By Dan Shapley
A First For The Southeast; Gov. Inspired By Schwarzenegger & Gore
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist will sign an agreement with Britain today, pledging to work together on an international system of carbon trading to reduce global warming pollution -- part of the Republican's plan for combating climate change in a beach state that's very vulnerable. Crist has emerged as a bold leader on the issue in an area of the country that had yet to be swept up into the states-led effort to do something about climate change. Crist has said that he drew inspiration from both fellow Republican Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor of California, and from Al Gore, the former vice president and global warming crusader. In taking the lead in his region, Crist lends ever more credibility to the notion that the states -- working together and across the country -- are leading effectively in the absence of federal action. For Florida, which stands to lose two thirds of its beaches to sea level rise, according to some estimates, has a clear reason to lead, and Crist is a welcome addition to the cast of bipartisan actors working on the issue.