The just issued U. N. Report warns that we have only twelve years to keep global warming to a maximum of 1.5C, an extremely difficult challenge, in orderer to avert a catastrophe. Democrats realize urgent changes are needed to cut the risk of extreme heat, drought, floods and poverty. Republicans are denying the truth to everyone’s peril. They are vulnerable on this issue in the upcoming midterm elections.
Although Democrats are aware of the problem, many don’t realize how dire the situation is. One way to remedy the matter is to hold local environmental forums. The Teaneck Democratic Municipal Committee held such an event last weekend with speakers Senator Loretta Weinberg, Assemblyman Gordon Johnson, Jeff Tittel (Sierra Club), Paula Rogovin (Coaltion to Ban Unsafe Oil Trains), and Harret Shugarmman (Climate MAMA). Environmental leaders are eager to speak at such events. Encourage your neighbors to learn more about the issues and to vote wisely in the midterms.
Below are the candidates’ positions on climate change in the congressional districts we seek to flip. The NJ Sierra Club endorses ALL Democratic candidates.
- CD 02 At a recent debate Jeff Van Drew (D) said, “There isn’t a scientific body in the world that doesn’t believe climate change isn’t true.” Seth Grossman (R) responded, “Climate’s been changing for five billion years. Go ask Noah. Who’s causing it we don’t know.”
- CD 03 The National Environment lifetime scorecard for incumbent Tom MacArthur (R) is 17%. Despite MacArthur’s statement that “Climate change and other environmental issues directly impact our area and our South Jersey economy,” the Victory Fund in September, announced a comprehensive $1,089,000 effort to defeat pro-polluter MacArthur. Challenger Andy Kim (D) forthrightly says, “Climate change is a national security crisis, and if President Trump, Tom MacArthur, and Scott Pruitt won’t lead on protecting us from the dangers of climate change, I will.” He adds, “The Trump Administration’s decision to open New Jersey’s coast to offshore drilling is a threat to our way of life.”
- CD 04 The National Environmental Lifetime score of nineteen-term incumbent Chris Smith (R), who does occasionally vote favorably, is 61%. As he represents a fair portion of the Jersey Shore, climate change is of particular importance to his district. Nonetheless, he has repeatedly voted for actions that worsen climate change. The campaign of challenger Josh Welle (D) focuses on environmental protection as an economic issue. He advocates planning for fighting back against climate change and the storm impacts that come with it.
- CD 07 The National Environmental lifetime scorecard of incumbent Leonard Lance (R) is 23 %. In an opinion piece Tom Moran says incumbent Leonard Lance (R) has moved in the wrong direction just like his party’s voters. Moran adds, He says he would not vote for cap-and-trade again, and even supported a resolution pushed by oil interests pre-emptively opposing any carbon tax. challenger Tom Malinowski (D) says Lance is a “weather vane, and the problem with weather vanes is they don’t change the way the wind is blowing. What bothers me most is that vulnerable people are going to suffer because of climate change, and many already are.”
- CD 11 Mikie Sherrill (D) says, “Climate change is real and addressing it shouldn’t be a partisan issue. It’s an economic and national security issue that affects all of us, particularly in NJ with 130 miles of coastline.” However Jay Webber (R), the “conservative conscience of the state Legislature,” is less clear saying, he would support progressive efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change like offshore wind “when it makes sense” and as long as it was “fair to the taxpayers.”
The message is clear. We must vote as if our life and that of all others are in the balance. As Debra Roberts, a co-chair of the U. N. working group on impacts, states, “It’s a line in the sand and what it says to our species is that this is the moment, and we must act now.”