Environmental Defense Forum: A Climate Change-Focused Town Hall

Between budget cuts, legislative attack and anti-scientific propaganda, climate science is under unprecedented threat.   In response, NJ 11th For Change hosted an Environmental Defense Forum on Thursday, April 20 at 7 p.m.   It was a panelist-led educational discussion about environmental science, climate change, and how recent Congressional bills and votes will affect efforts to safeguard the environment.   

Watch the video below to hear first-hand accounts from leading environmental activists, local officials, climate scientists, and environmental protection agencies about how these policy changes affect us all and what we can do to help!


Event Hosts:

NJ 11th For Change Events Committee: Debra Caplan, Christine Clarke, Judy Kelly Sudol

Event Moderator:

Dr. Matthew Buckley, Astrophysicist and Assistant Professor in the Dept. of Physics and Astronomy at Rutgers University, Founder of the NJ March for Science

Matthew Buckley is an assistant professor of astrophysics at Rutgers, studying dark matter — the mysterious material that binds galaxies together. He earned his Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Berkeley in 2008 and worked at CalTech and Fermilab. He writes about physics at www.physicsmatt.com and @physicsmatt, and is the founder of the New Jersey March for Science.

Special Presentation by:

Lori Heiger, Steering Committee member of Coalition Against the Pilgrim Pipeline (CAPP), Founder of #Get2Work, Member of the NJ 11th For Change Research Team

Event Panelists:

Mark Brownstein, Vice President of Climate and Energy Program, Environmental Defense Fund
Dan Hartinger, Deputy Director of Parks and Public Lands Defense Campaign, the Wilderness Society
Sonali McDermid, Climate Scientist and Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, NYU
John McKeon (D), NJ Assemblyman, 27th Legislative District
Jamie Pang, Endangered Species Campaigner and Policy Specialist, Center for Biological Diversity
Julia Somers, Executive Director, New Jersey Highlands Coalition

Mark Brownstein leads EDF’s work on the oil and gas industry with particular focus on methane emissions and the risks to public health and environment associated with unconventional oil and gas development. In addition, he specializes in a variety of electric and gas utility-related policy and regulatory issues.

Dan Hartinger defends our public lands – National Parks and Monuments, National Forests, and Wildlife Refuges – from attacks in Congress. Originally from Montclair, Dan developed his love of the outdoors from his experiences as an Eagle Scout at Camp Glen Gray in Bergen County.

Dr. Sonali McDermid serves as Climate Co-Lead for the Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project, researching intersectional solutions for environmental and food security across sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. She obtained her Masters and Doctoral degrees from Columbia University's Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences and completed a NASA Post-Doctoral Fellowship at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

John McKeon is serving in his seventh term in the New Jersey State Assembly. He is Vice Chairman of the Assembly’s Environment and Solid Waste Committee. In 2004, he authored the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act to safeguard thousands of acres in the Highlands Region, a source of drinking water for half of the state.  He was a prime sponsor of the Global Warming Response Act and the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, and has strengthened recycling programs by sponsoring the Recycling Enhancement Act and Electronic Waste Recycling Act.

Jamie Pang works on the legal, policy and coalition efforts of their Endangered Species Program at the Center for Biological Diversity’s D.C. office. She holds a B.A. from the University of California, San Diego and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School, with a certificate in environmental and natural resource law. Before joining the Center, Jamie served as a legal fellow at the Animal Welfare Institute’s wildlife and marine life programs.

Julia Somers is the Executive Director of the New Jersey Highlands Coalition.  She has been the director since 2006. The Highlands Coalition advocates for the environmental, cultural, agricultural and forest regions of the Highlands, which provides some or all of the drinking water for 6.2 million New Jersey residents. 


If you would like to support the work we are doing, please visit: nj11.org/donate.


Paid for by NJ 11th for Change, Inc. (P.O. Box 43120, Upper Montclair, New Jersey 07043) and not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee. Contributions or gifts to NJ 11th for Change, Inc. are not tax deductible as charitable contributions for federal income tax purposes. Federal law requires us to use our best efforts to collect and report the name, mailing address, occupation and name of employer of individuals whose contributions exceed $200 in a calendar year.

April 20, 2017 at 7:00pm - 9pm
UFCW Local 464A Union Hall
245 Paterson Ave
Little Falls, NJ 07424
United States
Google map and directions
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