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Rally Calling on Gov. Christie to Deal with Climate Change
On Tuesday May 28th activists gathered on the boardwalk in Asbury Park to call on the Governor to begin to deal with climate change. President Obama and Governor Christie were touring the shore and visiting areas recovering from Hurricane Sandy. Climate change is already making weather events more extreme and as we rebuild from Hurricane Sandy we must do so in a way that prepares us for the future impacts of climate change.
President Obama strongly believes in climate change, while Governor Christie keeps denying the link between Superstorm Sandy and climate change. As a coastal state we should be moving forward by adapting to sea level rise and climate change. Instead Governor Christie removed New Jersey from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). RGGI would have lowered greenhouse gas emissions from our state's power plants and also provide funding for clean energy projects. In addition each year the Governor continues to raid the Clean Energy Fund, which money would go towards renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. The Governor's policies and actions put these communities he is touring with the President at risk for climate change and sea level rise. The Governor needs to start looking out for the best interest of his state by putting in place policies that promote clean energy and help curb the affects of climate change.
Touring the shore you can see firsthand the impacts of storm surges and sea level rise that has been made worse by climate change. This may become the norm due to the lack of sea ice and climate change, which could wash these communities out to sea again. If you do not believe you have a problem then you cannot come up with a way to fix it. That is why New Jersey needs to do work on climate change adaption, or sea level rise. You cannot have Jersey Strong when you are weak on climate change and sea level rise.
Hurricane Sandy was the ninth such devastating storm to hit the Garden State in the last three years and the impacts of climate change will only make such storms worse. Sandy was the fourth 100-year storm to hit the Jersey Shore in the past two decades. Climate disruption will cause severe weather, making storms and other extreme weather events worse. We need to protect our families here in New Jersey from the impacts of climate disruption and sea level rise. In New Jersey we deserve strong action by our leaders to help reduce the likelihood and severity of future disasters. President Obama has come out stating climate is real and must be dealt with, however we need to the President to become a leader and reject the Keystone XL Pipeline.
Instead the Governor is rolling back policies that reduce climate change pollution and promote clean energy alternatives. Governor Christie is moving New Jersey in the wrong direction when it comes to climate change by pulling us out of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and cutting clean energy funding. The Governor cut the DEP Office of Climate Change and has stopped progress under previous administrations to implement hazard planning to address sea level rise.The Governor says he is too busy to think about climate change while making appearances on the Late Show and Morning Joe and doing reelection campaign fundraisers.
The areas hit hardest by Hurricane Sandy are the areas we have said for a long time are most vulnerable for flooding and storm surges and they have done nothing to increase protections in those areas and are making it worse. A study by Rutgers University four years ago found that 9% of New Jersey's land area could be under water as a result of climate change.
Also if President Obama is concerned about climate change he needs to act by killing the Keystone XL Pipeline and drilling off our coast. Keystone XL will promote dirty tar sands that threaten our waterways and increase greenhouse gas emissions that undermine everything we have been doing to deal with climate change. Also there is a chance of spills like the one in Arkansas that will put communities and the environment at risk. Instead of this dirty pipeline we should be promoting more solar energy, energy efficiency and wind that will create jobs and protect our environment.
Climate disruption worsens extreme weather, threatening our families and communities. Scientists agree that climate change can cause rain and snowstorms, drought periods, and wildfires to become more severe. If we do not do better planning along our coast, have selective buyouts and reduce greenhouse gasses unfortunately we may not have a Jersey Shore for future generations to enjoy. The Governor needs to learn from President Obama and be a leader on these issues not be a climate denier.
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Page Last Modified 5/31/2013