Facepalm: Governor Chris Christie Does Epic Flip-Flop on Climate Change

If your name is Chris Christie, you should probably acknowledge that climate change is real. The idea that someone who is the governor of a state ravaged by a hurricane like Sandy, you’d think that environmental causes would shoot straight to the top of your short list of things to get done in your term. Instead, the boisterous New Jersey governor is now to be counted among the group of Americans who cannot see the forest for the trees. Christie said, “I don’t think there’s been any proof thus far that Sandy was caused by climate change” at a ceremony on Monday this week. So there you have it.

For all the talk of Christie being “sensible,” you can pretty much chuck it all out into the refuse pile. Sensible people don’t preside over a state that’s hit with a mega storm — and not just a mega storm, but a mega storm in a part of the world that hasn’t seen these kinds of weather events, perhaps ever — and not at least give some credence to the fact that climate change exists. It’s absolutely insane that in 2013 anyone who finished junior high school would have the temerity to demand “proof” of climate change. I’m not a climate scientist, but I do have a decent memory, and I have never in my life been witness to so many natural disasters, and certainly not so many of absolutely devastating proportions.

My own feelings and recollections about the sheer number of catastrophic weather events aside, climate change isn’t a myth. Carbon levels in our air were recently discovered to be at a level that scientists have long believed is a bellwether of  truly disastrous environmental shifts. Christie demonstrates a fatal flaw in conservative thinking towards climate change. He plays the old “how do we know we’re the ones doing it?” card.

This notion that we shouldn’t do anything about our rapidly changing environment because we don’t “know for sure” of mankind’s level of responsibility for the climate shifts is absurdity of a nearly criminal level. As if that’s the only reason why mankind should try to drastically reduce our carbon outlay — if we were the ones doing all the damage. Of course we’re not the ones doing all the damage. That’s what makes those people so smug, they are technically right. The Earth does in fact have its own patterns of environmental shifts. However, to sit in a bubble of disconnection from reality and claim that man has had no hand in it is just plain false. We know for certain that man has not just had a hand in it, but has been a driving force behind the dangerous levels of carbon in our atmosphere.

It’s nothing new, climate change — or the existence of those who deny its reality, potency and urgency of needed action. We’ve been talking about it seriously for decades now. The right hasn’t always been anti-environment either. It was with the rise of the religious right that conservatism moved away from conservation and turned to domination. Evangelicals don’t worry about climate changes because their God wouldn’t give them a planet to inhabit unless he meant for us to put that blue and green orb in a choke hold and squeeze every last goddamned drop of blood out of the stone.

That being said, it’s as plain as the nose on my face that Christie has designs on a national political career. He wants to be president. As Sandy was ravaging his state’s shoreline, Christie seemed to show the kind of leadership Republicans actually need if they want to have a prayer of taking back the White House. He was kind to President Obama, respectful, and even praised him for keeping his word to help Governor Christie’s constituents. I was pretty impressed with his ability to distance himself from the virulent and nasty rhetoric of a presidential campaign — one that he’d been very openly and loudly campaigning for Mitt Romney in — in order to take care of the people who elected him to do just that, to care for them.

If Christie thinks he can be a formidable candidate in 2016, he can’t do this shit — he can’t be ignorant of science. It’s one of the most damning characteristics of the current Republican Party. If the GOP had been around in the 15th Century they’d be the ones insisting Columbus was about to embark on a mission over the edge of the Earth. Truly, those that deny climate change are no different than those who denied the spherical shape of the Earth, that our planet actually revolves around the Sun, and that indeed the evolution of species is real and proven. They are Luddites, people who in fifty years’ time will be laughed at for their inability to grasp very simple and very easily proven concepts of climate change.

Those that deny climate science aren’t just laughable scoundrels of political gamesmanship, though. They are dangerous to humanity. As a nation, we’re all watching the effects of another devastating weather event in Oklahoma. This isn’t something to be taken lightly or lying down. The bottom line is actually very simple. Even if you’re one of the Neanderthals who just won’t admit that we’re killing Mother Earth, you should at least be able to recognize the damage done to the Earth. Regardless of what’s at “fault” the time for blame is over. The time for action is now. Governor Christie should be ashamed of himself, especially because he used to be on the right side of the issue, as the linked Daily Beast article points out.

Remember Governor Christie, Mitt Romney made a hard right pivot getting ready for 2008 and 2012, too. Maybe you should use some of the Jersey street smarts and wise up, you mook.

James Schlarmann

James is in his thirties and gets really passionately angry about politics. Sometimes that anger foments into diatribes, and sometimes those diatribes are comical. Other times, they are not. James is the founding contributor and editor-in-chief of The Political Garbage Chute, a left-leaning satire and commentary site, which can be found on Facebook as well.

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  • He got his Sandy relief, now back to his old republican ways! Gotta kiss party ass, yanno?

  • KatieDancer

    Bye-bye to the blue vote!

  • Maybe some of that weight he is losing is coming from his brain…

  • Thomas Barry

    “Ravished?” I think you meant “ravaged”.

  • Randy Hyle

    Yet they will believe, beyond all doubt, that there is an invisible old man up in the sky that actually cares what is happening down here….LOL!

    I was always taught that, “an ounce of prevention is worth more than a pound of cure.” What the hell is wrong with working NOW to make our world an environmentally cleaner, safer, and better planet for our children and grandchildren? Why wait till people are dying from bad air, polluted water, and mega storms before we do something about it?

    • SluttyMary

      I agree. Even if humans played no role in warming, that STILL doesn’t mean we shouldn’t do anything to slow or reverse it.

    • kurtsteinbach

      Why wait until then? Unfortunately, they already are. Climate change just killed 24 people in the worst tornado in U.S. History in Oklahoma. 190+ MPH sustained winds….

  • jimbob

    Between climate change and all the space left under the earth’s crust from removing all the oil and coal, gas too, where do you think all the earthquakes come from and super storms.

    • Mcgoo

      They fill those holes while they are pumping them to make sure the holes don’ collapse.

  • Miguel

    *sigh* Are there no sane Republicans?

  • oicu0rt

    “I don’t think there’s been any proof thus far that Sandy was caused by climate change”

    I agree with him…because it wasn’t ’caused’ by climate change. However climate change is affecting the intensity and nature of our weather system. Climate change means sever weather and severe weather effects may be more common. Now I don’t know if he was responding to a question, or it was a general statement, but the quote isn’t enough to lambast this guy. If there’s more to it, and I suspect there probably is, then fair enough, add that to the article. But don’t kick him for being right (in both senses.)

    • Just saw a beautiful picture (beautiful but horrible) of the biggest iceburg in Iceland breaking apart because of the warmer weather. No matter what you want to blame it on, it is going to cause us major trouble. It has already. Even if we reverse policy today, we are still screwed pretty much but we SHOULD reverse policy for the sake of our grandkids. and yet we won’t.

  • Tim Maki

    Good points and as a climate change activist, I agree But don’t paint all evangelicals with the same religious-right brush. You’d do better to refer to them as Christian fundamentalists. Most evangelicals I know are intelligent, strong believers in their responsibility to care for the creation entrusted to them. Every religion has its fundamentalist extremists. As progressives we need to be able to discern that element without generalizing about the broader body of adherents in a particluar belief system.

  • Good, the more dumb they talk, they less chance they have of getting anyplace. i thought he was the ONLY repub who had any change (not that I wanted that). Forget that, he is a loony as the rest of them. They will insure dem wins for the foreseeable future.

  • Dan Pollack

    Think about it logically. Can it be proven that Sandy, specifically is the result of climate change? I am not sure. Do we have climate change. I AM sure. A Sandy has been waiting to happen since I was a kid. Storms have been getting larger since I can remember but weather patterns really haven’t. Storms have been increasing in virulence for decades, only if you can track the causes of climate change to their root can you really say, with certainty, that Sandy WAS caused by Climate Change.

    The proof is in the hands of the farmers.

  • Jonathan

    I once was this in a political cartoon (pertaining climate change):

    “What if it’s all wrong and we’re building a better world for nothing?”