Vice President Joe Biden on Tuesday predicted that extreme weather events would continue to hit the United States despite skepticism from “global warming deniers.”
Biden spoke in Albany, N.Y., at an event touting state and federal investments in New York's infrastructure following the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy.
The vice president suggested that in addition to rebuilding damaged coastal regions, the government needs to think about more far-reaching policies to protect coastal communities.
“We have to rebuild in a way that you will not be victimized by a similar storm again, because we don't — we're just wasting money, and we're essentially engaging in false advertising that what we're doing is restoring you to your situation that existed before the storm,” said Biden.
“If we don't build smart, if we don't build resiliency in the communities, we're not going to be able to in the next two, five, 10, 20 years, live along the coast,” he continued. “Manhattan is like much of my state. It is essentially at sea level. You don't have much of an option.”
“Now, I know there's global warming deniers,” the vice president added. “I'm not going to get into that today, but the reality is, this is going to continue to happen.”
While climate scientists generally avoid linking individual events to climate change, they contend that some of its effects, including warmer waters and higher sea levels, contributed to Sandy's intensity.
President Obama has vowed to make climate change a priority in his second term, bypassing Congress to enact tougher carbon emission standards on new and existing power power plants through the Environmental Protection Agency.
During the event, Biden praised Obama’s response to Sandy, saying that he “watched the president cut through red tape that has never been cut through before.”
Energy & Environment Reporter Zack Colman contributed to this report.
This story was published at 1:06 p.m. and has been updated.