Parsing Chris Christie on Climate Change and Storms

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Gov. Christie gets an update from Sea Girt Mayor Ken Farrell

New Jersey Public Radio's Sarah Gonzalez took a well-publicized drubbing this week when she asked Governor Chris Christie about our reporting on New Jersey Transit, and Climate Change. So she decided to dig in, just what exactly is the relationship between Sandy and climate change, and how do New Jerseyans feel about Christie's position?

Her question:

"WNYC has documented several mistakes New Jersey Transit made getting ready for Sandy, and severe storms caused by climate change. Do you feel you did enough to prepare state agencies for climate change?"

Christie's response:

“Well first of all I disagree 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.”

Here is one reaction to Christie’s response from the comments online:

Frank wrote: “The fact is he cost NJ millions of dollars with bad decisions on transit preparation. No 'liberal media' deflection attempt will change that.”

Climate scientists agree there’s no way to associate any one storm or heat wave to a single cause, like climate change.

“But we do know that sea level rise is increasing the impacts of those storms,” says Anthony Broccoli, a Professor of Atmospheric Science at Rutgers University. “So in that sense climate change contributed to the impacts of Sandy. We can say that for sure.”

And he says there is a consensus among climate scientists that state agencies should prepare for the impacts of climate change.

You can read the rest of Gonzalez's report, and listen to the audio here.