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Zombies take New Jersey: Governor Christie questions climate science

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"Zombies take New Jersey: Governor Christie questions climate science"

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“One of the reasons why I became a lawyer, and not a doctor, or an engineer, or a scientist, because I can’t figure this stuff out.”

In theory we elect political leaders who then consult with or even hire leading experts to help them make informed judgments on complex subjects affecting the health and well-being of their constituents.

In practice, the GOP has been taken over by the climate zombies, a condition spread by drinking tea.  Even previously smart and/or blunt people abandon any reason or clarity when it comes to climate science (see McCain drinks the Kool-Aid [iced tea?] and becomes a climate conspiracy theorist and The dumbing down of Carly Fiorina).

And so it is with the former ‘straight shooter’ Chris Christie, Governor of the Garden State, which would be devastated by the impact of unrestricted emissions of greenhouse gases, especially sea level rise, as Princeton scientists have explained.

HuffPost was provided with his full remarks on climate science from a Tuesday town meeting.  To sum up in one word — Fuggedaboutit:

Mankind, is it responsible for global warming? Well I’ll tell you something. I have seen evidence on both sides of it. I’m skeptical — I’m skeptical. And you know, I think at the at the end of this, I think we’re going to need more science to prove something one way or the other.

But you know – cause I’ve seen arguments on both sides of it that at times – like I’ll watch something about man made global warming, and I go wow, that’s fairly convincing. And then I’ll go out and watch the other side of the argument, and I go huh, that’s fairly convincing too.

So, I go to be honest with you, I don’t know. And that’s probably one of the reasons why I became a lawyer, and not a doctor, or an engineer, or a scientist, because I can’t figure this stuff out. But I would say at this point, that has to be proven, and I’m a little skeptical about it. Thank you.

Cigarettes cause health problems?  Well I’ll tell you something.  I have seen evidence on both sides of it.

Like I’ll watch something about the dangers of cigarette smoking and I go, wow, you have to be suicidal to keep smoking when every doctor you’ve seen has diagnosed you with early-stage emphysema.  And then I’ll go out and listen to some scientists funded by the tobacco industry, and I go huh, that’s fairly convincing too.  So, to be honest with you, I’m simply incapable of actually figuring out what the overwhelming majority of scientists and leading scientific institutions say on this subject.

And that’s why I became a governor, who has to make crucial decisions that affect millions of people and most importantly our children, because I can’t figure this stuff out.  I would say this point, that has to be proven, so I’m just going to keep smoking — and take “the state’s entire allocation for its global warming fund ($65 million) to help close” the budget deficit.  Thank you.

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27 Responses to Zombies take New Jersey: Governor Christie questions climate science

  1. Russell says:

    Has Christie acquired Reverend Moon’s science advisor along with his legal philosophy ?

    http://www.americanthinker.com/2010/11/the_green_bubble_is_about_to_b.html

  2. More on Christie’s objectivity at This American Life. He was the U.S. Attorney for this case.

    It’s one of the first cases that went to trial in the War on Terror, and one the Justice Department pointed to as one of their big successes. In the end, they got Lakhani, red-handed, delivering a missile to a terrorist in New Jersey. The only problem was, nothing in the sting was what it appeared to be. Including the missile.

    Arms Trader 2009

  3. Ben Lieberman says:

    This is almost exatly what Charlie Baker, the Republican who ran for governor said though not quite as quotable.

    Here’s Christie: “One of the reasons why I became a lawyer, and not a doctor, or an engineer, or a scientist, because I can’t figure this stuff out.”

    Now Baker ” You’re asking me to take a position on something I don’t know enough about. I absolutely am not smart enough to believe that I know the answer to that question.’’ (http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/editorials/articles/2010/02/11/charlie_bakers_willful_ignorance/)

    Is this a standard answer being handed out by consultants at GOP candidate school?

    For Crazy Grade 1–just deny and say it’s all a hoax
    For the it’s just to completed for us folks act: I don’t know nothing

    Either way the GOP seems bound and determined to destroy the climate.

  4. Peter M says:

    Science and law are very different- one deals with absolutes (Science) the other with many shades of gray (Law)

    Christie is showing no interest in the future of his state- which in the future will be very vulnerable to sea rise and the other ravages of climate change-

    If all those Green companies cannot get started in NJ becasue of the trunk in the sand attitude of the states Governor, they can simply look to Connecticut.

    We will have a new Governor here January 5th 2011. Mr. Malloy is very receptive to a Green economic future for the state and believes that climate change is real, and will have major negative impacts on Connecticut’s future.

    NJ loss is Connecticut’s gain.

  5. Wit's End says:

    Haha, here’s the email I sent this afternoon to Christie’s press secretary (I am so ashamed to be from New Jersey now!):

    Dear Mr. Drewniak,

    I’m a freelance writer, publishing at http://www.witsendnj.blogspot.com, where the topic is mainly trees and the effects of ozone on vegetation.

    I read the following quote from Governor Christie’s remarks in Toms River yesterday as follows:

    “I think at the at the end of this, I think we’re going to need more science to prove something one way or the other. But you know – cause I’ve seen arguments on both sides of it that at times – like I’ll watch something about man made global warming, and I go wow, that’s fairly convincing. And then I’ll go out and watch the other side of the argument, and I go huh, that’s fairly convincing too. So, I got to be honest with you, I don’t know. And that’s probably one of the reason’s why I became a lawyer, and not a doctor, or an engineer, or a scientist, because I can’t figure this stuff out. But I would say at this point, that has to be proven, and I’m a little skeptical about it.”

    Based on Governor Christie’s analysis of climate change as stated, could you as his spokesman (or in his own words, even better) please tell me what the Governor’s answer to the following questions would be:

    Does his approach towards understanding climate change mean that if he was diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor he would consult both respected oncologists and brain surgeons advising surgery and chemotherapy – as well as homeopaths and hypnotherapists, advising homeopathic remedies and hypnosis – and then, since the medical authorities and the quacks don’t agree, decide to do nothing and wait for more research?

    Or would he follow his doctor’s advice and if so, is there some reason, since he admits HE doesn’t know, that he would trust medical experts endorsed by the AMA when it comes to his health, but not climate experts regarding climate science endorsed by the National Academy of Science, among every other national and international scientific organization?

    Thank you so much in advance for a response to these important questions.

    Sincerely,

    Gail Zawacki
    Oldwick, NJ

  6. Michael Tucker says:

    “In theory we elect political leaders who then consult with or even hire leading experts to help them make informed judgments on complex subjects affecting the health and well-being of their constituents.”

    Who consulted with President Obama? Whoever it was should be fired and the President should get with Pelosi’s expert. The House, under Pelosi, is the only elected arm of the government that has ACTUALLY DONE ANYTHING to address global warming. Sure the bill did not go anywhere but that had nothing to do with Pelosi, or her leadership, but EVERYTHING to do with Senate and executive leadership.

    Christie is like the smoker who hasn’t yet been diagnosed and who ignores what happens to other smokers. He has heard arguments on both sides of the smoking debate but he is not yet convinced. Once he is diagnosed with emphysema or congestive heart failure (evidence) he may then decide to stop…or not. Many smokers do continue in the face of clear evidence.

    Christie is talking about arguments on both sides but it is the EVIDENCE that sways a jury. Once sea level actually moves the Jersey Shore westward Christie might change his mind. Until sea level DOES threaten New Jersey these deniers must be presented with actual evidence of global warming. The evidence that global climate disruption is happening NOW must be heaped in front of all deniers and foot-draggers; not to change their minds but to sway the American public.

    Since we are getting stupider representatives with each passing election I think we should seriously consider reducing their pay.

  7. David B. Benson says:

    I see.

    Its climate hawks versus climate zombies.

    Don’t envy you, Gail Z.

  8. This is cute and funny to call him an ignoramus.

    But this is criminally willful ignorance.

    It should be a crime, it should be severely punished.

  9. Daniel Ives says:

    We need a regularly updated map that tracks this zombie apocalypse as it spreads/receeds.

    Everyone check your zombie kits and be sure they are properly stocked.

  10. Michael Tucker says:

    Being stupid is not against the law. In America we are free to believe whatever we like (I remember a prominent president who thought acid rain was caused by trees) and I think the recent crop of elected representatives is just proof that our educational system HAS FAILED.

    A job in congress may be all that is left for high school drop-outs.

  11. Wit's End says:

    Peter M – or anyone – if you want to pass those sentiments on here is Christie’s press secretary’s email:

    michael.drewniak@gov.state.nj.us

  12. dp says:

    polluting is theft. it’s a crime, stealing from other people by forcing them to pay for damages you caused.

    but the republican party stands for lawlessness, so along w/ letting the banksters off the hook, tolerance of medical industry extortion, and impeachable lies leading to illegal war, you get more pollution.

    rotten to the core.

  13. Prokaryotes says:

    Daniel Ives, this tool let’s you create 3 online maps for free.

    http://www.mindmeister.com/

  14. Lore says:

    I don’t care much for school bullies or Danny DeVito impersonators. Let alone someone who portends to know what it’s all about pretending he can’t know what it’s all about. If the last sentence sounds like doubletalk to you, then you understand Chris Christie.

  15. Prokaryotes says:

    Chris Christie’s Position on Climate Change Depends on the Last Thing He Watched http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2010/11/chris_christie_can_be_easily_c.html

  16. toby says:

    Typical lawyer turned politician… he can argue black is black one day, then argue it is white the next, then vote for some putrid shade of grey to further his own career at the expense of the people he was elected to represent … but you never expect them to admit it so insouciantly, as if it was a virtue … Shakespeare’s “Kill all the lawyers” never seemed so apt … at least drive them out of politics, starting with this cretin.

  17. A face in the clouds says:

    This guy is even dumber than Rick Perry.

  18. cookingwithsolvents says:

    Someone should start asking these people the following question: If you are not qualified to weight the facts as presented by experts in the field and make a decision then why are you qualified to hold an elected office?

    Possible follow up (if they try to dodge): Isn’t making good decisions with incomplete information the hallmark of a true leader?

    This “aww, shucks, I’m not smart enough” IS an answer. It is as dishonest a one as possible. If someone truly doesn’t believe in climate change they should go on record, and the same if they DO believe in climate change. The lines need to be drawn in the sand and we as a society have to apparently make our leaders publicly pick a side.

  19. Roger Wehage says:

    “Think White and Get Serious.”

    People, it’s time to get serious. The real question is, “WHY?”

    The more important question is, “Why is it that a majority of climate change deniers are affluent and/or elderly Caucasians?”

    Could it be that people like Christie are doing and saying exactly what the people who voted for them are doing and saying? Contrary to popular opinion on this website, the majority of Republicans and Tea Partiers are not illiterate or uninformed or stupid. They/We are deathly afraid that climate change advocates will cause them/us to lose their/our five vices—homes, cars, food, luxuries, and wealth. They/We would rather condemn future generations to eternal hell than sacrifice those vices.

    So let’s get down to the real issue, The Psychology of Climate Change Denial. “I’m Sorry. We could have stopped catastrophic climate change… We didn’t.”

    So let’s face it; people like Governor Christie are symptoms of a scared society, but they are not the cause. The cause lies within each and every one of us who refuses to act. Educated rhetoric is not action. Concern is not action. Ridicule is not action. Action will not happen until those who know how to mitigate climate change start mitigating. Those who really want to mitigate climate change must lead the way, for who else will?

    “THE TIME TO ACT IS NOW!” they scream into their microphones. But when is now and what are the acts? Unfortunately the “nows” are always one or two or five or ten years in the future and the “acts,” tailored to please the public, always fall far short of accomplishing the necessary tasks.

    Educated Climate Scientists must do much more than just hone their messages to perfection in vain attempts to convert audiences afraid of or not inclined to respond to those messages. They (We) get your messages loud and clear, but “THEY (WE) AIN’T DOIN’ IT!” Climate Scientists’ challenges are to understand why they (we) ain’t doin’ it and change their actions and messages to they (we) will take heed and act.

    Climate Scientists should think of them (us) as lost sheep who must be shown the way home. You must lead them (us) and they (we) will follow. I cannot emphasize enough, don’t just warn them (us) of the dire consequences of climate change; show them (us) the way, how they (we) can do the right thing now.

    Show them (us) the way.

  20. Keith says:

    Actually, a competent lawyer should possess or should have developed a fairly rigorous facility with logical analysis. As a lawyer, I find the macro-scientific concepts behind global warming to be quite easy to comprehend. Sorry, New Jerseyians, you seem to have elected yourselves an incompetent lawyer.

  21. Pat says:

    “Sorry, New Jerseyians, you seem to have elected yourselves an incompetent lawyer.”

    There is a lot of that going on.

    Cheers!

  22. Roger Wehage says:

    Keith @20 says: Sorry, New Jerseyians, you seem to have elected yourselves an incompetent lawyer.

    Roger @19 says: Could it be that politicians like Christie are doing and saying exactly what the people who voted for them are doing and saying?

    If New Jerseyians elected an incompetent lawyer, it’s because they wanted an incompetent lawyer. I would argue that Christie is far from incompetent. I can think of more appropriate descriptive adjectives for Christie and lawyers in general, but incompetent is not one of them. As most politicians who wish to remain in office do, Christie is simply catering to the will of the people who put him there.

  23. Bob G says:

    Christie sounds to me like Sgt. Schultz in Hogan’s Heroes. “I know nothing, nothing,” Schultz proclaimed, and he most emphatically did not want to know anything.

  24. Ju says:

    Thanks a lot for making my day, I laughed loud at this post. So dumb they are :D

  25. JasonW says:

    As someone half-British I take strong exception to this sentence: “In practice, the GOP has been taken over by the climate zombies, a condition spread by drinking tea.”

    I can safely assert that despite me drinking several cups of the stuff every day, I am most definitely NOT a climate zombie. ;)

  26. Leif says:

    Christie, one of the reasons God or evolution gave you a “brain” is so you could figure this stuff out and save your kids as well as Earth’s life support systems.

  27. rjs says:

    Utah Phillips once said, “The earth is not dying. It is being killed, and the people killing it have names and addresses.”

    •Who is doing this?

    •Who has been governing our planet this way and why?

    •Cui bono? Who benefits?

    •Who has suppressed alternative technologies resulting in our dependency on fossil fuels? Why?

    •Who has generated how much financial capital generated from this damage?

    •How did things get this bad without our changing? How much was related to fear of and dirty tricks of those in charge?

    •How do we recapture resources that have been criminally drained and use them to invest in restoring environmental balance?

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0609/S00358.htm