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.