Reading the article “Florida GOP challenges climate science” (June 8), I was struck by both the cleverness and the foolishness of the Republican messaging used by Florida Gov. Rick Scott.

Clever, because by claiming “I’m not a scientist,” Scott identifies himself with the man on the street, and implies that we need make no difficult judgments regarding the scientific conclusions drawn by climate experts, those college-educated elitists in their white coats.

Foolish, because we would be nowhere if we had not relied on science to help us build the strong and vibrant country we live in today. Foolish, because the United States must do everything it can to reduce the havoc that climate disruption may cause.

If Gov. Scott truly cared about his state, he would be learning from climate scientists and acting responsibly to keep South Florida’s infrastructure from slowly crumbling in the face of sea level rise.

He would enact cap-and-trade legislation his party once enthusiastically supported, so successful here in the Northeast. He would lead instead of hiding behind alleged ignorance.

Sam Saltonstall

Peaks Island