Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Global Warming and the Garden State

By Michael-Thomas Marciante

Global warming has been the first and greatest environmental threat of the 21st century. The problem is that our most innovative and profitable creations such as cars, nuclear power, even basic house hold sanitizers have been slowly destroying the Earth. With the polar ice caps melting and the world trying to fix our mistakes, a small peninsula state in North America with sandy beaches, bombastic berries, and more corruption than people will suffer greatly if nothing is done.

In 2007, New Jersey’s legislature considered passing a bill for the state to repel the omen of global warming by becoming more eco-friendly with their decisions. The bill was titled The Global Warming Response Act. Their motivation was a report by the organization Environment New Jersey that showed how much catastrophic ecological change would be bestowed upon the Garden State. In his 2007 article “New Report: Global Warming Will Affect Every Corner of New Jersey,” Matt Elliot reported what could be happen to New Jersey’s finer features.

“North Wildwood could be turned into an island, separated from Wildwood Crest by shallow flooding from across New Jersey Avenue,” the report read. Wildwood is one of New Jersey’s most economically stimulating hot spots for tourists and locals to spend money. If the northern shore of Wildwood were to disintergrate into an island, the water surrounding it would lay on top of land that was once occupied by plant life, animal life, and human life.

Wildwood not be the only aspect of New Jersey that would be affected. “Cape May Beach would face accelerated erosion, and on average, Shore beaches could retreat inland between 50 and 150 meters,” only adding to the damage done to New Jersey’s tourist traps, added the report. Cape May is already half under water, as the coastal wall divides eye height water levels. If the Atlantic were to creep to the maximum amount of 150 meters, mostly everything along the Shore would be consumed by water. Homes, restaurants, entire communities filled with people and culture would all be destroyed.

“Global warming could create or exacerbate risks – including pests, weeds and excess heat – that could pose serious challenges to corn farmers’ livelihoods in the Highlands,” the report stated. New Jersey cannot live up to its nickname “The Garden State” if it has problems with growing crops such as corn and blueberries.

In the end, the The Global Warming Response Act was signed by Governor Corzine on July 6, 2007 and New Jersey has been attempting to stabilize itself ever since. So far succcess has been little, but recognition of the problem has not gone unnoticed. Schools such as Ramapo College of New Jersey have been becoming more environmentally friendly ever since. However, the rest of the world needs to get on track, as one small peninsula in Northern America can't make all the difference in the world. With the Garden State’s shining example, the world can cool off a little.

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