New Jersey climate expert Dr. Marjorie Kaplan, in a new episode of the Lean to the Left podcast, stresses the urgency of action to combat climate change, responding to the recent UN Report that warns that time is running out.
""We've got to get moving," she says, stressing that an "all hands on deck" approach is needed to ease the negative consequences of climate change, involving the federal, state and local governments, as well as aligned private and nongovernmental organizations.
Listen to the podcast:
While Dr. Kaplan says it is "very important" for the federal government to take the lead an to incentivize states and municipalities to properly plan for steps to mitigate the environmental impact of their actions as infrastructure improvements are made, new buildings are constructed, and transportation improvements are implemented.
She also points out that with the efforts by the Trump administration to toss necessary environmental regulations that had been put in place by the Obama administration, manystates, like New Jersey, are "picking up the slack."
Dr. Kaplan manages the portfolio of the Rutgers Climate Institute, developing and managing research, outreach and education on understanding the climate system and the impacts of a changing climate across the natural, social and policy sciences.
During the podcast, Dr. Kaplan discusses the New Jersey Climate Change Alliance, a statewide network of organizations that work to advance science-informed climate change strategies at the state and local levels in the Garden State. She says the Alliance provides a great example that can be duplicated in other regions of the country.
She also discusses the New Jersey Climate Change Resource Center, established by the state to "create and support the use of impartial and actionable science to advance government, public, private, and nongovernamental sector efforts to adapt to, and mitigate, a changing climate."
"It's got to be a whole community-based process," she says.
The episode is co-hosted by former NJ Gov. and U.S. Rep. Jim Florio, who has worked with Dr. Kaplan for many years and who led important environmental initiatives during his four years as governor and as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives.
During the interview, Dr. Kaplan lauds Florio for his work in Congress in sponsoring the "Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980, which established the federal Superfund program, administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The program is designed to investigate and clean up sites contaminated with hazardous substances. Sites managed under this program are referred to as "Superfund" sites. There are 40,000 federal Superfund sites across the country, and approximately 1,600 of those sites have been listed on the National Priorities List (NPL). Sites on the NPL are considered the most highly contaminated and undergo longer-term remedial investigation and remedial action (cleanups).