An article posted at NJ.com Friday evening has liberals cheering and conservatives reeling.
"Gov. Christie Admits Climate Change Is a Real Problem, That Human Activity Plays a Role":
In case anyone had any doubts on where Gov. Chris Christie stands on climate change, he made his position crystal clear this afternoon: It's real and it's a problem.
In vetoing a bill (S2946) that would have required New Jersey to stay in a regional program intended to curb greenhouse gases — a program Christie plans to leave by the end of the year — the governor said "climate change is real."
He added that "human activity plays a role in these changes" and that climate change is "impacting our state."
Politico jumped on this a few hours later. "Chris Christie made clear he falls in the Jon Huntsman camp as opposed to the Rick Perry camp on the scientific-political issue of the week in the Republican primary."
More jubilant was the far-left Raw Story Saturday:
Add another prominent figure to the short list of Republicans believing in climate change . [...]
Christie, a huge favorite among the Tea Party and other right wing groups, was a major skeptic of climate change as of last year. But after attending a conference of environmentalists in May, the Garden State top executive began to adopt a viewpoint still very unpopular in conservative circles, leading to possible criticism from his most ardent supporters.
Not surprisingly, this met with great disappointment from folks on the Right. Jim Hoft wrote at Gateway Pundit:
Granted, Chris Christie is a Republican star. He deserves all the credit in the world for taking on the state teacher’s union “political thugs” in New Jersey. But, his stand on global warming climate change is very concerning. The last thing we need as a country is both parties pushing expensive, ineffective and failed green energy policies that have no effect on the climate.
Doug Powers posted at MichelleMalkin.com:
I don’t yet know why Christie vetoed the bill if greenhouse gases are such a problem. Maybe the “fixes” were too expensive, but if some politicians think they can swim in the waters of AGW without getting wet or soaking taxpayers, they should think again.
Yes, but the most important part of this episode was Christie vetoing this greenhouse gas-curbing bill and not what he said after doing so.
In addition, these statements really weren't anything new. As Politico reported in May:
Before the Republican New Jersey governor launched into an explanation Thursday for why he’s bowing out of a landmark regional cap-and-trade program for power plants, he first strapped on his layman scientist’s cap to give a brief overview of what’s widely considered accepted climate science.
“In the past I’ve always said that climate change is real and it’s impacting our state,” Christie said at the start of a 14-minute prepared statement. “There’s undeniable data that CO2 levels and other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere are increasing. This decade, average temperatures have been rising. Temperature changes are affecting weather patterns and our climate.”
As such, what he said Friday wasn't very different.
"Climate change is real...Human activity plays a role in these changes, and it is impacting our state."
Just how shocking is this?
Attend a climate conference - like those the Heartland Institute has sponsored for years - and you'll find many leading skeptics that don't contest the existence of global warming or that humans play a role.
One of this nation's staunchest climate realists, MIT's Richard Lindzen, doesn't deny that increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere might have added to the roughly 0.7 degree rise in temperatures since 1850. He just doesn't believe it's all that significant a factor, and that models created by alarmists are greatly exaggerating not only the connection but also their future predictive potential.
With this in mind, there's nothing in this new statement by Christie that should get skeptics that up in arms.
Instead, one should marvel in his ability to veto a climate change bill and still receive accolades from liberal media members.
No small feat if you think about it.
For my money, Christie can continue to pay lip service to the alarmists as long as he keeps vetoing legislation that curbs greenhouse gases.
When he starts signing these bills and paying lip service to us realists, that's when I'll worry.
Until that point, it seems to me the Governor of this liberal East Coast state is navigating this treacherous minefield pretty darned well.