Inch by inch, over the next several decades, the Atlantic Ocean is going to claim more of the barrier islands and low-lying coastal areas.
Monsoon-like rainstorms will become more commonplace, as will heat waves in the summer. The Pinelands will be under attack by tree-killing bugs from the South and commercial fishermen will have to adapt to hunting new species of fish.
This is how climate change will manifest in New Jersey, a reality that Gov. Phil Murphy, unlike his predecessor, acknowledges and has pledged to both resist and prepare for.
"Unless we do more (to counter climate change), the question isn’t whether we’ll see another superstorm like Sandy, but simply a question of when,” Murphy said during a speech in Highlands two weeks after his inauguration. “As the densest state in the nation, we can ill afford to keep our heads in the sand when it comes to climate change.“
One year into his term, environmentalists and proponents of climate action say Murphy has acted with an urgency that matches his public statements. However, there are some areas where they see stunted progress, such as using technology to reduce energy demand and addressing the carbon emissions from the cars and trucks that clog New Jersey's busy highway system.
"I think there was a lot of ambition and a lot of commitment and it’s a challenge to do everything but that this administration has met a lot of those challenges," said Ed Potosnak, executive director of the New Jersey League of Conservation Voters. "They’ve been walking and chewing gum."
That's the consensus sentiment from the green lobby, which has enjoyed a level of access and influence that it was never afforded during the eight years under former Gov. Chris Christie.
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