Once again, we’ve decided to extend the campaign. This is certainly not the orthodox approach. But NJPACE is not like other charities.It’s not about treating the symptoms, the inevitable consequences of our failure to recognize our global unity, and to invest in a sustainable future. It’s about building that future, in a way that’s proactive. It’s about bringing resources to bear where they can make the most difference to our long term future, designing a world that works, and working to implement it in time to turn the ship around.
We see PACE as a way to rebuild communities. We’re making a concerted effort to convince Atlantic City to seek approval for a PACE program. They’re in the midst of an economic disaster. This is one of the most important steps the City can take to begin to recover from it. Atlantic City needs a new destiny, a new vision of its future. Gambling may be increasingly a part of its past. The City represents and extraordinary opportunity to re-create entertainment for the 21st Century. And while it’s doing that, it needs to significantly upgrade, redevelop, and revitalize much of its built infrastructure.
Atlantic City could also stand out as a clean and green city — an early pioneer in wind energy, and a leader in responding to climate change, to continue the City’s historic role in “embracing green initiatives and standing at the forefront of the environmental movement,” to quote the former president of the Atlantic City Convention and Visitors Authority. Now that offshore wind farms appear poised to become a reality, what’s possible isa concerted effort to make the built environment — and it’s energy consumption — more efficient, more renewable, and more resilient. (We’re working on legislation to finance the latter as an integral part of the PACE program.)
This is a real-world example. At the same time, it bears an eerie parallel to a quasi-mystical part of our cultural DNA, the myth of Atlantis. We have a personal connection with this, since a clairvoyant once told us that we had had previous lives there, and faced a similar challenge to save Atlantis from the waves. It would be ironic if this proved to be a reprise of that role, only in a 21st Century world.
A 2013 study estimated that the New Jersey shore will likely see a sea level rise of about 1.5 feet by 2050, and about 3.5 feet by 2100, at least a foot higher than the average global sea level rise over the rest of the century. Using a middle-range scenario for future sea level rise, the study found that by 2050, flooding caused by a 10-year storm, which has a 10 percent probability of occurring each year, would exceed all historic storms in Atlantic City.
The new legislation which we have been guiding through the offices of two outstanding NJ legislators — Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (Hudson) and Senator Bob Smith (Middlesex) — who understand the impact that PACE could have on the state, extends the program to cover many elements of resiliency, from hurricane-resistant construction to flood-proofing to safe rooms and shelters, and covers water conservation as well.
Supporting us is supporting more than fixing the past; it’s creating a better future for New Jersey.