At a Climate Action Conversation at the New England Aquarium last Thursday U.S. Sen. Ed Markey called the global warming crisis a ‘Code Red’ and outlined steps needed to be taken now to ensure a sustainable future for the planet.
Markey was at the Aquarium to call for the passing of the $3.5 trillion budget reconciliation package in congress.
“We join together at the New England Aquarium to talk about the severe reality of climate change and the urgency of this moment,” said Markey. “The budget resolution represents our best opportunity to confront the climate crisis with jobs and justice. Let’s get it done.”
Markey, co-author of the Green New Deal resolution and Chair of the Subcommittee on Clean Air, Climate and Nuclear Safety, said all the signs of a warming planet are evident, the science is pretty conclusive and the need to act is now.
“This is a code red,” said Markey last week. “We are also seeing the real impacts of the climate crisis in our country. With the wildfires in the West, where people have lost homes and families have been broken apart, these extreme weather events are causing crises like the Dixie Fire in California. This is real, whether it was in 2020 or today the United States is experiencing extreme weather events regularly.”
Most recently Hurricane Henri, said Markey, could have been a catastrophe for coastal neighborhoods.
“If the tide was just five feet higher the day Henri hit we would have had a storm surge that would have put downtown Boston and other (coastal) neighborhoods under water,” said Markey.
Of the budget resolution Markey said, “This (budget resolution) will be a generational investment in the future of our people and our planet. It confronts our climate crisis and gives working people a fair shake, all while making corporations and the ultra-wealthy finally pay their fair share. For too long, the playing field has been tilted towards the rich and powerful and against working Americans who bear the brunt of climate change, economic inequality, racial injustice, and the COVID-19 pandemic. This budget resolution puts us on a path to address these interlocking crises, including taking meaningful and powerful action on the climate crisis. We can create millions of good, union jobs and unleash clean energy technologies that are made in America. I look forward to working with my Democratic colleagues to pass this budget for the American people.”
Markey said recently the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued its Sixth Assessment Report, which details how human activity is unequivocally driving global temperature rise and changes in weather at unprecedented rates. The IPCC report finds that global temperatures will continue to increase until at least mid-century, exceeding 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius unless we take the steps to ensure deep reductions in carbon emissions and other greenhouse gases this decade and next.
“This IPCC report reaffirms what we are seeing and suffering right now across our country: climate change will continue to cost us lives and livelihoods if we don’t respond with the scope and scale this moment demands,” said Markey. “From increasing intensity and frequency of extreme heat, to catastrophic precipitation and devastating droughts, no person or community will be able to hide from the serious and most dire impacts of our human-driven climate crisis. Previous IPCC reports should have been roadmaps for action — the scientists have spoken clearly for more than a generation about the damage humans are doing to our planet. This report must be the final warning to the world that time has run out to save the planet from dangerous and irreversible climate change.”
Markey said the government and people, “can’t agonize’ but ‘must organize’ to save the planet.
“Just like the young people across the country and world who are demanding action from their leaders, an intergenerational movement of climate leaders are calling on Congress to include major climate action in the budget reconciliation package — which is our best opportunity to respond with solutions to the impacts outlined by the IPCC,” he said. “With policies to drive deep cuts in emissions, protect communities from climate impacts, and provide equity and justice to overburdened communities, we can respond to overwhelming evidence and take the necessary action to save our people and our planet. If Senators truly followed the science in this report, we’d have 100 votes for climate action to match the 100 percent certainty that human-caused climate change is destroying our planet.”