took to talking about the environment.

And while he didn't mention any names, the president's comments sure sounded very much like he was talking directly to a certain Florida governor who just won reelection.

Obama began to address his concerns with global warming and how the United States is contributing to it by saying, "I've heard some folks try to dodge the evidence by saying they're not scientists, that we don't have enough information to act."


If by "some folks," he means Rick Scott, sure.

And if by "try to dodge the evidence by saying they're not scientists," he means the times Scott has said that to the media, then also, sure.

Obama could also be talking about Marco Rubio, who has also evoked the "I'm no scientist" version of the Fifth.

In 2012, Rubio invoked his right to tell people he wasn't a scientist when he was asked if he knew whether the Earth was more than just a few thousand years old.

Then, just last year, Scott began throwing the "I'm no scientist" declaration everywhere he went and anytime a reported asked him to address global warming concerns, particularly when it came to Florida.

When asked by a reporter if people were responsible for climate change, Scott answered, "I'm not a scientist. But I know what I can do, and that is do everything I can do to protect the environment."

He was asked the same question just two weeks later, and he gave the same answer. Twice.

"Do you believe man-made climate change is significantly affecting the weather, the climate?" someone asked him.

"Well, I'm not a scientist," Scott replied. "But let's talk about what we've done. Through our Division of Emergency Management -- the last few years, three years -- we put about, I think, $120 million to deal with flooding around our coast. We also put a lot of money into our natural treasures, the Everglades, trying to make sure all the water flows south. So we're dealing with all the issues we can. But I'm not a scientist."

News of Scott, and to some extent Rubio's, constant claims of not being scientists was met with incredulity by environmental groups and people who generally care about these things. Of course, that didn't match the poll numbers, and Scott won reelection this past November, six months after he made these comments.

But on Tuesday night, Obama reminded America -- and us -- that Scott and politicians like him did say these things. He even acknowledged, inadvertently maybe, Rubio's claims that the president isn't a meteorologist (or scientist) either.

"Well, I'm not a scientist either," Obama said. "But... I know a lot of really good scientists at NASA and NOAA and at our major universities. The best scientists in the world are all telling us that our activities are changing the climate."

Obama then cited a recent report that showed 2014 as the hottest year on record and took shots at the proposed Keystone XL pipeline.

Last year, Obama announced that he wanted to implement more than 300 private- and public-sector clean job creations to help cut down carbon pollution with solar energy. He also wants to implement EPA regulations under the Clean Air Act to reduce greenhouse emissions from power plants.

Moreover, Florida stands to lose the most should greenhouse effects remain the same. Which means, we're all going to sink into the ocean if things don't change.

The 2014 National Climate Assessment report says that South Florida, in particular, is "exceptionally vulnerable to sea level rise."

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Chris Joseph
Contact: Chris Joseph