Published on May 24, 2013
By Frank Knapp Jr. | The Contributor
This morning, NBC’s Matt Lauer asked New Jersey Governor Chris Christie if he was concerned that the Governor’s positive relationship with President Obama would hurt his political future. Christie said that he wasn’t worried. He then immediately pivoted from being a voice of bipartisanship to throw red meat at the GOP primary voters in 2016.
Christie called climate change an “esoteric theory” when Lauer asked him about rising sea levels associated with climate change contributing to Hurricane Sandy’s devastation to the New Jersey shore.
“I haven’t been shown any definitive proof yet that that’s what caused it,” Christie said.
Christie defends his climate change denial by pointing out that the scientists use words like “probably” and “maybe”.
“I’m not going to buy things out of whole cloth, Matt, I’m just not going to especially when [the scientists] won’t definitively say anything and it’s their business,” Christie concluded.
Christie actually has a point. Climate scientists have been too timid in the words they use. And it is this professional reluctance to use more definitive language that gives legitimacy to this climate-change-denial talking point. The importance of solving this terminology issue can’t be understated. Every day that we give deniers like Christie the slightest legitimate reason to reject what 99-percent of scientists believe about climate change the longer it will take us to make the big changes needed to avoid the certain cataclysmic consequences.