Malloy: “This Is Climate Change”

The governor recognized what he saw in Fair Haven Tuesday: a warming planet.

“This is climate change,” he said as he stood a half-block away from a payloader scooping mountains of snow from Shelter Street, a side road that hadn’t seen a plow until Tuesday.

The governor was on a photo-op stop in what has become a familiar routine: touring the state to survey monster storm damage.

It used to be in Connecticut that a two-term governor might have one massive storm to oversee cleaning up. Ella Gasso will always be remembered for the blizzard of ‘78, her one big storm challenge.

Since Malloy took office in January of 2011, the state has been pummeled by Snowmaggedon (more than 40 inches of snow in New Haven, for instance, in one month). Hurricane Irene. The freak October 2011 snowstorm that knocked out power and decimated trees statewide. Superstorm Sandy (already a fading memory three and a half months later?). And now Winter Storm Nemo, a blizzard that paralyzed New Haven with 34 inches of snow, the city’s biggest blizzard in more than a century.

Malloy has already successfully asked the president to declare this state an official disaster area three times. And the governor’s first term still has almost two years left.

“I think climate change is giving more severe weather more frequently as the environment continues to warm,” Malloy told the Independent during his stop. (Click on the play arrow at the top of the story to watch excerpts.)

After having served as Stamford’s mayor for 14 years, Malloy was already used to round-the-clock jaunts supervising road clearing and emergency public safety operations. He was asked if in the new climate change era, states will see more and more mayors becoming governors, as the governor’s job becomes more like a mayor’s. “I wouldn’t be surprised,” he responded. “I think people will look to executive and administrative experience when they make those choices.”

Malloy said that he had remarked since the beginning of his term that “being governor was a lot like being mayor.” Still, “it’s been a lot [of emergency storm management] in a short period of time ...  I think there’s an appreciation that the state is better prepared than it was two years ago. We have taken lessons [like] holding utilities to a higher standard.

Nevertheless, he added, “government goes on.” When Nemo melts into memory, for instance, there’s the matter of an austerity budget to pass.

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posted by: Edward Francis on February 12, 2013  3:31pm

“I think climate change is giving more severe weather more frequently as the environment continues to warm,” so says the gov.  In Connecticut since it was first settled there has been climate change four times a year.  It’s called the four seasons. At times the seasons have been mild and at times severe (very cold, hot, humid, heavy rain and heavy snow). We understand today “Jet Streams” that influence our weather greatly. A cold front from the north certainly is’nt influenced by warm weather from the north in the winter.  Many people are buying into the “Al Gore” syndrome.  There is some truth into what the “Ozone man” states but this is not what is responsible for the blizzard of 2013. Cold front from the north meets warm moisture front from the south head on and what else would one expect.  Thanks weather guys/gal.  You got this one right!

posted by: anonymous on February 12, 2013  3:37pm

If this is climate change, then why are we funding people to rebuild houses along the Sound that will be destroyed again in a few years?

posted by: SusanCT on February 12, 2013  4:02pm

Edward, The situation is much more complicated than you describe. The ocean temperatures are 2°F warmer than before 1980 due to climate change. This means the air above the ocean is warmer so that warm front coming up from the south holds more moisture than it may have in previous year. More moisture = more snow. Also, for every degree lower the temperature falls the amount of snow is 4% less. Since average temperatures are higher now there are more days with higher temperatures in the winter so more snow. Yes, a similar storm may have occurred at any time in CT history but a PERCENTAGE of the severity of the storm can be attributed to climate change.

posted by: Noteworthy on February 12, 2013  6:18pm

Malloy should stick to his own travel ban and forget the photo ops. Climate change? That’s about as plausible as the faux concern and “in charge” image he’s selling.

posted by: HhE on February 12, 2013  7:06pm

Global warming is a lie.  I know because a group of zealots who have denounced science have told me so.

posted by: urban ed on February 12, 2013  7:15pm

I tend to avoid this debate because I am not that well-informed on the subject…but what the hell…I’m snowed in and looking for things to get my head around.

Yes. The earth’s climate moves in cycles and this is normal.

Yes. The addition of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere influences climate.

We are in a warming trend. Clearly. People seem to get hung up on whether that’s a man-made phenomenon or not. WTF difference does it make? We still have to deal with the results, which we can do proactively or reactively. So far we seem to be taking the reactive approach. And it doesn’t seem to be going very well.

posted by: SaveOurCity on February 13, 2013  12:54am

So…now Malloy is a scientist?  Well, I suppose that after failing as a leader and an economist, he’s a bit desperate to find a topic where the residents of CT find him to be moderately knowledgeable…..

posted by: HhE on February 13, 2013  11:41am

SaveOurCity, one does not need to be a scientist to be scientifically literate. 

urban ed, the reason why it matters if global warming is purely a natural trend, or is being driven in part or in total by seven billion (give or take) people living on a planet, and burning fuels, is one of being able to address the causes (if possible) rather than just the effects. 

By the way, I don’t think much of Al Gore.  He may talk the talk, but he does not walk the walk.  He was once late for a meeting in New Zealand because he was pilling on the breakfast.  Upon arriving and working the room briefly, he discovered that their was a breakfast buffet, and went on over to get another breakfast.  That is not living simply so others can simply live.

posted by: parejkoj on February 13, 2013  12:51pm

The peer-reviewed, published science on climate change is very, very clear: human-produced CO2 is the primary cause of the past 100 years of warming, and said warming results in more extreme weather events. If you don’t want to believe the scientists who have spent their lives studying this, perhaps you’ll believe the insurance companies, who have been paying for the resulting damages?

North America (and the whole world) has experienced a significant increase in weather-related natural catastrophes over the past 30 years, and much of that increase is directly attributable to human-induced climate change.

posted by: Kevin on February 14, 2013  10:06am

@Francis Edward

While SusanCT is correct in saying that climate change is complicated, certain facts are straightforward. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (which includes the National Weather Service)the global average temperature in 2012 was the 10th warmest year since record keeping began in 1880. It also was the 36th consecutive year with a global temperature above the 20th century average. Including 2012, all 12 years this century rank among the 14 warmest in the 133-year period of record.

You could have a couple of warmer than average years in a row just by chance. When the number gets to be be 36, it’s no longer chance.

posted by: streever on February 14, 2013  11:23am

Hhe, RevKev, Susan: well said.

While Malloy is not a scientist, he is, at least, scientifically literate. It is truly sad to see the abysmal lack of scientific literacy in my neighbors evidenced by some of the comments here.

posted by: SaveOurCity on February 14, 2013  11:47am

so what is Malloy’s plan to keep the cows from destroying our planet?  s/2012/12/cow_flatulence.php

posted by: streever on February 18, 2013  10:20am

Do you know why there is so much cow flatulence?

Answer: because humans are deforesting parts of the planet and placing cows there, cows which would be incapable of surviving in current numbers outside of human-cultivated habitats.

How—precisely—does that article demonstrate that humans are not causing climate change?

You might be interested to know that grass-fed cows, penned in areas that are traditionally grass-land, actually prevent one greenhouse gas from getting into our atmosphere. Grasslands with long and unkempt grasses produce a great amount of nitrous oxide—grazing cattle reduce the emissions considerably.

There is no magic bullet, but there is a preponderance of research and proofs that demonstrate quite conclusively a human connection to climate change. The inability to realize that is a personal matter, not a policy debate point.

posted by: SaveOurCity on February 18, 2013  11:03am

@Streever:  Wow - you are really going off the deep end….so now we need to remove humans and cows (and maybe Al Gore’s jet) from the planet in order to save the planet? 

I guess that’s a plan of sorts - the only problem is that when you look at the big picture scientifically, we are coming out of an ice age - so the planet is in a warming cycle that these small changes will not reverse.

posted by: streever on February 18, 2013  2:00pm

Save Our City
Did you know that there are 6 million scientists in the world and only 20 that agree with you on global climate change?

.0003% of scientists agree with you.

While you may think I’m “going off the deep end”, I’ll stick with the roughly 6 million scientists who hold similar views to me in lieu of the 20 you seem to be invoking.

Note: When you have to throw “Al Gore’s private jet” into the conversation we may not as well be speaking at all. You have an axe to grind against science. Well, good for you. Leave it out of discourse if you want to actually have conversations. The only way in which Al Gore is relevant is if the person you are speaking with invokes him. As I’ve not mentioned Al Gore, and he is not a climate scientist, that is a completely irrelevant snarky addition which has no bearing on anything you and I could possibly talk about.

posted by: HhE on February 18, 2013  7:39pm

Well, I’ll invoke Al Gore’s name (but I won’t say it three times, just in case).  I find him an example of saying the right thing, but not doing the right thing. 

I find SOC’s argument to be specious.

posted by: SaveOurCity on February 19, 2013  12:18am

Streever, Streever, Strever;  Let me see if I can help you see more clearly;

1) A snarky comment about Al Gore = one has ‘an ax to grind against science?!?  Really?  First, check HhE’s note to learn what I was referring to and second, what kind of scientist is Al Gore?

2) Since we are on the subject of Science (one with which I am familiar), it may interest you to learn that the scientific process is centered around the generation of hypothesis and then testing them against observation and facts.  This has resulted in centuries of increased scientific knowledge.  In many complex subjects, the process continues robustly to this day(folks in New Haven and involved in challenging Einstein’s theory of relativity).  It is not science for you, or anyone else, to state their claim and then scream that all other ideas must be false.  If the complex topic of the interaction of our planet and heat/humidity/etc was solved, there would never be an incorrect weather forecast.

Third, your data regarding the balance of scientific experts is either flawed or made up.  There are thousands (likely millions) of science experts on all sides of the global warming debate.  Here’s one you could read;

So, in general, I will admit that you are a smart fellow but I doubt that you are smart enough to have all of the final answers for all time for this complex scientific question.

posted by: HhE on February 19, 2013  10:34am

Now there is a kick to the teeth:  SOC using me against streever.  Arrrrrggghhhhh!!!!!!!

So seven billion people living on a planet, with six billion not connected to that planet, burning fuel and all that, are not going to have an effect? 

Why do so many people (typically conservatives) take such offense as they dismiss global warming? 

Teddy Roosevelt must be spinning in his grave.  Now, if we could hook up a generator to that, we could put a dent into global warming.

posted by: streever on February 19, 2013  11:55am


I’m familiar with Mr. Carter. Stolen documents showed that he was paid almost 1,700 dollars per month to deny climate change was man-made, by an American lobbying group with energy company backing.

If that is your case, I’m sorry, but I’m just going to tell you to stop using Rense. While you may possess a brilliant scientific mind, your capacity to detect BS is sadly limited.

Welcome to corruption and humanity in our worst.

Hhe: Fear not. Even the Devil can quote scripture.

posted by: SaveOurCity on February 19, 2013  12:19pm

HhE:  not taking offense or looking to frustrate you or anyone else.  Just challenging those who post theory as undisputed fact.

You are correct that the the humans and their activities on this planet have an effect.  Things like me smoking a cigar on my back deck, city truck idling in the morning, and a butterfly in Madagascar flapping its wings all have an effect on the climate. 

The key question is the level of significance of that effect.  As much as we humans like to think we are significant, if we consider things like hurricanes, volcanoes, meteor strikes,...etc, we should quickly come to the conclusion that the planet (or nature, or God if you prefer) is many orders of magnitude more significant than we are.  This is often a challenge for we humans who want to feel that we are very powerful and important but if we think about it honestly, that is likely the conclusion.

With thousands of years of science and intelligence, why can’t we forecast weather 48 hours out with better than 60% accuracy?  Why can’t we we detect and disable a relatively small space rock from slamming into Russia?  And best of all, why were the alarmists of the 1970’s warming everyone about the dangers of ‘fact’ that the planet was on a problematic cooling trend;