New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) held a media briefing this afternoon, and rejected the notion that Hurricane Sandy was a "once-in-a-generation" event, instead emphasizing the "frequency of these extreme weather events" and the need to plan accordingly.
The governor added an angle that sometimes goes overlooked when dealing with disasters like these.
"It's a longer conversation, 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. Protecting this state from coastal flooding is a massive, massive undertaking. But it's a conversation I think is overdue."
As a reminder, I'd note that over the summer, several Republican policymakers in coastal states said states should not even try to anticipate rising sea levels when making infrastructure plans. Cuomo was offering a more sensible approach today.