[MWDN] Markey in Framingham: ‘Catastrophic damage’ if climate change is ignored
By Lauren Young / Daily News Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2019 at 9:28 AM
Updated Aug 22, 2019 at 8:37 PM
Climate change poses an “existential threat to the planet,” says the causes’s “national leader” Sen. Edward Markey at a Green New Deal town hall Wednseday night. He was joined by U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, who calls it “the defining issue of our time”
FRAMINGHAM – Greenland is 2,244 miles from Massachusetts, but its massive ice sheet measures 656,000 square miles.
It’s about 10 to 20 Empire State Buildings high, says Democratic U.S. Sen. Edward Markey, and when it melts, “you’re looking at catastrophic damage to Massachusetts, to the entire East Coast of our country.”
That’s because the planet’s temperature could raise by as much as 9 degrees Fahrenheit by 2100, according to 13 federal agencies late last year, said Markey. Agencies called man-made climate change a present danger to the U.S., and if Americans continue “business as usual,” the global sea level could eventually rise by up to 10 feet.
That’s like dropping a huge ice cube into an even bigger glass of water that’s about to overflow, he said.
“The Green New Deal is not just a resolution - it’s a revolution,” said Markey during a town hall on the subject Wednesday night at Framingham High School, where he was joined by U.S. Rep. Katherine Clark, who co-sponsored the resolution Markey wrote with U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y.
Every seat was filled in the auditorium as Markey referred to this 14-page nonbinding resolution to address climate change, receiving more than 100 co-sponsors in Congress. In March, the measure was shot down in a 57-0 vote by Senate lawmakers. Forty-three of the Senate’s 47 Democrats voted “present” on the Senate floor in March to avoid taking a formal position in defiance of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky.
Since introducing the resolution in February, Markey, who authored the only comprehensive climate change legislation to pass in Congress - the 2007 fuel economy law - has held related town halls in Northampton, Lynn and the Cape Cod community of Dennis.
The pair were joined by several other local and state-elected officials, including Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan; Rep. Carmine Gentile, D-Sudbury; Rep. Danielle Gregoire, D-Marlborough; Rep. Carolyn Dykema, D-Holliston; Sen. Becca Rausch, D-Needham; Rep. Maria Robinson, D-Framingham; Sen. Jamie Eldridge, D-Acton; and Rep. David Linsky, D-Natick.
“At the Statehouse, there is no issue that I hear more often by a phone call, letter, postcard, email, than about solving the issues of climate change,” said Linsky, calling Markey and Clark “national leaders” in climate change.
“I know for the city of Framingham, we don’t lose sight of the fact that our environment is extremely important to us ... (and) leaving a world for our children that is in better hands then it is now,” said Framingham Mayor Yvonne Spicer.
Citing a report issued by the United Nations late last year, climate change poses an “existential threat to the planet” and “we (have) to begin to take extremely aggressive steps before 2030 if we (are) to avoid the worst, most catastrophic consequences,” said Markey.
“The bottom line is that there are no emergency rooms for planets,” he said. This June was the warmest for that month on record in state history, he said, and last month was the hottest of any month recorded in state history.
While this resolution comes with the loss of many jobs for those in the fossil fuel industry, “there is an unlimited job creation opportunity in the green economy that will create millions of high-paying jobs,” Markey said, describing himself as a “technological optimist,” referring to how jobs evolved following the “broadband revolution.”