NJ Environmentalists Respond to Christie's Earth Day Silence

Governor offers no official recognition of Earth Day

by Tom Johnson, NJSpotlight.com

Earth Day passed, if not away, then at least quietly in New Jersey yesterday.

There were an array of small events, but not the usual big ceremonies celebrating the state’s once unyielding commitment to the environment, a record embellished by some of the nation’s toughest laws to protect the air, water and public from harmful pollution.

Gov. Chris Christie, the target of criticism from environmentalists during his tenure, failed to even acknowledge the day.

Asked whether that reflected his interest in the environment, his spokesman, Michael Drewniak, responded: “It signifies nothing and the premise of your loaded question is false and offensive.’’

David Pringle, campaign director of the New Jersey Environmental Federation, which endorsed Christie in his election effort, said Christie's failure to do an Earth Day event reflects the fact that he does not have much to brag about. Responding to Drewniak's comment, Pringle added, "It's typical -- when you can't attack the message, you attack the messenger -- whether it's Tom Johnson or Jeff Tittel [director of the New Jersey Sierra Club].

Perhaps fittingly, it rained all day, bringing welcome precipitation to a state parched by unusually dry weather with worries New Jersey soon could be in the midst of a new drought crisis.

At a time when environmental laws face increased scrutiny and criticism in Trenton, and, more so in Washington, the view that the public and New Jersey might be moving in that same conservative direction where environmental laws apparently have less support was disputed by some environmentalists.

“You see a lot of young people going green -- recycling and bringing canvas bags to supermarkets. You see a lot of companies going green -- putting solar on their roofs or grounds,’’ Tittel said.

“Now, you see government going in the wrong direction,’’ said Tittel, citing both the Christie and Obama administrations.

Nevertheless, it did not stop Democrats from hurling criticism at the Republican governor.

In a press release issued by the Democratic press office, Assemblyman John McKeon (D-Essex), a sponsor of the bill creating protections for the New Jersey Highlands, the source of drinking water for many residents, sharply lashed out at the appointment of a new executive director at the regional agency.

“The Christie administration continues to play politics with the environment by pushing Morris County Freeholder Gene Feyl as executive director of the Highlands Council, following the unconscionable ouster of Eileen Swann, who was removed from her post, despite doing an outstanding job of implementing the Highlands Act,’’ McKeon said.

Feyl was hired as executive director of the council this past Thursday, a move that some environmentalists saw as a ramping up of what they view as a bid by the governor to repeal the Highlands Act, not by legislative means, but from the inside, according to Doug O’Malley, field director for Environment New Jersey.

“The truth is there’s not much to celebrate this Earth Day,’’ said O’Malley whose group was among 27 organizations that joined together to file a lawsuit against a controversial new rule that would allow the Department of Environmental Protection to waive environmental regulations if they were deemed unduly burdensome.

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Hackensack Marty April 24, 2012 at 11:58 AM
no jobs no money no hope and a lot of debt say hallo to NJ the no fun state
Scondo April 24, 2012 at 12:30 PM
In Wayne, a dedicated group from NNJC.org completed its 6th consecutive High Mtn. Clean Up . The difference is amazing. high Mtn has once again been returned to a premier local hiking venue through the efforts of private citizens, working as a group over the last 6 years.
Hank April 24, 2012 at 01:22 PM
No fun? I'll have you know New Jersey has excellent TV reception.
eyes wide shut April 24, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Excellent point Scondo...To bad Gov. Christie, (the man with more Chin's than a Chinese phone book, don't see the effects of it. The only Green he likes is the color of money he is putting into his cronies pockets...
Scondo April 24, 2012 at 04:12 PM
eyes , it is not just Christie. Look back to the Florio debacle of ISRA, Industrial Site Reclamation Act which gave birth to environmental consultants and law firms who would for a fee, navigate the regulatory quicksand established by the aforesaid admin. And in keeping with tradition those same regularory navigators would handsomely contribute to the political forces with the foresight to make them so very wealthy at the cost to the rest of the state. Similarly look at the Oil Tank Remediation forces, legions of licensed tank removal contractors whose "worth" is in being able to file papers with the byzantine DEP to get a NFA Letter and not in their ability to remove a tank in the ground. The only thing that they need remember is to be large in the political arena. Special intereste get special treatment in the regulatory jungle. But while talking Environmentally, let us not forget to credit the Passaic River Coalition and the Sierra Group for their role in killing the flood tunnel and all that they have done for people of Wayne. Being environmentally sensitive is not always what it appears to be, so we must always be cautious, lest the fox be let into the hen house.
jp1 April 24, 2012 at 04:34 PM
The fat man seems to always parrot the party line,cannot think for himself unless he is bullying someone.
Tommy P April 24, 2012 at 04:35 PM
@Maritn most of the state's debt, including the money promised to the public employees retirement fund does NOT come with the full faith and credit of the state of nj. We can simply pass a law and not pay it.
Kat April 24, 2012 at 04:45 PM
Why is it that when you loud mouthed liberals have nothing to actually contribute, you go straight to the mean and cruel fat jokes? Cause I'm so sure you are all 0% body fat in and tip top shape. Either contribute something intelligent and useful or do everyone a favor and shut YOUR piehole. Thanks in advance. :-)
jp1 April 24, 2012 at 05:42 PM
No cruel fat joke just a fact. Please read carefully.
Scondo April 24, 2012 at 05:48 PM
@Kathy, which "loud mouthed liberals" are you directing your actual contribution in form of your comment to. I can't claim 0% , but I can claim sub 30%, I can't claim tip top shape, but I can claim having contributed something useful--if you see my 8:30 AM , post, for I was the person who started that effort way back when. So if you have no more to add, why not heed your own advice. The mote is in your eye.
Andy Schmidt April 24, 2012 at 08:27 PM
Clean air, clean water, clean soil - these are basic necessitities that every person has a vested interest in, unless they want to see themselves and their loved ones exposed to pollutants and their health consequences. This should have nothing to do with party affiliation. You can make up lost money next year if you lose some this year. You can manage through a tough economic climate until a recovery sets in. All of these things are secondary to the most basic needs of all of humanity. Anyone who is not able to prioritize this properly (whatever their politial post and fiscal agenda might be otherwise), should step aside - whether in the state or the federal government. People need to start looking past the smoke screens of both parties and vote in line with their most basic interests.
Redrider765 April 24, 2012 at 08:29 PM
Would you have the man get on his private plane w/ his entorage and go to some extravagant special event to promote Earth Day like so many hypocritical celebrities have done over the last 2 decades? Perhaps the best thing someone can do on a day like Earth Day is not waste a ton of fuel doing some wasteful "feel good" event that does nothing but create a ton of CO2 from burnt fossil fuel.
Charelle Wilson Hanley April 24, 2012 at 10:52 PM
This Gov. has lowered the standards of NY Motor Vehicles so that no one has to pass a test for emissions or anything! Tires can fall of of your car! It's pitiful! Christie is could care less about our safety, our air, our health - forget the environment!!!
Marcia Ringel April 25, 2012 at 12:38 AM
The politicizing of caring about the environment we live in has been a disaster. If there is one thing that affects us all, it's the air we breathe, the water we drink and cook in, and the soil in which we grow our food.
Tommy P April 25, 2012 at 02:25 AM
The democrats and their global warming alarmist scam has really hurt the enviornment.
Andy Schmidt April 25, 2012 at 12:28 PM
Well, it is unfortunate that the term "gobal warming" has such as comfortable homey feeling - and is so easily "dispelled" by critics who cite extreme BAD weather as "layman proof" that scientists are wrong. There can be no denying that a severe climate change is occurring - and in some regions it has lead to dramatic increases in temperatures in the air and the water with permanent or impeding loss of wide ranges of species. It's not a matter of "believing", it's just a matter of looking at historical photographic evidence of glaciers (where they actually still exist) and the fact that new shipping lanes near the north pole are now possible where there used to be ice. Facts are not democratic or conservative - they effect ALL humans no matter their political conviction. It is people like you Tom, who turn it into a political game, as if it's just another tax rate or war spending issue. It's too serious a matter to use it for cheap shots against one party or the other. In fact, no matter which party, it exposes people who are NOT treating the environment with the absolute priority that it should have and who should be doing everything to raise awareness with your constituents to get them aboard for necessary policy changes.
Tommy P April 25, 2012 at 12:46 PM
@Andy I am an environmentalist. We clearly will not have a meaningful scientific debate on a site like this one. However, the "evidence" is deniable. There is no question the UN has taken the leading role in "climate change", a term which is a kin to sun rise since the climate is always changing. It used to be called Global Cooling when I was younger and Global Warming not too long ago. The CRIMINAL United Nations activity lead by the University of East Anglia needs to be ended. Spend a little time reading up on Mann and Jones wrote in emails they thought were private. Statements like "I've just completed Mike's Nature [the science journal] trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie, from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith's to hide the decline." Don't need to be a PhD in physics to understand that do you?
Tommy P April 25, 2012 at 12:48 PM
I am not influential enough to turn the "science" into a political debate, the watermelon (green on the outside red on the inside) politicians who want to peddle influence and raise money for taxes and their friends in big business do that. Look at how much of a scam carbon credits are. Its nothing more than a way for politicians to hand out corporate welfare while attacking small business and taxing everyone more. It's hard to argue these guys are not criminal. IF they are right, they are criminal for not sharing ALL the data for everyone to see and for any peer, not just select peers to review. IF we are to believe their predictions (none of which have come true yet) the consequences are so dire, is not criminal to withhold that information? IF they are cooking the books and perpetrating a fraud, clearly that's criminal too. We should focus on cleaning up brown fields like the plume under many of our homes, improving ground water, and other meaningful things.
Andy Schmidt April 25, 2012 at 12:53 PM
Tom, that email exchange is old news and has long been put into the proper context. The underlying numbers did NOT change, just because someone was trying to figure out a presentation "trick" on how to make the numbers he was trying to emphasize stand out the clearest. The numbers weren't wrong or falsified - as the original fake outcry wanted everyone to believe (and apparently succeeded with some still believing today), someone was trying to find the most effective way to get the message across without confusing people with low attention span to get distracted by seemingly "declines".
Andy Schmidt April 25, 2012 at 01:00 PM
As far as predictions NOT coming true: Hm, the polar cap IS melting, glaciers HAVE entirely disappeared from many locations - or shrunk by 80% And some of this is happening MUCH earlier that some people even were able to predict 10 years ago! Some things have not YET happened - but that's the problem with predictions - they will not necessarily ALL come true, or necessarily within the time frame expected. The problem is when people like you focus on those predictions that have not yet materialized (which is ALWAYS understood to be a possiblity) instead of sticking their heads in the sand about THOSE predictions have have ALREADY come true.
Redrider765 April 25, 2012 at 01:00 PM
Now that is a bold faced lie. Emissions tests are still required. They just moved if from when a car turned 4 years old to when a car turns 5 years old. The only thing that was accurate was your statement that mechanical inspections no longer are required by the state. And let me point out that 29 other states also no longer require mechanical inspections. But who cares anyway? Most people go to their mechanic to get their inspection done instead of some overpaid and under-trained hack that works for the state who wouldn't know a bald tire from a hole in the ground so we already get an idea of what mechanical issues our vehicles have when we get the inspection done.
Andy Schmidt April 25, 2012 at 02:15 PM
>> the climate is always changing << Another favorite trick by people who can't face the truth. WEATHER is always changing, day to day, season to season - even over the years we do see "cold" years, "dry" years, etc. - but at the end those short and long-term changes in weather will "average out". The word "climate" means: "The weather conditions prevailing in an area in general or over a long period." It is supposed to rather stabile for an area. It is the fact that CLIMATE is changing, which is the major cause for concern.
Scondo April 25, 2012 at 02:15 PM
The GOP is loathe to acknowledge Earth Day because of its ties to Lenin's Birthday and its socialist agenda. It is unfortunate that the environmental movement was hijacked by the most anti American groups. Seems silly, but it is true. The GOP should at least acknowledge that environmental balance is needed, something that the environmental groups seem incapable of wrapping around. http://lubbockonline.com/interact/blog-post/may/2012-04-21/earth-day-lenin%E2%80%99s-birthday-and-socialist-ties-bind
Rich April 25, 2012 at 05:26 PM
"Gov. Chris Christie, the target of criticism from environmentalists during his tenure, failed to even acknowledge the day." Let's be honest,anyone who cares so little about their own appearance, is not going to care about the environment of our state. No shock here.
Tommy P April 26, 2012 at 12:35 AM
Andy, proper context to manipulate the data to get a disired result? Are they scientists or charlatans? Why not present all the data? With the seriousness of their predictions, and the government funding from the EU and US, why isn't the raw data published? Doesn't it bother you they are not publishing the data? Is it a fraud or are they being terribly irresponsible? Either way it's not good. How do you account for the mideavel warming? How do you account for the temperature increases on Mars, Venus and other planets? How do you account for the ice age? I could go and on with sources, but despite the observable data, your committed to the idea. I may have an easier time convincing a priest Jesus was just a man. I'm not an expert, but I have a hard time trusting people with their hands in my pocket withholding data.
Kat April 27, 2012 at 09:29 PM
I did read. You started with "The fat man ..." That is my point. What does his weight have to do with any political agenda. Then we have eyes wide shut with this "the man with more Chin's than a Chinese phone book" which is also not very "pc" along with being another "fat" joke. Scondo - you have made great contributions - statements made up of fact and reasoning. I am sorry if I offended you, I was certainly not speaking about you when I made my original comment.
Big Ben May 02, 2012 at 01:11 AM
What caused all the global warming and glacier melts in the dozen or so times that this happened before man came along? How did the planet survive and correct the condition without Al Gore? My belief is that this global warming, global cooling is all part of the normal life cycle of the planet. Perhaps the planet might even die if man develops technology/strategy to end this cycle.
Tommy P May 02, 2012 at 02:10 AM
The science is settled, they want to take your money.
Keith Jensen October 03, 2012 at 01:21 PM
Have you heard about the 3 large concrete reservoirs that are going up in your area's back yard? This has already been quietly voted on, passed, and the press is keeping it on the hush-hush. Well, that is if you allow it to stay that way. The reservoirs are to be drained and these $100Million monoliths will rise (along with your property taxes) for everyone to see looming above Paterson on Rte. 80. Read and comment here if it is a concern: http://englewood.patch.com/articles/nj-environmental-federation-endorses-democrats-for-congress-blasts-gop#comments
Scondo October 03, 2012 at 02:14 PM
The truth follows "EPA’s mandate requires that all open reservoirs that contain drinking water to be covered with concrete or undergo additional retreatment processes to protect drinking water from biological pathogens." This is a Jackson / Obama? EPA mandated solution to a non problem.


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