Archive for December, 2023

This Is What Ineffective Irrelevance Looks Like

December 31st, 2023 No comments

Green Mafia Press Conference Draws No Media

Attempt At Fundraising Shows How Out Of Touch These People Are

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What an apt way to end the year.

I just received the above photo in a end of year email fundraiser from the NJ Highlands Coalition.

These clueless bastards sent a photo – which illustrates their irrelevance – of a State House Press conference where the staff from the fake green groups far exceeded the journalists.

This is an embarrassment that shows how irrelevant and ineffective these people are – and they are so clueless that they send it as a fundraiser?

Are you kidding me?

Happy New Year.

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The Voyage Of Life – Where We’re At

December 29th, 2023 No comments

Thomas Cole (American, 1801 - 1848 ), The Voyage of Life: Manhood, 1842, oil on canvas, Ailsa Mellon Bruce Fund

Now that I have a home, I just bought a gorgeously framed print of one of my favorites and put it on my living room wall.

It’s title is “The Voyage of Life: Manhood” (1842).

No further comment necessary.

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A Tale Of Two Earth Days – Photos Tell The Story

December 26th, 2023 No comments

NJ Environmental Leaders Co-Opted By Murphy DEP As Climate Agenda Fails

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Earth Day 2023: (L-R) Anjuli Ramos Sierra Club, Ed Potosnak NJ LCV, DEP Commissioner LaTourette – back row: Doug O’Malley Environment NJ, Dave Pringle Hack

[Update below]

The photo above says it all: NJ’s environmental “leaders” have been completely co-opted by the Murphy Administration, most completely by DEP Commissioner Shawn Latourette.

This co-optation has occurred as the corporate regulated community has expanded their capture of DEP regulators.

This co-optation has occurred despite the failure of the Murphy DEP to restore DEP budget, staff, science, and regulatory power after 8 years of systematic cuts and rollbacks by the Christie Administration. In the regulatory fine print, the Murphy DEP largely has maintained continuity with the Christie DEP.

For example, while NJ’s environmental leaders cheerlead, very few people know this, but the Murphy DEP has re-adopted without change 42 Christie DEP regulations (and denied several important petitions for rulemaking on: 1) climate, 2) wildfire prevention, 3) Green Acres, 4water quality and 5) drinking water).

[Note: Dave Pringle and Clean Water Action are repeat offenders – they collaborated with the Christie  DEP rollbacks– again, the photos don’t lie:


This co-optation of environmental “leaders” has occurred as Gov. Murphy’s claims of climate leadership evaporate and are exposed as weak and ineffective, his renewable energy program collapses, and the substance of his environmental policies belie his rhetoric .

Amazingly, LaTourette is the first DEP Commissioner who served as a high powered corporate lawyer and was forced to recuse from DEP decisions involving dozens of his prior corporate clients, but not all, egregiously including the sweetheart deal with NJ based corporate chemical giant BASF in Toms River.

Amazingly, that prior corporate work – with one exception I blew the whistle on and forced media coverage of – has gone unreported by NJ media. Environmental groups have not raised any concerns about this corporate background and the conflicts of interest and ideological agenda it suggests. The Legislature has raised no concerns either.

Amazingly, Gov. Murphy has described LaTourettte not as a prior corporate lawyer but as an “Erin Brockovitch” victim and public interest advocate!

The above photo illustrates exactly the criticism I have been making of NJ’s environmental leaders, particularly the complete collapse of the Sierra Club NJ Chapter following the retirement of longtime Director Jeff Tittel.

Compare that 2023 Earth Day photo with a photo of Earth Day 2005 (both during allegedly “pro-environment” Democratic administrations) – I was there as Director of NJ PEER and Jeff Tittel and his Sierra club staff were there too:

s press conference announcing a plan to clean up contamination along the Delaware River. JOHN ZIOMEK/Courier-Post

s press conference announcing a plan to clean up contamination along the Delaware River. JOHN ZIOMEK/Courier-Post

Earth Day 2005 – Greenscam Protest. Wolfe (r) and then DEP Commissioner (who hired me in 2002 as policy advisor) Brad Campbell debate

[Update: a former colleague (who shall remain nameless) offered this astute observation – he took the words right out off my mouth!! (emphases mine0:

What gets me when we did earth day events with a commissioner or governor we get something- C1 streams and we would have protested if we didn’t get streams we wanted -300 foot buffer -highlands , flood hazard  etc – they ask for nothing and get nothing.

But they do get something: they get used and they get their names in DEP and Gov. Murphy press releases and the newspaper!

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Landscape With The Flight Into Egypt (Breugel, 1563)

December 24th, 2023 No comments

Those Were Different Times

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(Caption: Landscape with the Flight into Egypt, 1563 (Pieter Bruegel)

… Standing on the corner, suitcase in my hand
Jack is in his corset, Jane is in her vest
And me, I’m in a rock’n’roll band
Ridin’a stutz bearcat, Jim
You know, those were different times. ~~~Sweet Jane (Lou Reed) (1970)

Israel is on a genocidal massacre and ethnic cleansing project to drive the Palestinians into Egypt (the US vetoed and gutted UN “cease fire” Resolution is a fraud) – see: Death And Destruction In Gaza (Mearsheimer, 2023)

Israel is doing that with Joe Biden’s support, encouragement, and diplomatic cover (Wolfe, 2023, 2 months before Mearsheimer), with US weapons, with US military support, with billions of US taxpayer dollars and with US media and Congress cheerleading.

[Update: Superb essay, on point:

Beyond justifying violent land theft, the conflation of Zionism and Judaism serves to delegitimise Indigenous resistance by equating any criticism of Zionism or Israel’s policies towards the Palestinians as an attack on Jews. Further, it hinders anticolonial resistance by portraying a political struggle over land and resources between occupying settlers backed by imperial forces and an Indigenous-occupied people as a supposed ancient religious “conflict” between equals.

And on Christmas.

Let that sink in.

Walk along the river, sweet lullaby
It just keep on flowing
They don’t worry ’bout where it’s goin’, no, no
Don’t fly mister blue bird
I’m just walking down the road
Early morning sunshine tell me all I need to know. Blue Sky (Allman Brothers (1972)

1 (53)(Caption: Gloria Dei Church, Philadelphia (Wolfe, 2023)

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In The Midst Of Another Major Flood, Murphy Administration Touts A “Buyer Beware” Policy

December 22nd, 2023 No comments

DEP Relies On Market Disclosure Of Risks As A Diversion From Stricter Regulation Of Risk

Murphy Administration’s “Let Them Eat Cake” Approach Is Completely Out Of Touch With Flood Victims

It’s All Your Fault – You Bought Or Rented The Wrong Home

Just when hundreds of NJ families are suffering from another devastating major flood, the Murphy Administration issued a self congratulatory press release touting new real estate market flood risk disclosure tools:

TRENTON – To address New Jersey’s increasing flood risks under climate change, Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin, Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Shawn M. LaTourette, Department of Community Affairs Acting Commissioner Jacquelyn A. Suárez, and Division of Consumer Affairs Acting Director Cari Fais today unveiled new and enhanced tools and technologies designed to provide prospective homebuyers and renters with critical information needed to make better informed decision on where they choose to live and how best to protect their property from flood damage.

The measures, which include the publication of new and enhanced property disclosure forms notifying prospective buyers and tenants of a property’s known flood history and potential flood risks, as well as the launch of a user-friendly internet look-up tool searchable by mailing address that identifies properties in flood hazard areas, implement provisions of flood risk disclosure legislation signed into law by Governor Phil Murphy in June 2023. Pursuant to the law, sellers and landlords will be required to use the new forms, which are now available on the Division of Consumer Affairs and Department of Community Affairs websites, beginning on March 20, 2024.

Did you get that? New forms! New websites! Are you kidding me?

The Murphy DEP is completely out of touch with basic landscape reality and indifferent to the suffering of flood victims.

A “buyer beware” approach is totally inadequate response to massive flooding and it essentially blames the victim. This is what you get from a Governor who is a former Goldman Sachs Man and a DEP Commissioner who is a former corporate lawyer.

We don’t need more reliance on real estate markets – which are creating the over-development driven flooding nightmare in New Jersey

We need stricter DEP regulation to stop the destruction of natural landscapes (forests, wetlands, steam buffers, steep slopes, and lands that absorb rainfall) and massive new funding to “strategically retreat” from flood hazard areas and restore natural landscapes.

Last summer, the Legislature cancelled a scheduled hearing on climate driven extreme weather issues, which could have shed light on these issues (see: Legislators CANCEL Controversial Climate Hearing).

At that time Legislators (Senior Smith) scheduled the hearing, I wrote (among other things) to specifically warn about DEP’s over reliance on real estate market disclosure to manage flood risks:

1. Reliance on risk disclosure, voluntary market exchange, and consumer “buyer beware”

Current DEP Commissioner LaTourette has testified to the legislature, most recently during budget hearings, and made press remarks, in support of disclosure of risk information to consumers as an effective policy tool, as opposed to DEP land use regulatory restrictions. see:

“Although developers and builders fear the new rules will tighten limits on where they can build in coastal and inland areas, the regulations are unlikely to do that, LaTourette said in an interview with NJ Spotlight News. …

“We’re not at a point, nor do we think it’s our role, to tell people: ‘Don’t build here, you shouldn’t build there, you can’t do that,’” LaTourette said. “It is about making folks assess their risk and recognize the risk they are taking on. We are not saying: ‘You cannot build in a future flood-risk area.’ We’re saying that in a future flood-risk area, you need to at least do what you do now in an existing flood-risk area, which is: assess the risk, and notice that risk. It will forever live in the deed record of that property.”

I suggest that the FEMA damage claims data, particularly repeat claim data, suggests that such a policy is misguided and ineffective.

In addition to market forces and risk disclosure, we need legislative and regulatory mandates, including new policies of “managed strategic retreat”, repeal of right to rebuild, and land use restrictions based on the 1,000 year storm event (at a minimum).

And so it goes.

Deja vu all over again (hit that link and check out the photo – State Climatologist Robinson has aged!)

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