Chris Christie Denies Climate Change Has Anything To Do With Hurricane Sandy

Yesterday, Governor Chris Christie (R-NJ) rejected the notion that Hurricane Sandy’s damage was worsened by climate change.

At a ceremonial event to mark the rebuilding of the Jersey Shore boardwalk post-Hurricane Sandy, Christie responded to a question from WNYC/New Jersey Public Radio about how the state could have better prepared for the consequences of climate change:

Well, first of all, I don’t agree with the premise of your question because I don’t think there’s been any proof thus far that Sandy was caused by climate change. But I would absolutely expect that that’s exactly what WNYC would say, because you know liberal public radio always has an agenda. And so since I disagree with the premise of your question I don’t feel like I have to answer the rest of it.

Of course, this isn’t about whether Sandy was “caused” by climate change. It’s about whether climate change and sea level rise are making such storms more frequent and much more destructive (see links below) — and that is something we can plan for.

Christie is already one of the few Republican leaders that acknowledge human activity causes climate change. Even so, he still casts it as a second-tier issue. “Maybe in the subsequent months and years, after I get done with rebuilding the state and getting people back in their homes,” he told reporters in February, “I’ll have the opportunity to ponder the esoteric question of the causes of the storm.” He even acknowledged climate change is real in the same speech where he announced that he was pulling New Jersey out of a regional compact aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Contrast Chrstie’s words with New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), who said, “We have a one-hundred year flood every two years now.” Still, both governors make the case for greater greater resiliency, even though Christie does not directly reference climate change. The different responses also characterize the gulf in NY and NJ preparations for climate change. According to a report from WNYC, New Jersey overlooked climate change warnings before Sandy, which resulted in it losing over one-quarter of its public transit fleet. Meanwhile, New York had consulted scientists on climate change-related incidents, and lost 19 of its 8,000 rail cars.

What Christie fails to grasp is the impact climate change is having on his constituents today, including coastal flooding, powerful storms, sea level rise, and drought. Extreme weather has also cost taxpayers $136 billion in the last three years, with Sandy’s toll alone at $60 billion.

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13 Responses to Chris Christie Denies Climate Change Has Anything To Do With Hurricane Sandy

  1. Ben Lieberman says:

    Looks like he’s getting ready to run for President by trying to get the flat-earthers back on board.

  2. Nell says:

    He will 1) never get the “proof” he is requiring and 2) live to regret this denial.

  3. Mike Roddy says:

    I agree with Ben. Christie, like most politicians, has no actual beliefs, or even opinions. He will say and do what benefits him and his wealthy supporters.

  4. prokaryotes says:

    Chris Christie Denies the Science of Climate Warming …. why doesn’t this surprise me at all?

  5. M Tucker says:

    Christy is a professional dick. We works at it, he is very good at it, he truly is a monumental dick.

    “Christie is already one of the few Republican leaders that acknowledge human activity causes climate change.” Wow, that sort of stuff really makes climate hawk swoon. They get all giddy thinking that climate legislation is just around the corner. When one of those Republican leaders reverses their position climate hawks get all indignant and trout out all the quotes to document their history. For Republicans leaders it does not matter. They are not going to support climate legislation and they are not going to try to educate their base. Talking about climate change only pisses-off their base. Talking about how climate change caused a hurricane or tornado (as Boxer did today in the Senate) or drought or heat wave or wildfire only makes conservatives mad. It makes them dig in harder. They see red. They REALLY do see it as a liberal conspiracy. It is not the Republicans leaders, it is the people who elect them and they will not listen to solutions because solutions mean a major change to what they see as their “way of life.”

    “What Christie fails to grasp is the impact climate change is having on his constituents today”

    What climate hawks fail to grasp is that the Republican leaders, and the people who keep them in office, do not want government interference into their “way of life.” Whatever impacts a climate hawk might put up are nothing more than normal climate variability to them. Appeals to science will only bring out how “liberal” scientists are engaged in a plot to increase government regulation and to change their “way of life.”

  6. Merrelyn Emery says:

    How long is that rebuilt boardwalk going to last? And people accuse me of being an ‘optimist’! ME

  7. Merrelyn Emery says:

    See article on the Arctic posted by Sasparilla in today’s news, ME

  8. David Goldstein says:

    We’re going down, folks!

  9. nyc-tornado-10 says:

    I believe christie is very defeatable in this november’s election. From what i have heard from people i know who live in new jersey, he is not as well liked as the wall $treet media would like us to believe. Christie cancelled a major transportation project that would have added at least ten thousand good construction related jobs and added alot of rail capacity between nyc and new jersey. He claims he created jobs, but unemployment is actually up since he took office, one of the few states that this has happened in, NJ unemployment was up under christie both before and after sandy. Christie is nasty, he is a poor governor, and definitely not presidential material, even GW bush was able to appear statesmen-like at times.

    Christie will outspend his opponent until the last month or so, then she will campaign heavily, raise alot of money and make a big comeback. The question is if the comeback can overcome christie’s big initial lead.

  10. Yep. That’s my take.

  11. Jay Lapidus says:

    Christie finessed the question. Technically what he said is correct. No single hurricane or even a single year of extraordinary weather can be “proof” by itself about the reality of man-caused global warming. The proof is in long-range patterns, of which there is ample evidence.

    The reporter specifically asked about the hurricane, not the flooding caused by sea-level rise. The governor treated the question narrowly and thus avoided (or evaded) the larger issue, as an ambitious politician in his position should.

  12. David Lewis says:

    I saw a BBC Planet Earth show featuring a polar bear attacking a walrus colony. All the walrus bunched together and turned their backs on the bear, protecting their young with a wall of blubber. You wouldn’t think the tactic would be effective, as blubber is very high up on the polar bear menu. But, walrus hide is so thick a bear can’t bite through it easily or very fast, so as he attacks a particular walrus, another one comes at him with his tusks. The result: a dying polar bear.

    Chris Christie may be thinking along these lines. Imagine a Christie Plan C. If Plan A is to stabilize the composition of the atmosphere as quickly as possible, and Plan B is to wait until more sh*t hits the fan and civilization is forced to implement one of these wacky plans to reflect solar radiation away from the system while attempting, with even less possibility of success, to stabilize the composition of the atmosphere as quickly as possible, there might now be the Christie Plan C.

    Fill the White House with a wall of blubber.

    What’s not to like? Its preposterous. Its guaranteed to be ineffective. It increases the size of government, or at least it would increase the size of the President, but to get a plan like this even staunch Tea Partiers would look the other way as they enlarged the door openings at the White House to see if they could get Christie in.

  13. Dave Allison says:

    Please don’t be shocked. He is a Republican. Facts don’t matter. Data don’t matter. You want him NJ? You got him. Democrats supporting him will regret their choice