NY Governor Cuomo: ‘Anyone Who Thinks That There Is Not A Dramatic Change In Weather Patterns Is Denying Reality’

Gov. Cuomo (D-NY):  “There has been a series of extreme weather incidents. That is not a political statement, that is a factual statement. Anyone who says there is not a dramatic change in weather patterns is denying reality.”

Floodwaters inundate Ground Zero construction site in NYC (AP)

At a press conference yesterday, New York Governor Cuomo talked about the need to plan for this permanent change in extreme weather. Cuomo has already had to deal with two devastating superstorms  since taking office in 2011 — Sandy and Irene.

He said, I don’t believe that” this is “the last occurrence we will have.” He told reporters, “We have a one-hundred year flood every two years now.”

His remarks are worth noting particularly since the 55-year-old governor is widely mentioned as a potential candidate in 2016 or beyond.

Yes, Cuomo didn’t specifically mention global warming, but his entire point was that there is a “new normal” but an old infrastructure, and it’s time to do some serious planning:

You did not have ocean water, salt water, breaching the banks the way you’ve had it in Manhattan, you know, in my lifetime…..

When you start to fill the subway tunnels with salt water—much of the Con Ed equipment is in the tunnels, is underground—when hot electrical equipment hits cold salt water, that is a bad combination. And that is a design flaw, I believe, for our system now, if you anticipate these extreme weather conditions.

Obviously we didn’t when we designed this system. We did not anticipate water coming over the Hudson River, coming over the banks, being five feet deep on the West Side Highway, and filling subway grates and every opening and filling that massive infrastructure we have below ground.

Going forward, I think we do have to anticipate these extreme types of weather patterns. And we have to start to think about how do we redesign the system so this doesn’t happen again. After what happened, what has been happening in the last few years, I don’t think anyone can sit back anymore and say “Well, I’m shocked at that weather pattern.” There is no weather pattern that can shock me at this point. And I think that has to be our attitude. And how do we redesign our system and our infrastructure assuming that?”

Note: The video of the press conference appears to be down, but I transcribed these remarks yesterday.

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10 Responses to NY Governor Cuomo: ‘Anyone Who Thinks That There Is Not A Dramatic Change In Weather Patterns Is Denying Reality’

  1. Stephen W says:

    Well, well!

  2. Zimzone says:

    Ground – Zero

    Water – One

  3. John McCormick says:

    We are facing our moment of truth:

    Melting Arctic sea ice and open Arctic Ocean leading to higher temperatures in eastern Arctic, North Atlantic leading to high pressure systems and erratic jet stream dipping south then straight north. Typical tropical storms taking heat from the Gulf Stream and churning north along the East coast will possibly be caught in the complex North Atlantic pressure systems and be drawn inland. Just my thought.

    The recent past has given way to a warmer future. NYC cannot reconstruct its underground systems. No time. Not enough money or alternative real estate to reposition the lines, tracks, roads, parking garages, etc.

  4. Fossil fuel companies must have politicians on a pretty short leash if even the Democratic govenor of twice climate-thrashed New York can’t mention “climate change” after what happened.

    It should be noted that saying “climate change” is still a big step away from what needs to be said: “pollution from fossil fuels is increasing dangerous weather extremes.”

    Can we have a carbon tax yet?

  5. Most hopeful statements I’ve seen from any politician on hurricane Sandy is the praise GOP NJ gov Christie is heaping on Obama for his handling of the crisis.

    Christie was a Romney attack dog who just weeks ago slammed Obama as clueless. Now he is touring with Obama and singing his praises as a leaders.

    I guess Romney’s mocking of Obama for working to “stop the rise of the seas” doesn’t seem quite so funny when those rising seas just trashed your state.

    Can we have a carbon tax now, GOP?

  6. K Draper says:

    While I am glad to hear my Governor say this, it will all be for naught if he goes ahead and allows fracking in the State. To admit that the climate is changing and that society is contributing to that change when so many others have remained silent or denied it, is a good thing. However if he enables society to further contribute to climate change using fracked gas, then one might just consider that hypocritical…

  7. SecularAnimist says:

    Governor Cuomo said: “There is no weather pattern that can shock me at this point.”

    I wouldn’t count on that, Governor.

  8. jimmy cracks capricorn says:

    Finally a politician with some stones. We Americans have been talking about climate change and shift due to CO2 since the 1970’s….you cannot wish it away, and there is not a flying sky genie that is going to rescue you or the rest of us if you pray.

  9. Mulga Mumblebrain says:

    A system controlled by money power, as are all capitalist economies, without exception, is one where the truth is what the Boss says it is. You see it, totally unmasked, in the groupthink and ideological and intellectual monoculture of the MSM, you see it in the near identical political parties, riven with hatred and contention over who would best serve the rich and you see it in the projection of the elite’s values onto society, such that our social order is characterised by greed, fear, hatred and pig ignorance. The great democratic public would rather insert their heads up their own fundaments that face the wretched truth, let alone sacrifice some portion of their obsessive consumption to protect their own children.

  10. Monica M says:

    The post states that Cuomo didn’t specifically mention global warming in the press conference. However, per Jim Dwyer’s 10/31/12 NYT column, the governor also said the following on Tuesday in a phone call: “I don’t call it ‘global warming’ because you trigger a whole political debate.” You don’t call it what it is because there are powerful forces who want to mislead the public? Yes, it’s important to recognize the increase in extreme weather, but what about acknowledging the underlying cause?