From Paris to Jersey City: Meeting the Challenges of Climate Change

Saturday, May 14, 1-3 pm
Dr. D. James Baker
Dr. D. James Baker
Dr. D. James Baker, currently Senior Strategic Advisor, Clinton Foundation Climate Initiative, and former head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), presented "From Paris to Jersey City: Meeting the Challenges of Climate Change."  The talk took place in the Skyline Room of New Jersey City University's School of Business, with its views of New York Harbor and the New York skyline.  The program included a reception
A participant in the United Nations Paris Climate Summit in December 2015, Dr. Baker described the resulting agreement by 177 countries to reduce carbon pollution, build resilience to climate change effects, and expand clean energy economies. He discussed the work needed to implement necessary changes while maintaining healthy economies, providing food and water security, and reducing poverty as populations grow. A focus of the talk was on the role of landscapes in mitigating climate change. He related global goals to local initiatives, including the Harsimus Branch preservation efforts and Crossroads project of the Embankment Preservation Coalition, and the City of Trees initiative of the Jersey City Parks Coalition.

In his current position, Dr. Baker works with forestry programs in developing countries. Among his numerous positions and activities, he was scientific advisor on Al Gore’s film An Inconvenient Truth, and he is a co-founder of The Oceanographic Society. The author of Planet Earth: The View from Space, he has contributed to numerous scientific publications. Dr. Baker holds a B.S. in physics from Stanford University, a Ph.D. in physics from Cornell University, and several honorary degrees.

The Embankment Preservation Coalition and Jersey City Parks Coalition organized the talk.The Embankment Coalition has worked since 1998 to raise environmental awareness in Jersey City, specifically through its advocacy for the energy-saving preservation and sustainable reuse of the historic Harsimus Branch Embankment and through related rail-trail initiatives.The Parks Coalition, the umbrella organization for neighborhood parks groups, is embarking on a five-year tree-planting program. Through this talk, the two organizations hope to raise awareness of climate change and inspire more local initiatives to mitigate its effects.

New Jersey University School of Business hosted the presentation. Many nonprofit organizations, including the East Coast Greenway Alliance, Farms in the Heights, Friends of Liberty State Park, Friends of Van Vorst Park, Frogs Are Green, Hamilton Park Neighborhood Association, Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy, NY/NJ Baykeeper, Pershing Field Garden Friends, and Riverview Neighborhood Association, were contributors. Goldman Sachs is the Jersey City Parks Coalition City of Trees 2016 Education and Engagement Sponsor.