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Press Discovering Christie Ignoring Climate Change in Sandy Rebuild

Reality is Far Worse – Climate Science Not Only Ignored, but Suppressed

The “flapping of the butterfly wing” creates “storm” of media controversy

One off story, or set up for Legislative Oversight?

[Clarification below]

Ironically, based on a Sierra Club press release, the media is latching onto an obscure update of a DEP environmental “trends report” quietly posted on DEP’s website back on June 21, 2013 to finally write the story that the Christie Administration is ignoring scientific warnings about climate change in their Sandy rebuild plans, see: STATE DEP ISSUES WARNING ABOUT HAZARDS OF GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE

First of all, the headline is flat out wrong – DEP did NOT issue a warning – and that’s the problem.

There was no press release warning the public and the DEP document in question does not contain any warnings at all.

And I say the media coverage right now is ironic, because far stronger evidence of Gov. Christie’s outrageous failure to consider climate change is available and has been hidden in plain sight and posted here extensively for years (see:  Why Is It So Hard For NJ Media to Call Out Gov. Christie on Climate Change?).

Actual DEP warnings about coastal risks were eliminated from DEP documents. These warnings included specific findings that the coastal engineering projects that Gov. Christie is supporting provide a false sense of security and attract even more development to hazardous locations.

Those inconvenient findings sent “down the memory hole” include other specific policy recommendations that would embarrass Gov. Christie and totally discredit his rebuild plans – including a recommendation for “strategic retreat” from hazardous shorelines vulnerable to sea level rise, storm surge, and flooding.

These were all DELETED from DEP documents – while at the same time, the risk rating of coastal storms was LOWERED from “High” to “Moderate” (worse, this was done after the devastation from tropical storm Irene, which should have been a wakeup call about NJ’s vulnerability).

[Clarification – Technically, DEP did not reduce the coastal hazard risk from High to Moderate. Rather, it was the priorities for funding, enhancement, and coastal program planning strategy. Regardless, the more important issue is the deletion of prior findings and a lowering of priority. – end clarification]

Now, there’s a fucking scandal for the media to write about and hold Legislative oversight hearings on.

So, of course, I write with extreme frustration – just disgusted that the flapping of the butterfly wing has triggered this so called “political storm” (see: Climate change at center of political storm).

But who knows, maybe there is some method in the madness of this flapping of the butterfly wing.

It could be a set up piece for the Democrats to hold a real Legislative oversight hearing when they meet this Thursday in Atlantic City at the joint annual summer hearing of the environmental committees (see: Democrats Blow Another Golden Opportunity to Hold Gov. Christie Accountable).

If that’s the case, then this is no butterfly wing, but a well played hand.

But I strongly doubt that Democratic Legislators will bite, which will make this entire controversy about as meaningful as the flapping of a butterfly wing.

In another ironic twist, actually, Larry Hajna from the spin prone DEP prose office  is correct in noting that this is NOT a “DEP study” – it’s merely a rehash of other work, all of which I’ve been writing about from the wilderness of WolfeNotes for months now.

So, if you want a “smoking gun” that actually does prove Tittel’s claim, look at the sources in footnote #17.

Previously, DEP documents were cited as the source of those findings – plus far more – in a regulatory document required under the federal Coastal Zone Management Act known as the Section 309 “Coastal Assessment”.

But those prior DEP findings were DELETED by Christie/Martin regime, which shows that warnings are not only being IGNORED, warnings and science are being actively SUPPRESED.

This kind of scientific fraud was a major scandal during the Bush Administration, when it was revealed that the White House was editing US EPA Climate change science documents.

Where is the outrage when Christie/Martin do even worse in NJ?

BTW, in yet another strong irony, the prime DEP author of the document in question, Mike Aucott, has retired.

DEP is hemoraging experienced professionals to retirement and is not replacing them – in a few years, they can just turn off the lights at 401 East State Street.

Actually, there’s nobody home there now.

Which is just what the banks, builders, realtors, Chamber of Commerce, NJBIA, Chemistry Council, PSEG and Big Pharma ordered.

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