What Comes Next?
The March for Science on April 22, 2017 is only the first step. The problems facing our nation and our world are bigger than any one person, any one political party, or any single law. Likewise, the assault on the public support for science has been ongoing for many years, and cannot be reversed by a single day.
with sustained effort we can solve our collective problems
Action: US Climate Alliance
Since the Federal Government announced plans to withdraw from the Paris Accord, seven states and more than 100 cities have pledged to continue to abide by the agreement. Together, these states and cities represent over one third of the US GDP. New Jersey must join our fellow Americans and the rest of the world.
Call your state representatives today and ask them to New Jersey Assembly Resolution AR-264, Which urges the governor to bring New Jersey into the US Climate Alliance and take steps to reduce our emissions of greenhouse gases.
As a New Jersey resident, you are represented by 2 members of the State Assembly and a State Senator. Find you legislators’ contact information here: http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/legislativepub/our.asp
Quick Facts about Climate Change and the Paris Agreement
- The majority of American citizens (including those living in states that voted for Trump in 2016) and American businesses are in favor of positive action on climate change.
- Unchecked climate change is recognized by the US military as a direct threat to the safety of the nation. The reality and seriousness of climate change are incontrovertible scientific facts.
- Clean energy jobs are growing 17 times faster than the overall US economy. There are currently 2.6 million clean energy jobs in the United States, 1.2 million of which are in states won by President Trump in the 2016 election.
- On the free market, coal power plants cannot compete with solar, especially in significant emerging economies such as India and China. Even within non-renewable energy production, market forces have led to the replacement of coal with natural gas. Withdrawing from the Paris Accord cedes global leadership in this critical economic sector to other nations.
- The majority of American citizens, Americans living in states that voted for the President in 2016, and major American businesses are in favor of positive action on climate change. Unchecked climate change is recognized by the US military as a direct threat to the safety of the nation.
- In 2014, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released their 5th report, which found scientific evidence that the effects of climate change are already “widespread and consequential.” The IPCC reports that we keep the global average temperature increase below 2 C (2.6 degrees Fahrenheit) avoid the most catastrophic effects. To do this, the yearly global emissions of greenhouse gases must decrease before 2020. After this, greenhouse gas emissions must drop, falling to one third of their 2010 values by 2050. This is the minimal plan proposed by the IPCC, one that still results in significant negative impacts on humans from climate change. Scenarios with more emissions of greenhouse gases are expected to result in exponentially worse outcomes.
- The Paris Accord does not commit nations to a particular reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, though the signatory nations agree to enact policies to keep the global average temperature increase below 1.5 C (2.7 F). The
- European Union has already committed to a plan to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 60% by 2050.
- The Obama-era US Clean Power Plan aimed to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2030. It is this plan that the states signing on to the US Climate Alliance are committing to uphold.
The reality and seriousness of climate change are incontrovertible scientific facts. New Jersey must act to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, and lead the US Climate Alliance, the United States, and the world in meeting and exceeding the targets set by the Clean Power Plan and the Paris Accord.
Call your legislators today and urge them to support New Jersey Assembly Resolution AR-264.
(For accurate, general information about climate change, visit: https://skepticalscience.com. For clarification on common misinformation about climate change: https://skepticalscience.com/ argument.php.)
Action: A Climate Change Plan for New Jersey
New Jersey is the only state on the eastern seaboard without a comprehensive, state-wide climate change strategy.
As our first ACTION, the New Jersey March for Science is asking you to make a state climate change plan a priority. We are asking you to contact your elected state officials to demand a state-wide plan of action to mitigate, adapt, and where possible Eliminate to the effects of climate change our state will be facing in the coming years.
We are asking you to contact your state elected officials and ask that they take steps to implement the suggestions from the climate change preparedness study. Calling your elected officials directly is most effective, and we encourage you to speak in your own words about why you consider this important. However, we provide a sample script below. As New Jersey looks towards our gubernatorial election in the coming year, we ask you to consider the candidate's stance on climate change preparedness.
Find your New Jersey state representatives here, and let them know this is important to you.
Like everywhere else in the world, New Jersey is facing rising temperatures and waters due to global climate change. However, New Jersey is likely to see these impacts earlier and more severely than other places in the United States:
- In the last 100 years, the average temperature in New Jersey has increased by 3.05 degrees F. Globally, the average temperature has increased by 1.5 F in the same amount of time [citation].
- 95% of the New Jersey population lives in urban areas; which are particularly vulnerable to heat waves due to the urban "heat island" effect.
- New Jersey has a $1 billion farming industry, which will be at risk from increased heat and invasive insect species [citation]. Higher ocean acidity threatens clams and scallops, farmed in New Jersey [citation].
- New Jersey is facing 1.5-2.5 feet of sea-level rise by 2050 and 2.5-6 feet by 2100 [citation]. This is much higher than the global average: expected to be 0.6-1.1 feet by 2050 and 1.7-3.2 feet by 2100 [citation].
- The amount of land in New Jersey threatened by flooding will increase by 7% in 2050, and 14% in 2100. This will threaten 1 million people, and $175 billion in property. [citation].
- Hotter waters power storms and hurricanes, making them more damaging. Though the jury is still out as to whether storms today are more powerful due to global warming, in the coming years, climate change is expected to increase the severity of major storms [citation] and [citation].
Current southern New Jersey Coastline, and after 6 feet of sea-level rise [source].
New Jersey faces unique risks and threats from climate change. However, the state has no single plan for how we will face these risks. Compared to our neighboring states (see New York's state strategy here, and a comparison of New Jersey's climate change preparedness to that of neighboring states here.). New Jersey has not developed a state-wide comprehensive plan to prevent, mitigate, or adapt to the changing climate we are facing
Existing Plans in New Jersey
Some state-wide planning for climate-change adaptation exists [citation]. Rutgers University has formed the New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance, which studies climate change preparedness plans for the state of New Jersey. Resources from the Recovery and Rebuilding Act after Superstorm Sandy are also being used to mitigate future effects of powerful storms [citation].
In 2007, New Jersey passed the New Jersey Global Warming Response Act, which mandates a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the state back to 1990-levels by 2020, and an 80% reduction of the 2006 levels by 2050. Though the 2020 target was achieved in 2012, 8 years ahead of schedule, our ability to meet the 2050 target may require more active measures [citation]. In 2011, New Jersey withdrew from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative [citation,citation], designed to limit CO2 emissions from power plants.
What do we need?
In 2014, the New Jersey Climate Adaptation Alliance published a study of the necessary actions to prepare New Jersey for climate change [citation]. The document's suggestions are paraphrased here:
- Directly integrate science-based standards into the state's climate change planning.
Develop state-wide standards to identify those people, places, and resources most at risk due to climate change.
Integrate climate change preparedness with existing governmental agencies and community organizations.
Develop new techniques to ensure stable, long-term funding for climate change adaptation.
Promote education about climate change in the state.
Continue to fund and study climate change preparedness.
Contacting your Elected Officals
How to contact your state officials:
In New Jersey, you are represented in our State Legislature by one State Senator and two members of the State Assembly.
How to Contact Your Federal Officials:
New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Senators Cory Booker and Bob Menendez.
You also have a Congressmember in the US House of Representatives, one of the twelve in our Congressional Delegation. You can find who your representative is via the US House website, or through one of a number of 3rd party websites and apps.