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Climate Change Makes Storms like Hurricane Sandy Worse

Storms such as Hurricane Sandy will happen more frequently and be our future unless make some tough decisions on climate change

New Jersey continues to recover from the heartbreaking damage of Hurricane Sandy.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families impacted by this tragedy. 

This is the ninth such devastating storm to hit the Garden State in the last five years and the impacts of climate change will only make such storms worse.  We have had hurricanes and Halloween snow storms.  There have been too many coincidences.  You cannot deny that climate disruption is a factor and it is impacting New Jersey. 

We need to protect our families 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.

Hurricane Sandy is our worst fears come true.  This is exactly the kind of storm climate scientists and environmentalists warned about and now we have seen firsthand the impacts from these types of storms.  We are concerned that without real policy changes such storms will not only continue to happen but will get much worse.

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.  Yet we have done nothing to increase protections in those areas.  Climate scientist and environmentalists have been worried for years about overdevelopment on barrier islands along our coasts.  Given climate change and sea level rise these areas are even more vulnerable to hurricanes such as Sandy. 

A study by Rutgers University four years ago found that given the storm surges as a result of climate change, 9% of New Jersey’s land area could be under water.  Some of these areas are the fastest growing places in New Jersey.  Other places are critical infrastructure for the state such as Newark Airport, nuclear power plants, electrical generation plants, sewer plants, chemical plants, and transportation hubs.  Even Meadowlands Stadium could be underwater.  One day when the Giants play the Dolphins, they could be real dolphins.  We have failed to protect this vital infrastructure, including drinking water intakes and sewer plants from storm surges.  

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. 

Yet our 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. He has eliminated the Office of Climate Change in DEP to study the impacts of climate change and help develop plans to combat them.

New Jersey is a coastal state and sees the most severe impacts of these storms.  Instead of reducing greenhouse gases and pollution and protecting low lying areas from flooding we are doing the opposite and weakening the protections we currently have in place.

As we burn dirty fossil fuels like coal and natural gas, large amounts of greenhouse gas pollution such as carbon dioxide and methane are released into the air, increasing average temperatures across the world.  Governor Christie has supported and heavily subsidized the construction of three new natural gas plants in New Jersey as well as allowing a number of new major pipeline expansion projects to be approved through environmentally sensitive and densely populated areas.  He has also backed the Susquehanna-Roseland transmission line which will bring in more coal-fired power from Pennsylvania. 

We need clean energy solutions to combat climate disruption and ease the severe consequences of these extreme storms.  Instead of moving us toward a clean energy economy, the Governor has pulled us out of RGGI, jeopardizing clean energy funding and green jobs.  Governor Christie has taken over $600 million in clean energy funds, and last year he took $63 million dollars of funding from RGGI to balance his budget.  The Governor’s revised Energy Master Plan reduces our renewable energy goals from 30% to 22.5% in favor of more fossil fuels, contributing to climate change pollution.    

As we continue to understand the devastation and impacts of Hurricane Sandy we are going to need to change things in New Jersey.  Such storms will happen more frequently and be our future unless make some tough decisions. 

In addition to relief aid we need our leaders to come up with better polices to address the impacts of flooding and climate change on our coast and flood prone areas.  It is going to take partnership and difficult choices on limiting development in flood prone areas, moving people out of harm’s way and developing real comprehensive programs to reduce greenhouse gases and protect us from climate change and sea level rise.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Barney November 22, 2012 at 02:11 PM
Liberal Democrats are not as smart as Republicans. This is why they beg for hand outs.
B N November 22, 2012 at 02:23 PM
really? lol Is that why the last 10 summers keep getting hotter and why Nj is now dealing with Hurricanes? oh thats right Sandy wasnt a Hurricane lol tell that to the ppl who lost it all let me know how you make out and oh yeah dont file those fema claims either they are immoral according to mittens
B N November 22, 2012 at 02:30 PM
@Great HOax Mittens lost he said fema is immoral so i hope you dont file a claim but what Bain Capital does is ok? lol your right the decine of America continues but I bet Mittens gets his free Medicall and Pension for being the ex Gov
Project Bluebeam November 22, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Hide the decline http://naturalresources.house.gov/about/
B N November 22, 2012 at 02:40 PM
Barney kinda like you with your fema application ? Yep lotta smart republicons out there lol sure take a look at a map and look at red states and blue states and let me know where the smarter ppl live Hint its not in red states but feel free to MOVE before Agenda 21 or Obama takes Christ from Christmas lol
B N November 22, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Breaking News from Foxs New That Obama wants to take Christ out of Christmas give everyone a free phone take away your Bible and yer guns but remember ppl Mittens thinks fema is immoral and believes in magic underwear hates 47% including seniors, the poor , young voters and women
B N November 22, 2012 at 02:47 PM
@ Barney did you miss church today?
elkor November 22, 2012 at 03:35 PM
Sigh.... Apparently lacks the ability to read as well.
Barney November 22, 2012 at 03:56 PM
Hey BN, Off to the soup kitchen yet?? Free turkey for the union guys too! Ta ta, Barneylicous
Joe Taxpayer November 22, 2012 at 04:18 PM
On this day, we should be thankful for the 53% who pay for the other 47% to get their free stuff. Mitt is on his yacht eating turkey and laughing at all of you deadbeat haters who are still unemployed, poor and homeless but have Obama as your President. Oh, the irony! Logic seeker - Mondale was destroyed in 84 and Clinton beat HW in 92. Thanksgiving day trivia - if Democrats help the poor and needy, then why after $16.2 trillion of debt, do we still have poor and needy? Why is Camden worse off today than it was 10, 20 or 30 years ago. Shouldn't something be fixed by now?
Barney November 22, 2012 at 04:33 PM
If it were not for the new HISPANIC and old BLACK vote, Obama would not be President. The Blacks and Hispanics niow run the country.
B N November 22, 2012 at 04:38 PM
JOe Taxpayer how much is your tax return? 16 trilion in debt and just how much of that is for the 10 yr Iraq war that "mission accomplished what again? bases on lies Afgah war ? Yep Mittens got what as coming to him nothing oh hes got money but has no soul and guess what there is no such thing as magic underwear
B N November 22, 2012 at 04:47 PM
Barney Union guys can buy their own turkeys Soup kitchen? only to help what about you hypocrite need help with you fema app? works better if you use a pen you could always jump off a bridge Barney dressed in your kkk outfit but Barney you might wanna look at a map you wil find that the red states are the least educated they are the ones on welfare oh yeah and dont forget they are also on 16 and knocked up kinda like Bristol spreadem drunk Palin and just how would she have paid for the bundle of joy ? oh yeah welfare they are the ones willing to work at less then a wage where they can support themselves hold up with their guns come on Barney say it Obummer is going to take Christ out of Chrismas lol
Barney November 22, 2012 at 04:54 PM
Hey Genius, I thought NJ had a Republican Governor?? Another fact, 96.7% of the ghettos voted for Obama. So what is your point?? Again, the only reason Mr Welfarebama is your President is because the COUNTRY HAS MORE PARASITES TODAY THAN YEARS BEFORE. Free is good! White and rich is evil! ~~~ We get it. When the country runs out of money for the parasites to devour, the Republ;icans will be needed again. But for now, we are either Nicaragua or Kenya.
B N November 22, 2012 at 05:11 PM
REpublicons needed? for what? exactly what has Gov blowhard done exactly? Mittens flip on his belly faster then you in jail Barney your a racist and an a hole go to one of those ghettos with your shoe shine box let me know how you make out bring your bible
B N November 22, 2012 at 05:13 PM
Barney do you receive SS welfare or disability or medicare because if you are against it and you receive it well that would make you a hypocrite
Yah Mo B There November 22, 2012 at 05:22 PM
China will do whatever they want, as will most developing countries. The US could do a mass suicide and it wouldn't matter to the environment. Also, raising taxes on whatever you liberals want will not change the climate. If you can't see this is simply a money grab by the US government you are ignorant. Happy thanksgiving. What do you charitably inclined liberals think all the poor people are doing today?
Barney November 22, 2012 at 05:29 PM
Aaaaahhh, the old fashiioned race card from a liberal? But the anti-religeous comments are just fine nowadays! I am not very religeous B N. I guess you come from the inner city. I can tell from your grammar. Good Ol'e NJ school system!
BN November 22, 2012 at 05:43 PM
There is NO "separation of church and state" even mentioned in the Constitution. What it actually says is "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion". Translation: There is no recognition of an official state religion. This means you can be an American citizen regardless of your religious beliefs. Nowhere does it say or imply nativity scenes should be banned or high school athletes can't say a prayer before a game. Organized atheist groups are just a collection of sad, bitter people with an insatiable appetite for vengeance and attention.
Joe Taxpayer November 22, 2012 at 07:25 PM
My tax return is a lot more than yours I can guarantee it. You should just say thanks for my contribution to your existence. How much is from social security, medicare or welfare or other entitlement spending? This years budget deficit is $1.1 Trillion and it aint from the wars but stick to the talking points since just like Obama they make you feel better while it's getting worse. Good for Mitt, he's drinking a martini right now and laughing at you and your homeboy Obama as am I.
Joe Taxpayer November 22, 2012 at 07:27 PM
One of the Abbott districts outputs no doubt. Ever notice the racists are the ones always calling others racist. Susan Rice is incomptent. Saying so isn't racist. She just is.
Joe Taxpayer November 22, 2012 at 07:29 PM
Another day of Democrat leadership and another day of billions more in debt and still no one is less poor, smarter or employed. I keep waiting to see where liberal policies work. It sure as heck isn't helping Camden
Joe Taxpayer November 22, 2012 at 07:53 PM
Hey good for your son. What about the 25 million others who don't have any job offers? How's Obama working out for them? And yeah, we believe your 6 figure job offer out of college story. How many people in Camden are doing better today thanks to Obama? Unemployment 20%+
frank reynolds November 22, 2012 at 09:54 PM
joe taxpayer what does unemployment in camden have to do with climate change? look you lost the election get over it already.
Joe Taxpayer November 23, 2012 at 04:12 AM
Susan Rice is incompetent. It was a spontaneous reaction to a video.....LOL!!!!!
Patrick November 23, 2012 at 05:35 AM
Please close these comments.... It is just making a mockery of Patch.
Curious George November 23, 2012 at 05:09 PM
...and lest we forget, the earth is only 6,000 yrs old.
elkor November 23, 2012 at 05:59 PM
I'm out. I'm not feeding what has turned into a schoolyard trollfest
Barney December 01, 2012 at 01:22 PM
Superstition and Witchcraft carry similar arguments.
frank rizzo December 10, 2012 at 04:08 AM
barney if we rub a rabbit's foot will you go away?

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