Op-Ed: ‘The impacts of climate change touch every sector and person on our planet’


In an editorial, Hudson County Improvement Authority Deputy Director of Sustainability and Community Outreach Amanda Neisheiwat explains how climate change impacts every aspect of our lives, including local governments.

Screenshot via YouTube.

The impacts of climate change touch every sector and person on our planet. It is an issue that seems impossible to solve, especially if you do not see the solutions in action.

After working in government and participating at the United Nations for more than a decade, I’ve seen a major shift in the way people speak about climate change…and it gives me hope.

Nearly every large city and company in the world has adopted or will soon adopt emissions reductions goals. Our country has made a historic investment in mitigating climate change and supporting the emergence of new, cleaner technologies.

There is conclusive research showing that reducing our contribution to climate change strengthens our communities and makes businesses resilient, thus satisfying both voters and shareholders.

New Jersey has recently adopted aggressive carbon reduction goals which will ultimately improve our local economy.

Despite these opportunities for hope, there still exists a cynicism that these efforts are pointless. Scientists that spend most of their lives analyzing frightening climate data understand on a molecular level what is a stake.

Despite this, they continue to pursue ways to work alongside governments to preserve humanity. Those in service to others fundamentally understand that humans can solve the problems they create.

Now that most people understand that climate change will impact us, we must address a new climate-related concern. The belief that we are not going to solve climate change.

How a lack of belief impacts local governments

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change recently released another report with an urgent call to action for all sectors, especially policymakers, to do more about reducing our reliance on fossil fuels. This is not just for policy makers at the national level.

Local governments have an important role in solving climate change.

According to a survey by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, most people surveyed in New Jersey believe climate change is happening and that it will harm future generations.

This message of concern is not getting from the electorate to our local leaders. There are dozens of incentives, grants, and fiscally responsible funding mechanisms available for climate mitigation and adaptation for communities in New Jersey.

Yet, because they do not hear from their constituents on the issue, some local officials do not feel that it is important enough to talk about climate change as part of their campaign.

We need to believe in our governments enough to urge them to do more, and to make candidates that talk about climate change feel like we have their back.

How a lack of belief impacts our future

As an adjunct professor at Ramapo College, I see young people who are bitter about what they perceive as the lack of action taken by governments and businesses to stop climate change.

They have little belief that governments or businesses care enough to do anything meaningful.

When presented with information about what public and private sectors are doing and how youth can impact this movement towards change, they begin to feel empowered.

Youth are leaders of today AND tomorrow, we need to foster this hope that they can improve their community and refrain from calling a belief in humanity a form of “naivety.”

How a lack of belief impacts everyone

A lack of belief in humanity solving climate change causes us to make decisions that we would otherwise regret. Every day, we are making choices that support organizations that help us build a better future or, alternatively, prevent us from doing so.

Choices like where we purchase our clothing and food and those we vote for (or the choice of not voting at all) have consequences.

If there was a belief that eating unhealthy foods does not impact our overall health, people would continue to eat unhealthy foods.

Similarly, if we continue to believe that climate change is not a problem we can solve, we will continue to make decisions against our best interests.

Believing is a form of action. Believing that we can reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and move towards better and more efficient technologies to save lives, is possible.

Believing we can solve these problems together means we have hope in our future. We are at a major crossroads.

Public perception on solving climate change is improving, but we need more people. I believe we can do it.


Amanda Nesheiwat is a Hudson County Sustainability Professional and Founder and President at Envision Green, LLC.

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  1. If the HCIA really wanted to improve the environment they might enforce their recycling requirements. The majority of public schools and Housing Authoritys in the county do not recycle or compost at all.

    The garbage that a school produces is mostly recyclable to compostable as the garbage are papers and food, but do any of the schools truly have a recycling program in place, NO.

    The HCIA might go and speak to students to recycle but the schools themselves do not.

    The HCIA touts a 55% recycling rate in the county but if they were to have schools recycle that number would easily increase, that is the low hanging fruit.

  2. It would be nice if HCIA upped its e-waste game. How many electronics in JC get thrown into garbage bags because people won’t or can’t drive to Public Works? Put a dump truck at city parks on a revolving schedule and folks will gladly walk their old PCs, TVs, and chargers there.

  3. Trying to get the Climate Change grift into local government as well. I suppose there’s only so much money they can steal from the Fed/State that now the grifters are working their way down to the county and municipalities. Chinese and Indian manufacturing do more damage to the climate than anything we do here in Hudson, yet we have to pay more and suffer a lower quality of living.

  4. more woke garbage from a guy trying financially capitalize on climate hysteria and brain wash young people into thinking the world is in peril. It’s not. And he is lying. He is not paying attention to what Biden is doing… it’s not reduce reliance on fossil fuels — it’s doing away with fossil fuels. The road to disaster is paved by sophistry such as this

  5. Hudson County Improvement Authority should set an example. Get rid of all its SUVs. HCIA workers should be riding bikes. HCIA workers should also be cleaning the parks. They’re filthy.

  6. Well said, Amanda! The comments in on this opinion piece really adds to the narrative you’re talking about – the cynics we have to fight against day in and day out. There is absolutely nothing constructive about all these cynical comments and we need to just filter out and ignore this noise. These people contribute nothing but negativity while the planet burns, while the asthmatic children choke on dirty air and drink tainted water. We’re destroying biodiversity. We’ll eventually destroy our own food and water supply.

    That said, thank you for all you’re doing with the HCIA. Recycling along will not do enough to save the environment from climate change, considering we only recycle a small portion of what’s sent out to recycle and a lot of it is shipped overseas for processing or to be discarded. However, everything else the HCIA is focusing on, especially it’s mission of education and helping Hudson County be more sustainability-minded is a priceless objective.

    We can’t focus on adding band-aid solutions to an existing massive and complex problem, but rather reinvent how we do everything from production of goods, supply chain and all the emissions caused along the way of the consumer cycle. These are not things people in these comments think about, but something we all should be thinking about.

    Thank god for the younger generation and their enthusiasm and optimism.

    Climate change is real. Science is real. If people turned off their Fox News and knew how to think critically about the ideological lies they’re fed, read some scientific papers, heard from *actual* experts not talking heads or politicians consumed with self-interest and cynicism, then maybe we’d get somewhere. No, instead they’ve turned this into another tenet of their CULTURE WAR. As someone now approaching my middle age, I’m just getting exhausted having to share this place with these people.

    The climate catastrophe is NOT partisan people! Enough with your dam culture war! You’re dragging us all to oblivion.

    • Stop lying and you shut down our country for an elderly ChiCom virus and are trying to do it again while the ChiComs open new coal plants every week. You, Greta the Sorosbot clown show with Neisheiwat can all take a slow boat to China and impose your draconian Gaia worship there.

      The anti-science propaganda ends here. Have a good time telling them what to do in Beijing. 🦆