In light of the most recent United Nations report from climate scientists indicating that the world has between 12 and 34 years to completely turn away from fossil fuels or face cataclysmic climate disaster, concerned groups and individuals have been ramping up climate protests and other actions. One recent event was a 14-day, water-only fast in front of the state office building in Trenton, New Jersey, calling on Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy to reject any new fossil fuel infrastructure projects in the state, including pipelines, compressor stations and power plants.
The governor has taken steps to increase the state’s production of renewable energy and has brought New Jersey back into the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap and trade system that places a price on carbon that generates investments in clean energy and energy efficiency. But the fasters say these efforts are being undermined by the state’s continued reliance on fracked gas. Two men fasted the full 14 days, while many others joined in solidarity for shorter periods. The climate activists succeeded in getting the attention of top state officials, who pledged to hold a meeting with them after the Thanksgiving holiday to discuss their concerns.
Between The Lines’ Melinda Tuhus was in Trenton for the closing ceremony of the fast and brings us these excerpts of comments made. We hear first from Matt Smith, an organizer with Food & Water Watch New Jersey, who began the ceremony.