The Press of Atlantic City Editorial Board has caught on to what NJBIA has been warning about for months:
Flood hazard rules and a resiliency plan developed by the state Department of Environmental Protection are based on an extreme, outlier data point from a 2019 Rutgers study calling for five feet of sea level rise in the next 80 years – rather than the latest science or consensus analyses from mainstream climate scientists.
The result of which, as reported in a Press of Atlantic City op-ed posted on Thursday, will likely lead to a retreat from the Jersey Shore.
“For decades many well-meaning officials, even some scientists, have exaggerated the risks of global warming to motivate others to support views and policies they believe necessary and for the benefit of those made more fearful,” the editorial board stated. “Perhaps the Murphy administration is taking this approach.
“Or perhaps the administration already has decided that forcing people and their properties away from the shore eventually must be done. If that’s the goal, it should make its case and start seeking the support necessary.
“As it is, the push by Murphy’s DEP to prepare for a nightmare future would blow up the reasonable and deliberate planning process that is especially needed to deal with the actual much slighter increase in flooding.”
The op-ed linked to formal comments submitted to DEP from the NJBIA Vice President of Government Affairs Ray Cantor, who contends that setting standards of an improbable 5 feet of sea level rise over 80 years would prevent residents and businesses from adapting to 1-foot to 2-foot sea level rise over the same time span, because it wouldn’t meet the standards.
“Set a standard that can’t be met, regulate to that standard, drive fear of that standard, don’t provide protections because of that standard, and people will no doubt abandon their homes and communities and retreat,” Cantor wrote.
To see the full Press of Atlantic City op-ed, click here.