Sen. Ed Markey (Massachusetts) talked about Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s plans to use the current climate change crisis to create more jobs for Americans. Markey’s message to University of New Hampshire (UNH) students is to vote for Biden to fight climate change and combat systemic racism in America. The senator talked to the Durham community at a campaign event for Biden at the Freedom Café on Friday, Oct. 30. 

Markey stressed the importance of voting in the coming Presidential Election and reminded all in attendance that no one should become complacent in the next few days before the election. He cited what happened in 2016 with Hillary Clinton surging in the polls, misleading people to believe she would automatically win. He additionally discussed other factors people need to be aware of when they vote on Nov. 3.  

Markey stressed that if Donald Trump was to be reelected, it would be a “death sentence” for the planet in regards to the current climate change crisis. “Which is why we need Joe Biden’s bold, progressive, urgent response to climate change,” he said. 

He also brought up President Trump’s views on climate change. Markey said, “Donald Trump keeps calling climate change a Chinese hoax. Joe Biden says it’s the greatest job creation opportunity we have had in generations, to deploy wind and solar and electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, battery storage technologies, energy conservation, energy efficiency technologies. Joe Biden says jobs, Donald Trump says hoax.” 

He continued, “Climate change is not a hoax. Climate change is an existential threat to the planet. And we know that the planet is dangerously warming.” He also talked about a possible future of clean energy that would help minority communities. Markey said, “we can in fact unleash a clean energy revolution in New Hampshire and across our entire country. And we know that we can do it, with intersectionality, by putting frontline communities at the front of the line. And ensuring that minority communities who have been left behind and most harmed, are in fact guaranteed that they will be protected from climate change, and be put in the front of the line to get the new jobs in this new economy that Joe Biden is going to create.” 

He also said that New Hampshire is always a “bellwether.” Which means N.H. leads the elections and predicts what will happen. He stressed to the people of N.H. not to take anything for granted and to not think that they can stand by and do nothing, assuming Biden will win. 

The senator said the only way they can win this election for sure is if they continue to work all the way through until 8 p.m. on Tuesday night. He continued, “Only the paranoid survive. You have to work. You have to act. You have to take every single minute as your opportunity to match this historic moment.” He also reminded everyone to make sure they vote, because the race could still be extremely close.  

Markey additionally said that Biden has plans to deal with the coronavirus pandemic and the economic recession the pandemic has created, but Trump does not. He also said that Biden has plans to make sure every child has access to the internet at home for their education. He added that Trump has no plans for this.  

He also discussed Trump’s “negligence” in handling the pandemic and mentioned that Trump is racist on top of this. He said, “we have a chance on Tuesday to put Joe Biden in charge. And to give him Jeanne Shaheen as his partner. And why is that important? Because Jeanne Shaheen is the lead person in the senate on putting together protections for small businesses.”  

The senator went on that this election is “the most consequential election of our lifetimes. This is 1932. This is 1860. It’s a turning point in our country’s history.” 

In regards to the systemic racism in America, Markey said that Trump has exacerbated the racism in the country, while Joe Biden has plans to advance opportunities for minority communities. 

In an interview with The New Hampshire, Markey said Joe Biden has promised to create a commission to study the best ways to respond to the Supreme Court packing, which Republicans have engaged in the past four years. With the appointment of conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, the court now has a conservative majority of 6-3.The senator said that this poses a threat “to a woman’s right to choose, to the environment, to healthcare, and our country.” He said Biden will use the commission to figure out a way to rebalance the Supreme Court so that they don’t have a generation of threats to fundamental rights that are already on the books. 

On whether he thinks the Democrats or Republicans will hold the majority of the senate after the election, Markey said it will be extremely close. He also said there are a half a dozen seats that are too close to call at the moment. Specifically, he said, he has been specifically working to make sure Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is reelected in N.H. 

Senior UNH history major Max Gilpatrick discussed his excitement at seeing Markey and said that he is one of the best senators in the country. He also said he’s excited to see the youth voter turnout in the Presidential Election. Gilpatrick has also been closely involved in N.H. politics as he is working on the Chris Pappas campaign for Congress and the Cinde Warmington campaign for N.H. Executive Council District 2.  

Liza Reihs, a junior UNH environmental and sustainability major spoke at the event before Markey. She said, “This year alone we have already seen record hurricanes, record flooding and record wildfires. Americans are feeling the impact of climate change up close and as is too often the case, it’s hitting communities of color the hardest. We can do better than this for our communities. And that starts with electing leaders who will fight for our families.” 

Riehs also told the crowd that Sen. Markey is the Chair of the Senate Climate Change Task Force and has fought to introduce a Green New Deal and create legislation that slashes global warming emissions. 

The second speaker, UNH political science and criminal justice major and intern at Organize N.H., Lilly Jackson, also discussed Markey’s work on the Green New Deal with U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). She also said that Markey would help fight for universal healthcare for Americans and had drawn up new legislation to help end qualified immunity for police officers, which has allowed officers to commit crimes and not be held accountable for them in the criminal justice system. 

After Riehs and Jackson spoke, Markey said, “Thank you for being out here with four days left to go in selecting the most powerful person in the world. And as we know, the world is on the ballot on November third. The very fate of our planet is on the ballot.” 

Photo Courtesy of Shawn Latulippe