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Profiles In Climate Courage

[Update below]

After a decade of silence about the abject failure to plan for and implement the greenhouse gas emission reduction goals of the 2007 Global Warming Response Act, Rutgers University has finally issued a Report on the State of NJ’s efforts to achieve the goals of the GWRA.

That Rutgers Report got favorable media coverage by NJ Spotlight, which prompted my effort to set the context and history straight.

In addition to the climate policy history, I have been critical of the Rutgers academics’ repeated failures to engage the climate policy debate. I find that irresponsible, a violation of scientific ethics, and cowardly. I’ve written:

That is a “perspective” that is devoid of context and climate science.

David Robinson, NJ State Climatologist (...on one hand ...) (8/25/10)

I blame the State Climatologist David Robinson of Rutgers as well.

A recent presentation to the Pinelands Commission science series, provided another example of that.

Robinson, in an apparent effort to “temper” his “official” statements, actually mis-stated the science and the degree of scientific consensus.

Look at his powerpoint – note how Robinson poses the question and how he uses an erroneous and equivocal “preponderance of the evidence suggests” standard: […..]

During his Pinelands remarks, Robinson explicitly said that his public statements on climate change do not reflect his views as a scientist or as a tenured university professor or as an individual, but are more conservative and tempered because he is speaking in an official capacity as The State Climatologist.

Virtually everyone in the room knew what he meant: that he is intimidated by the political and/or economic implications of what he says.

NJ is ground zero for climate chaos, whether the issue is sea level rise; more frequent and intense storms; lurching from drought to flooding; or the ecological damage , such as southern pine beetles on Pinelands forests or the emerald ash borer on ash trees in NJ’s northern hardwood forests.

We need forceful and accurate statements by the scientists and media.

So, with that context in mind, in beginning to read the Rutgers Report this morning, this profile in courage jumped right off the page:

Although the authors do not make recommendations or advocate for any particular policy option or suite of options for New Jersey, we hope that the information in the report will be helpful in furthering dialogue and discussion about greenhouse gas emissions policy options for New Jersey.

Now that’s a real profile of Climate Courage and scientific integrity!

More to follow.

[Update: 10/11/17 – I just received a curious email, and was the sole recipient of it. It was anonymous (i.e. from no specific named individual) and lacked any text or introductory explanation about who sent it and why it was sent, titledRecent Climate Change Releases for New Jersey”. So, it appears that the folks at the Rutgers Climate Institute have fired back in response to the criticism below.

Ironically, I guess Rutgers missed the meaning of my post, which had to do with courage – if they think I mistakenly portrayed their work, they should have said so, not sent me that kind of email.

The email sent the following climate work. I have not reviewed it, but provide it here in fairness to Rutgers:

“Fall 2017 – New Jersey Climate Resources
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