NJ Rallies for Climate, Jobs and Justice in Morristown!

NJ Rallies for Climate, Jobs and Justice in Morristown!


Morristown, NJ- Today hundreds of citizens, members of environmental, labor, civil, faith-based, and other groups, as well as elected officials, are gathering together for the People’s Climate Movement to Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice. Groups are united in support of accelerating the transition to renewable energy and reducing the pollution that contributes to climate change. This event is happening in tandem with two other events in New Jersey and more than 200 across the country.


“Climate change is real and it’s happening right now. It’s threatening our communities, our country, and planet. This is one of the hottest years on record and we must make it hotter for our politicians who deny climate change or drag their feet on the issues. Some say the right things but need them to put their words into actions and we will light a fire under them to do it. We’re here united to push for immediate action to fight climate change and promote environmental justice and green jobs!” said Jeff Tittel, Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club. “We need to move our country, and our state, forward with clean technology and a green economy and it starts by coming together!”


This event is part of a nationwide national day of action, organized in support of improving public health and environmental integrity with the transition to clean energy while creating thousands of well-paying clean energy industry jobs across the country.


“Climate and environmental justice become a civil rights issue, a mental and physical health issue for individuals with disabilities when their access to services, food, evacuation, medical resources, transportation, etc. is inadequate and does NOT meet their needs.  Research that correlates the impact of Climate Change in these individuals health and accessibility after a disaster, that develops more inclusive infraestructures, that helps to improve the readiness of the first responders, their displacement, and the intersectionality with their level of income morally has to continue,” said María Santiago-Valentín, LDTC, OFA State Lead for Climate Change and Co-Lead of the 2018 NJ People’s Climate Movement.


Groups sponsoring the event include BlueWaveNJ, Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War, Clean Water Action, Coalition Against Pilgrim Pipeline, Coalition to Ban Unsafe Oil Trains, Environment New Jersey, Food & Water Watch, Green Action, GreenFaith, Jersey Renews, Moms Clean Air Force, New Jersey Environmental Justice Alliance, New Jersey League of Conservation Voters, New Jersey Sustainable Business Council, NJ March for Science, New Jersey Sierra Club, New Jersey Work Environment Council, NJ 11th For Change, Organizing for Action, ReThink Energy NJ, Sustainable Morristown, The Climate Reality Project, The Watershed Institute, UU FaithAction NJ, WATERSPIRIT, and Wind of the Spirit.


“Now is the time to act on climate change, and the people of New Jersey know it all too well,” said Tom Gilbert, Campaign Director, ReThink Energy NJ. “The political will is there and we must urgently move away from polluting fossil fuels that risk our health and harm our environment to clean, renewable sources of energy that will fuel our economy and create a brighter future for our families.”


The organizers call for forward-thinking innovation and science-advised policy to prepare our country and the world in these pivotal times for the challenges humanity faces with a warming planet.


“Governor Murphy has pledged to go big on renewable energy, a big step towards mitigating climate change in New Jersey. But if he’s serious about being a climate leader, he must also enact a moratorium on all new fossil fuel projects, like the fracked gas-power plant planned for the Meadowlands, and the pipelines and compressor stations proposed all across our state. The time for bold, rapid climate action is right now,” said Matt Smith, Senior Organizer with Food & Water Watch.


We’re asking for environmental justice, plans to address sea level rise, commitments to clean up pollution and an accelerated transition to clean energy in hopes of reversing some of the damage done to the planet over time, where possible.


“The election on November 6th is the most important election of our lives. It is so important that voters stand up for clean air, clean water, and green space, and elect lawmakers who will do the same. New Jersey LCV is proud of the work Governor Murphy and his administration have done, particularly in working towards their campaign promise to achieve 100% clean renewable energy by 2050 and making New Jersey an environmental leader once again. A greener economy in our state means good, local jobs and a healthy, thriving environment, but we still have work to do to protect the health of all New Jerseyans,” said Ed Potosnak, Executive Director of New Jersey League of Conservation Voters.


New Jersey is in a unique, timely position to lead in the renewable energy transition, moving boldly under new leadership into the booming global renewables revolution at a critical time.


“To change everything, we need everyone. Four years after the first People’s Climate March in New York, there is a global movement to fight for climate action. In this age of Trump, we need to reignite climate activism on the local and state level and fight federal climate rollbacks.  Our leaders need to listen to the science and this mass movement for climate action,” said Doug O’Malley, Director of Environment New Jersey. “We need to stop digging the climate hole deeper by expanding fossil fuel infrastructure and put the building blocks in place to transition to a 100% clean, renewable energy over the next three decades.”


Speakers and presenters are addressing the full range of factors contributing to the growing national call for climate action, including economic gains to be made, jobs to be created and coastal communities to be protected, from positions of both national and local accountability.


“I rise today to protect the world of tomorrow, one that respects the zip code I live in and Environmental Justice,” said Kim Gaddy, Environmental Justice Organizer for Clean Water Action. “Newark is ground zero for climate change, floods, extreme weather days and we cannot be left behind.”


Governor Murphy’s Executive Order 8 paves the way for the most aggressive procurement of offshore wind nationwide, moving toward the goal of 3.5 GW by 2030 to power 1.5 million New Jersey residents with clean non-pollutant wind energy.  New Jersey has ideal conditions for offshore wind turbines and it’s estimated that 10 GW of wind waits off our coastline to be harnessed.


“The EIA Annual Energy Outlook for 2018 projects that fossil fuels like coal, oil and natural gas will still account for 78.5% of U.S. Energy Production in 2050.  That’s unacceptable. We need federal leadership to transition faster and this administration’s abdication of duty to the American public and the world by withdrawal from Paris Accord commitments can not stand,” said Christine Clarke, former Environmental Director of ATNJ and Chair of the Jefferson Township Democratic Committee. “As an advocate and as a parent, I’m here to make sure we accelerate the transition.”


After the rally’s lineup of speakers concludes, the festival will offer the opportunity for students and other attendees to step up to the mic and share their thoughts on climate change and our communities. Other festival activities include an electric vehicle area, children’s arts and crafts, and tabling by various organizations.


“Climate change is not only about temperature increases or the measurements of the sea level, it is about our lives, health, and well-being of future generations, our species food security, natural habitats, and the safety of the most vulnerable populations. Now is the time to unite in support of a healthier and sustainable environment,” said Priscilla Garces, Organizing for Action.


New Jersey is also hosting other Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice events in Red Bank, Newark, and Jersey City.


“It’s long past time for all of us to work together for comprehensive climate action. Jersey Renews works across sectors – environment, labor, faith, health, students, communities – to be sure our comprehensive policy recommendations are beneficial for the multidimensional communities in which we live. This year’s People’s Climate Movement theme of Rise for Climate, Jobs, and Justice couldn’t be more on point with our values. The more diverse our voices are, the stronger our message is,” said Norah Langweiler, campaign organizer for Jersey Renews. “The communities hardest hit by climate change are those that are already vulnerable. Due to our history, and our present, low-income and communities of color are more likely to be located near a toxic or polluted site. During the major storms that will increase as climate change continues to ramp up, those locations will not only be inundated with stormwater (and an ailing infrastructure ill-equipped to deal with it) but also the pollution and toxic substances can make a reappearance, worsening a crisis. Ensuring a just transition to a clean energy future, where workers are guaranteed jobs and resources are allocated to communities that most need them, is the only path forward to creating a safe and secure world for future generations.”

The event will also include a display of electric vehicles. These vehicles do not use fossil fuels and many of the groups are actively working on establishing electric vehicles programs across New Jersey to reduce air pollution and fossil fuel use.


“Faith, science, and social justice converge in climate change reality and the global water crisis.  The mining and burning of fossil fuels degrades the Earth and creates toxic pollution of our air, water and soil; therein creating conflict and strife for many people all over the globe for access to clean safe water. Lack of access to clean safe water and the health effects of fossil fuel pollution affects people living in poverty more than the affluent. We now have the knowledge to transition to renewable energy, which will have less of an impact on the planet – the air, water and soil, and on our health and safety.  Couple these facts with the urgency of climate change, this demands New Jersey, the United States and the global community to transition to renewable energy NOW,” said Sr. Suzanne Golas, CSJP, Director, WATERSPIRIT. “The People’s Climate Movement Rallies on September 8, all over the world, are the peoples demand and call for our political leaders to act in the public and planet’s interest first and NOW, and for them to stop putting the interests of the fossil fuel industry first!”


Saturday’s event and begins with a rally at 11:00 am and is followed by a festival at 12 noon. Both take place at the Morristown Town Hall, 200 South Street, Morristown, NJ 07960, ending at 2:00 pm.


“We need state leadership that will make clean air, access to energy efficiency and renewable energy, and protection from climate disasters a reality for our urban communities,” said GreenFaith’s Rev. Ronald Tuff.  “Smart policies can create these outcomes while producing good, green jobs; funds to support these policies should come from the state’s Clean Energy Fund, which the administration has wrongly raided to pay for budget gaps.  This needs to change.”

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