Home > Uncategorized > Years of Talking Dangerously

Years of Talking Dangerously

Echoes From Polar Opposite Perspectives

Veritatem dies aperit

I got a kick out of the red hot quote from Murphy DEP Commissioner LaTourette in today’s NJ Spotlight story, where he basically called business lobbyists liars:

DEP Commissioner Shawn LaTourette rejected the business community’s objections to the proposed rule when he spoke to state lawmakers on Aug. 11. “We have to modernize our flood standards. We cannot accept developers telling falsehoods and running around with their hair on fire because DEP wants to change a rule,” he said.

(the last DEP Commissioner I recall that got into a public pissing match in the media with the NJ Builders Assc. was Brad “Big Map” Campbell, and that didn’t turn out too well. But at least Campbell backed up his words with regulatory action.)

DEP Commissioner LaTourette talks a good game – I emphasize, he talks. And talks. And Talks. And Tweets – he’s the first DEP Twitter in Chief! And he Zooms (using a ridiculous selfie-background). And issues the usual over the top spun DEP press releases (and gaslights gullible EJ advocates). But sometimes LaTourette is humiliated and is forced to walk back his talk.

But thus far, no action. As in “all talk, no action“.

Aside from the “falsehoods” he accused those developers of – and they were legally correct in their criticism of LaTourette’s “emergency rule” idea) – I heard an echo of that same “hair on fire” metaphor that I myself used, but from a completely different perspective.

I used that phrase during an interview in the award winning 2014 Showtime and National Geographic documentary “Years of Living Dangerously” – Episode 5  – which focused on Superstorm Sandy and Gov. Christie’s failed response.

Episode 5 of the documentary compares NJ Gov. Christie’s response to Superstorm Sandy with Washington State Gov. Inslee’s climate policies and NY Gov. Cuomo actions post Sandy.

My interview provided harsh criticism, and I spoke about how prior warnings from DEP experts were ignored and how Gov. Christie and his DEP Commissioner Bob Martin had dismantled existing climate programs (watch, staring at time 40:06 – 42:35):

Screen Shot 2022-08-29 at 1.28.48 PM

Mark Bittman: Were those warnings becoming shriller, more harsh, more worrisome than they were  20, 30, 40 years ago?

Bill Wolfe: Absolutely. It was almost as if the planners were running around with their hair on fire.

Folks might want to watch that whole Episode for historical context.

Because while some may be running around with their hair on fire, nothing real is being done to reduce greenhouse gas emissions or adapt to climate chaos.

PS – and environmentalists are again dead wrong to support an emergency rulemaking procedure.

As I warned, that is a failure by design that will set back efforts another decade.

And what’s left of my hair is on fire.

Categories: Uncategorized Tags:
You must be logged in to post a comment.