Those Who Do Not Learn From History Are Condemned to Repeat It

This quote, often made by various people at various times never really ages. Unfortunately, we tend to ignore the quote and its meaning.

Another glaring example of not learning the legislation that is currently on Governor Christie’s desk, S-2680 would allow for residential development along waterways such as the Hudson River. As reported in NJ Spotlight on July 8, the sponsor, Senator Sacco, has stated that “the bill would be beneficial to the state in terms of creating jobs and spurring the economy”.

Tim Dillingham of the American Littoral Society, stated the most obvious and accurate summary of this legislation. “It doesn’t show any common sense at all”.

Let me see if I can weave together several themes as to why this legislation is short sighted and should be vetoed.

We have allowed development in flood zones in New Jersey, along barrier islands that are geologically temporary at best and in other areas where people are in harms way. Taking this a bit more globally, we allow people to build in areas of high fire hazard in the west.

Together, these allowances put people in harms way for the sake of a temporary economic boost. They ignore the cost to property, the environment and as has been recently seen in the forest fires out west, they ignore the risk to human life; especially of our first responders.

I have written before about building in areas where natural disasters are likely. I have also written that counting redevelopment after a storm, as a boost to the economy is archaic thinking at its worst.

After the tragedies that we have seen around the state and the country, how can any thinking person support a law that knowingly allows and encourages people to build in high hazard areas?

Flood Zone

Simply put, this type of legislation shows a blatant disregard of the facts. It is dangerous and will result in more people being put in harms way.

Clearly, those who do not learn from history are condemned to repeat it.


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