Impressions from the March For Science in Washington, DC.
Many of the speakers are young, and they speak with emotion and fervor, which is not something that an old and calm blogger like me. That is what the movement needs.
The success of women, minorities and handicapped and their appeals for giving equal opportunity to all to rise in our educational and scientific system.
It was exiting to hear of the important developments in many sciences other than the physical sciences that I usually hear about. They include biology, anthropology, ecology, and medical sciences, who face some of the strictest cuts in the NIH.
The children with signs, who would also present their messages, were also touching.
While the speakers were mostly maintaining the theme of the importance of science without politicizing it, there were still some speakers who fortunately brought it up, and the importance of civic involvement at all levels.
A Dr. Jarvis was the best of the political speakers, but his conclusion was cutoff by the band.
Since I am all about Science and Politics in this blog, I relish that I am retired and not government funded, so that I can speak out freely, and that is one of my motivations in writing this blog.
We understand that the oil oligarchs have bought up the Republicans and the Trump with campaign contributions, who are loyally removing climate science and scientists from the government. What is surprising to naïve me, is that all the other industrial lobbyists are having all healthy regulations removed in food, medicine, clean air, and clean water. Also on protective areas such as gun sales to people who are not competent to make out their own taxes.
It is well past the time to reflect that Secretary Clinton lost the electoral college vote by less than 1% in three crucial rust belt states. She could have vetoed these cancellation of regulations. However, as Trump and the Congress remove them, we are reminded that a lot of them were just put in by Obama’s executive orders, and a lot at the last minute. The last minute ones were easily cancelled by Trump’s executive orders. A lot of the other ones were held up in the courts by Republican states. The CAFE standards were being reviewed on schedule to determine if they were still technologically and economically feasible, and Obama had been accommodating to the industry.
Clinton might have gotten a middle of the road Supreme Court Justice placed, which is really the most important thing.
Reflecting on Science and the Election, better pollsters and political scientists might have increased realization of the importance of the Rustbelt states. Also, better computer security techs could have prevented the hacking of the DNC and John Podesta’s computers.
Trump put out a message that his is a science administration. I polled my friends at lunch at UCI and none of them remember Trump visiting a National Lab, or any lab, or the NIH, which he is cutting by 18%, nor meeting with any scientists. Yes, I remember him meeting with Al Gore, but he certainly didn’t change Trump’s belief that climate science is a Chinese plot. Actually, I first became interested in climate change when I heard a panel with Senator Al Gore talk about it at the Aspen Institute, when I was attending an Aspen Center for Physics summer workshop. Trump also met with a physicist who thought that more CO2 was beneficial, since greenhouses were cranked up to 1,000 ppm, greater than our atmosphere at 400 ppm. That argument has been torn down by climate scientists.
Al Gore and the IPCC UN Climate Panel shared the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
Trump does not yet have a Science Advisor, nor has he filled the Office of Science and Technology. Trump also retired Obama’s Surgeon General today.
The list of eight teach in tents have dozens of very interesting talks today.
There are over 600 Marches for Science around the world.
In the diversity aspect, we have to recognize that 47.5% of our PostDocs are from foreign countries.
I can see the oil oligarchs fighting climate change science and the EPA, but I think we all want to know who is trying to shut down the medical advances of the NIH, and Public Health.
There was still a massive turnout in Washington DC, despite the rain.
Bill Nye had a stirring talk. Here are some excerpts:
Science is for our Health and Prosperity. It builds our cities, our transportation, and has allowed us to explore the cosmos. Article I, Section 8 of the Constitution, requires us to Promote Science, and the Useful Arts (Engineering). Science gives us clean water, electricity, and global information. We must understand the natural laws that are in play. Lawmakers have to realize that Science serves every one of us, around the world. Science must shape our policy. With Science, we can Save the World.
Denis Hayes spoke. He was National Coordinator of the first Earth Day in 1970, in the Presidency of Jimmy Carter. The US demonstrations of 20 million people was the largest ever. This is now the 47th Earth Day. He cited the cuts to EPA research of 42%, of safe drinking water by 1//3, and to environmental work on our largest bays, and the Great Lakes. He said that this March for Science is just the beginning. Losing is not an option!
Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha, pediatrician from Flint Michigan, proved that the water from Flint was poisoning their kids with lead. She said that the scientists had to make themselves heard.
The speaker’s host is Dan Abrams, formerly of the EPA, who is the Global Director of Earth Day.
Artist Maya Lin showed part of her final, multilocation exhibit called “What is Missing”. This covers the “6th mass extinction”, showing the disappearing species, and fighting for the restoration of our forests, wetlands, and other environments.
Christie Goldfuss worked with President Obama to protect the largest area of ocean, ever, around Hawaiian islands.
Jamie Rappaport Clark, President and CEO of Defenders of Wildlife spoke on protecting species.
Mustafa Ali, past EPA environmental justice chief, resigned in outrage and dismay over the White House’s proposed budget cuts.
Sam Droege reminded us that bees are an essential part of ecosystems, and said that we have to delawnify the world.
It’s three hours into the amazing talks. Jon Batiste is playing “What a Wonderful World” by Louis Armstrong. Time for me to take a break and finish this another day.