Christi ready to flip-flop on climate change?

New Jersey Governor Chris Christi has ticked off movement conservatives in a lot of ways. One of them was recognizing the role climate change can play in tropical cyclones. It’s hard to say for sure from a single off the cuff comment, but he may now be considering a run for the wingnut vote:

MotherJones — (August 2011) Chris Christie, the combative Republican governor of New Jersey, thinks that climate change is a problem and humans are causing it. “Climate change is real…[and] impacting our state,” he said in August 2011. “Human activity plays a role in these changes.” … in simply acknowledging that climate change is not some liberal conspiracy, Christie is standing out from the GOP pack.

(May 2013) —  And so we circle back now to Christie on the boardwalk. Should New Jersey have prepared with climate change in mind? No, the governor said, “’cause I don’t think there’s been any proof thus far that Sandy was caused by climate change.”

That’s a subtle statement, it could be taken in several ways. His actual record on the issue, though, pulling out of agreements and whacking clean energy funding, is mediocre at best. Regardless, Christi picked a bad time to limber up for the obligatory flip-flop, if that’s what it was, his remark came right before Oklahoma was pummeled by a slew of tornadoes sure to reignite the issue.


  1. mikeyb says

    You can bet that Christi will either remain silent, make statements about his skepticism about climate change, ala Romney, or just go plain wingnutty ala Palin, senator from Oklahoma, etc. if he honesty expects to get the rethug vote. Which is both political and downright criminal, given that climate change could become not just an extremely expensive nuisance, but an actual existential threat to our present “civilized’ way of life. Unfortunately climate change is not like gun control, wingnuttery creates tragedy in either case but the degree and kind are orders of magnitude in their effects. The longer we ignore this, the more painful the effects are eventually going to become.

  2. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    No, the governor said, “’cause I don’t think there’s been any proof thus far that Sandy was caused by climate change.”

    It may not quite be proof but this youtube clip :

    Hurricane Sandy’s Double Whammy’ by Greenman3610 – especially the bit starting 3 min 10 secs mark which explains a bit of why this is likely the “new Normal” for climate disasters like Sandy.

    Plus there’s the longer:

    Bill McKibben on Sandy and Climate Change: “If There Was Ever A Wake Up Call this is It’ as well as :

    <i?'You Simply Can’t Ignore The Evidence Connecting Hurricane Sandy To Global Warming' the title of which says it a lot especially considering its from Business insider -hardly a radicla leftist source.

  3. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    Should New Jersey have prepared with climate change in mind? No, the governor said, “’cause I don’t think there’s been any proof thus far that Sandy was caused by climate change.”

    Someone tell Chris Christie I don’t think its not for nothing that NASA’s top climatologist titled his most famous book – one I’d very highly recommend – ‘Storms of My Grandchildren’ and writes in it :

    “Storms. That is the one word that will best characterize twenty-first century climate, as policy makers continue along their well trodden path of much talk without a fundamental change of direction. Our grandchildren are in for a rough ride.”
    – Page250, ‘Storms of My Grandchildren’ , Dr James Hansen,Bloomsbury Publishing,2009.

    I fear Hansen like many climatologists, far from being “alarmist” are rather underestimating things. It may well not (just) be our grandchildren but our children and even our own lifetimes that are being severely worsened by the issue of Human-Induced Rapid Global Overheating (HIRGO) as I prefer to call it.

    One thing we know is that Arctic sea ice is definitely melting far faster than the models predicted -and this almost certainly will have dramatic escalating feedbacks and negative consequences beyond merely removing sometimes and for increasingly longer spells one of Earth’s polar ice caps.

    Ask yourselves this, please :

    – Would you trust NASA rocket scientists to build a rocket to fly you to the Moon?

    – Would you trust a NASA flight surgeon to medically clear you for the flight as healthy enough to do so?

    – If so, then why would you NOT trust a NASA climatologist to warn us of potential climate problems?

  4. StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return! says

    PS. Last comment by me for this thread for a good while if not longer here I promise, but a glimpse at what we might well have in store in the future can be found here :

    “Katrina-Like Storm Surges Could Become Norm” by Becky Oskin.

    Except :

    Though Hurricane Sandy was considered a 100-year-event — a storm that lashes a region only once a century — a new study finds global warming could bring similar destructive storm surges to the Gulf and East Coasts of the United States every other year before 2100. .. (snip) .. A 0.4 C warming corresponded to doubling of the frequency of extreme storm surges, the study found. “With the global warming we have had during the 20th century, we have already crossed the threshold where more than half of all ‘Katrinas’ are due to global warming,” Grinsted said.

    This new study may be wrong, it may be over-estimating – or worse underestimating – the stormy situation.

    But would you really – quite literally in some case – want to bet your house or even life on that?

    Someone really should bring that study and question to Chris Christie’s attention and, ditto, the last three question I’ve asked in my comment above here.

  5. says

    I almost feel bad for Christie.* It’s tough to bridge the gap between Jersey Republicans and the national ones–Jersey Republicans are largely rich people with a whiny selfish stick up their butts about paying taxes, but they take properly educating their children very seriously because they need them to be able to get into good schools and become doctors ‘n’ stuff in order to remain well-off. The anti-science and anti-basic-sex-ed aspects of national Republican wingnuttery don’t go over so well with them. I grew up in a heavily Republican town in Jersey; the older generations might be a bit undecided about climate change but us younger ones all grew up learning it in school as scientific fact.

    *Almost, because then I remember what an assbag he is.

  6. maudell says

    It’s funny, I read it as him saying “there is climate change, but we don’t know if it was the cause of Sandy/ there might have been a hurricane in a parallel universe without climate change.” If so, it was a pretty clumsy way to communicate that. Maybe I’m being too charitable, he does have a pretty terrible record.

  7. blf says

    Even if Superstorm Sandy cannot be definitively linked to AGW / Climate Change, so what? AGW is real, is causing real effects, and will continue to cause real and worsening effects for a very long time to come.

  8. Randomfactor says

    I think he’s actually kind of right. Are storms like Sandy and the Oklahoma tornadoes typical of what we’ll see with global warming?

    Probably not–they’ll likelyl be WORSE in the future. We’ve gotten off easy…so far.

  9. says

    He’s kinda of right, he’s also kinda wrong. It’s like saying “there’s no evidence these loaded dice caused this number to come up.” There is indeed evidence loaded dice cause numbers to come up more often than statistically predicted with fair dice, that applies to each and every roll independently, that’s the whole reason dice are loaded in the first place.

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