Napolitano on weird weather and climate change: 'There's a pattern here'

Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano this week linked climate change with the wildfires hitting Colorado.

Napolitano said “there’s a pattern here” as she noted the summer wildfires as well as the East Coast heat wave and the high-velocity winds that whipped through the mid-Atlantic late last week. Thousands of people remain without electricity because of the wind storm.

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Asked point blank if the wildfires were caused by climate change, Napolitano responded, “It could be a lot of different things.”

But then she explained her view, which seemed to make a connection between climate change and the weather events.

“You have to look at climate change over a period of years, not just one summer,” Napolitano said. “You could always have one abnormal summer. But when you see one after another after another then you can see, yeah, there’s a pattern here.”

Napolitano’s comments came in response to a question at a press conference Tuesday in Colorado Springs. They were posted by Climate Desk.

In response to a question about whether the federal government is ready for weather changes caused by climate change, Napolitano said the federal government is adapting.

“I think that we are preparing. We understand and we are seeing the changing weather patterns. We are seeing right now in what already has been a difficult summer,” Napolitano said.

“So yes, we incorporate some of that into our planning,” Napolitano said. “What do we need? Do techniques need to change? Tactics need to change? This is not a static universe that we live in.”