Andrew Cuomo pointed to the scale of Hurricane Sandy as evidence that climate change is a "reality" and debate about whether it exists is "a whole political debate that I don’t want to get into."
“It’s a longer conversation," Cuomo said at a press briefing Wednesday, the Capitol Confidential blog of the Albany Times-Union reports. "But I think part of learning from this is the recognition that climate change is a reality, extreme weather is a reality, it is a reality that we are vulnerable. Climate change is a controversial subject, right? People will debate whether there is climate change … that’s a whole political debate that I don’t want to get into. I want to talk about the frequency of extreme weather situations, which is not political … There’s only so long you can say, ‘This is once in a lifetime and it’s not going to happen again.'
“The frequency is way up. It is not prudent to sit here, I believe, to sit here and say it’s not going to happen again,” he said. “Protecting this state from coastal flooding is a massive, massive undertaking. But it’s a conversation I think is overdue.”
Cuomo's comments reiterated a statement he made yesterday that "there have been a series of extreme weather events. That is not a political statement; that is a factual statement. Anyone who says there is not a change in weather patterns is denying reality."