Tag Archive: Climate Change

Bernie’s Right. TMac’s Wrong.

BY DECIMINYAN Whenever something newsworthy happens, political candidates of all stripes spew out fundraising e-mails regardless of the topic. This week’s Democratic debate was no exception. One such e-mail I received was from Congressman Tom MacArthur. While his $5 million…
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Talking science

Rosi and I have been discussing having a science series on the weekends here at Blue Jersey. The problem is I find it difficult to find topics to blog about that have a New Jersey angle.

After all, so many important problems are settled. One of the great government triumphs of the last century was the system of childhood vaccinations that defeated dangerous diseases. We don’t have to worry our tough-talking governor would be wishy-washy on vaccines.  

Meanwhile, the great challenge of this century is controlling our greenhouse gas emissions, lest we suffer disastrous global warming. Our own Rutgers is a leading center of research on climate change. If nothing else, we have to fear the sea level rise wrecking the coastal towns and beaches. Our governor loves the Jersey Shore, so we don’t have to worry he’d break the law to pull out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative.

Oh well, something will come to mind. At least our governor didn’t run away from evolution.  

QotD: Climate Change Edition

“Noah was not a scientist, but got the message to prepare for future floods.”

John A. Miller of NJ Association for Floodplain Management at a forum on how well New Jersey is prepared to deal with climate change, today in Trenton.

QoTD: “the only tidbit”

Quote of the Day goes to Matt Katz:

As New Jerseyans by the tens of thousands were hours away from the biggest climate change march in history – in NYC and around the world – Christie was – in your face, science – hobnobbing with GOP money bigshots convened by the Koch brothers who are firmly on the side of wrecking the environment for their almighty dollar.

The dinner was firmly off-limits to the press, so we don’t know much beyond the fact that Christie made food jokes to the party, and how much poundage he’s dropped.

We do know that Christie is capable of letting NJ policy be driven by what serves the Kochs and their ilk, who don’t open their wallets for candidates that put the interests of their states ahead of the interests of guys like the Kochs. Don’t need reporters in the room to know that much.  

Climate March – Sept. 21, 2014, all over the world

Today, there were 2,000 climate change events in 150 countries – the largest mobilization against climate change in the history of the planet – as the United Nations prepares for the opening Tuesday of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s Climate Summit. That will include President Obama, but not, as hoped, to commit the U.S. to contribute funds to help poor countries cope with climate change which has been mostly caused by wealthier countries.

One hundred thousand were expected in NYC today; 310,000 showed up. Mother Jones tracked the day in photos and social media, and this photo is theirs:

Climate March Sept. 21, 2014 NYC

NYC’ mayor Bill DeBlasio marked the day by announcing plans to upgrade city buildings as part of a plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the city significantly by 2050. Chris Christie? Not so much.  

Get Real on Climate Change

Cross-posted at Huffington Post.

Earth Day is upon us and that means attention is focused on cleaner water and air, along with a more recent emphasis on climate change – perhaps this century’s greatest challenge. It’s appalling we are wasting time debating whether or not climate change is real. Instead, we should be talking about solutions.

In March, two reports were issued that make clear – yet again – the problems of climate change are real and getting more severe. First, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the largest scientific organization in the world, declared that the planet is now seeing the impact of climate change and that the consequences could be catastrophic. Most ominous, the association said the window for effective action is swiftly closing.

Then, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, a United Nations organization that for 15 years has been warning us about the awful costs of a hotter Earth, released its most dire report yet. Melting polar ice caps, extended droughts and massive floods are getting worse – at an increasing rate. What’s more, unless we reduce our fossil fuel dependency, the report concludes we are sure to face climbing temperatures, rising seas, species loss and dwindling agricultural yields for decades, if not centuries. The damage will be particularly severe in coastal communities.

NJ Court: Gov. Christie Illegally Repealed Climate Change Pollution Rules

We don’t always get good news. From Gov. Christie, a politician happy to sacrifice common sense to impress far-right contributors and keep good buddies with the Koch boys, we mostly get bad news. Today, we got good news, because the NJ Appellate Division essentially overruled him, deciding that Christie illegally repealed RGGI, and broke the law in 2011 by excusing power plants from complying with regulations limiting pollution that contributes to climate change. It’s a huge win for Environment New Jersey and Natural Resources Defense Council. Susan Kraham, Senior Staff Attorney at Columbia University’s Environmental Law Clinic, represented the environmental groups in court:

“The court ruled that the public needs to be involved. Neither Governor Christie nor the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection can simply repeal state laws by fiat. The court gave the administration 60 days to initiate a public process around any changes to the climate change pollution rules.”

The case against the NJ DEP began two years ago, a year after Christie posted notice on a website that plants no longer had to comply with pollution limits, with the effect of killing NJ’s participation in RGGI, the 9-state program that has been reducing pollution from East Coast plants for 5 years.

More on the jump page, including reactions from Rush Holt & Steve Sweeney.

Stronger than the Sound Bytes

Chris Christie’s “Stronger than the Storm” propaganda campaign is geared to convince the electorate that he’s a strong leader, despite the fact that hundreds of shore residents are still not in their homes. But the storm damage at the shore is only part of the equation. Sure, photos of a reconstructed boardwalk make people feel good and attempt to assist the tourist industry, but few people live on the boardwalk; most live in homes. And the shore is not the only part of the state that is still suffering.

A short distance from the end of Newark Airport’s Runway 22R/L is Elizabeth’s Waterfront Park. The park has been closed since Sandy due to extensive damage. Community events have had to be cancelled. Today, the park was temporarily re-opened for an event where Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage called for action to address climate change and mitigate the effects of these increasingly harmful weather events. Along with businessmen whose companies have lost millions of dollars, civic leaders who urged investment in resilient infrastructure, and a scientist who painted a bleak picture if we fail to address the issue, Mayor Bollwage expressed his support for President Obama’s climate change plan, introduced this summer.

The video below shows Mayor Bollwage’s remarks and a brief interview where I asked him to rate the government’s response and his reaction to Democratic mayors’ endorsement of the most anti-environmental governor we’ve seen in a long time.