BLOOMFIELD, NJ — Bloomfield activist Ted Glick will be undertaking a 14-day “climate fast” in Trenton in an effort to have Gov. Phil Murphy stop all construction permits for natural gas facilities. Glick’s fast was scheduled to begin yesterday, Wednesday, Nov. 7. He intends to only consume water.
Preparing for the ordeal, Glick said last week at his Broughton Avenue home that 25 people had signed to join him although not all would be on a water-only diet for two weeks. His wife, Jane Califf, will fast for two days. Glick credited Murphy with having a clear idea about the causes and perils of global warming.
“The new governor was very strong in his campaign to shift away from fossil fuels,” Glick said. “He has taken steps to produce wind energy off the coast of NJ. He’s doing good things along those lines. What he hasn’t done is stop building gas pipelines, compressor stations and power plants that run on gas.”
Glick, who is retired from Chesapeake Climate Action Network, a Maryland-based environmental advocacy group where he was national campaign coordinator, said there are currently 11 natural gas infrastructure project proposals in NJ.
“If they move forward, it’ll be hard to meet goals of renewable energy,” he said. “A pipeline will be in use for 40 years.”
Glick was opposed to a natural gas compressor being built in Roseland and picketed against it when former Gov. Chris Christie visited Glen Ridge in November 2013. In some cases, he said, there is no need for the natural gas infrastructure to be enlarged. The compressor in Roseland was an example.
“It’s used 5 to 10 percent of the time,” he said. “If all this infrastructure gets built and there’s a leakage, we’re cooked.”
Among the organizations involved in the current fast are the Food and Water Watch; the NJ Industrial Union Council, a group of labor unions; Green Faith; and 350 New Jersey.
“We haven’t sent a letter yet to the governor explaining why we’re doing this,” Glick said of the fasters. “We’d ask him to issue an executive order initiating a moratorium on any new fossil fuel infrastructure being built in the state. The Department of Environmental Protection should not approve any of these 11 permits.”
Proposed infrastructure opposed by the organizations supporting the fast include the 118-mile PennEast in central NJ. It would cross 4,300 acres of preserved land; and the Meadowlands Power Plant, which would generate electricity for New York and be one of the largest contributors of greenhouse gases in New Jersey, according to Glick.
After weaning himself from solid foods, a preparation that takes about four days, once Glick begins to fast, he will not eat any solids until Nov. 21, the day before Thanksgiving. On his website, he said there are three types of fasts: no food or water; liquids; and water only.
“Having done these fasts before,” Glick said, “if you’re on a bad diet, if you go into a water-only fast, you’re going to have a harder time.”
On a fast, he said the body will first feeds on the toxins in the body, then the fats and then muscles, beginning with the extremities.
“After that, the internal organs,” he said.
But Glick said he had a good diet and did not expect his weight loss to go beyond his arm and leg muscles.
“I’ll lose 10 pounds in 2 to 3 days,” he said.
The fasters will congregate at the Governor’s Office and the state capitol building, Monday to Friday and return home weekends, continuing to fast. They will be housed in a Presbyterian Church the first few nights and afterward at a Quaker house. Events and rallies are expected to take place.
“We will be out there to let the people know, giving out literature and building support,” Glick said.
He did not have an exact count, but believed two-thirds are the people who have joined the fast are women.