Letter to the Editor: John Hart: “It’s Not the Whole Planet Just Warming”

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To the Editor:

Scientific evidence for warming of the climate system is unequivocal.

If you go to NASA’s Web page on evidence of climate change, that’s the pull quote from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

But if you went to the April 15 Hopewell Township Committee meeting, where the committee passed a resolution in support of U.S. House Bill 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019, you may have heard some curious logic from longtime committee member John Hart.

Education is and will continue to be a huge part of the fight against global warming, the cause of climate change, and Mr. Hart is in a position to educate. Unfortunately, his comments on April 15 showed he also needs to be a recipient of that education.

Mr. Hart conflated climate and weather – something the president does whenever he tweets asking what happened to global warming when it’s cold – and posited that “it’s not the whole planet just warming.” He added that “The facts are it might be climate change and not actually global warming.”

Mr. Hart was given the chance at the May 6 meeting to answer for his comments. A farmer, Mr. Hart was told about the warning that state climatologist Dr. David Robinson gave the State Agricultural Convention in February in Atlantic City.

Mr. Hart had no response.

He was told of the increase in extreme weather events due to global warming, the heavy rains rotting crops, the muddy fields that will make it more difficult to work a farm.

Nothing.

He was told of the increase in insects and plant diseases, of less time overnight for plants to cool.

Not a word.

He was told of the resolution passed at the State Agricultural Convention acknowledging the climate change problem and urging farmers to take steps to address it.

He had nothing to say.

Mr. Hart is the Township Committee’s liaison to the community’s agriculture advisory committee, a position that should be delivering this message to our town’s proud farmers and positioning us as a leader in making the changes the agriculture industry will need to make to help reverse this planet-endangering crisis.

But Mr. Hart’s comments on April 15 and his lack of a response on May 6 show he’s apparently not very interested in being a foresighted leader. Our township loses when we have someone with that lack of understanding and initiative in such an important role.

Andrew Borders
Hopewell Township

Mr. Borders is a member of the Hopewell Township Zoning Board but writes as an individual resident.