In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Governor Andrew Cuomo has repeatedly hinted at climate change’s culpability for the frequency and severity of the weather striking New York State in recent years. However, Mr. Cuomo been getting more direct in the claim, stating earlier today, “I think part of learning from this is the recognition that climate change is reality.” And, asked about the topic at his own press conference following Mr. Cuomo’s, Mayor Michael Bloomberg also appeared to cautiously assign blame on global warming while urging proactive steps to address the issue.
“Look, there have been very strange weather patterns, very severe storms where they normally have not occurred. That much is recorded, you can look at the film, okay?” Mr. Bloomberg began. “Whether or not it is part of a long-term climate change or just a random collection of events, only time will tell. The argument that we’re damaging our planet is simply, ‘Let’s assume that we decide that we’re not damaging our planet and find out later on that we were, it literally could be too late!’ I think if you go and you talk to farmers who have lost all their crops because there have been droughts, or places where you’ve had tornadoes or hurricanes or the families of those who have lost here, they would say, ‘Hey, there’s something going on.’”
The mayor, who has spoken out against global warming in the past, pivoted to a broader point about the state of the Earth’s climate.
“What is clear is that the ice cap has melted, and that’s very bad because then the heat of the sun gets absorbed in the water, which raises the water temperature, which hurts the ecosystem of the reefs,” he argued. “It’s not the sort of thing that you can ever say for sure, but the consequences of making a mistake in one direction are pretty severe. I think what we have to do is learn from this and protect our infrastructure to the extent possible. If you live near the water, you’re always going to be subject to storms coming in and water coming in. If you live in the mountains, you’re always going to be subject to wild weather, ice, snow, avalanches and things like that. So we have to do a better job of protecting us; we’ve done a good job here and there’s always more to do, and that’s true of the private sector as well as the public sector.”