Published: Sat, April 22, 2017
USA | By Angel Wallace

Scientists to March Against Trump's Alternative Facts, Climate Denial

Scientists to March Against Trump's Alternative Facts, Climate Denial

Thousands of people in hundreds of places worldwide will take to the streets in support for science on Earth Day, taking place this year on Saturday (22 April), in an event underlining the hard relationship between science and politics.

Calling the March 29 march a "mass mobilization", the national coordinator of the Peoples Climate Movement describes the Trump administration's repeal of Barack Obama's Clean Power Plan as "a unsafe step that puts people and the planet at grave risk". It is unlikely that the proposed budget cuts will make it through Congress, but the administration's stance toward the scientific community has led to unprecedented organising and online conversation.

Celebrating and advocating for science is a good way to mark Earth Day. "But I blame them for claiming that the assessments are neutral, when they in fact are created to fit the political interests of those that commanded them", Eickhout said.

The event grounds open at 8:00am on the National Mall, north of the Washington Monument.

The state Capitol in Olympia, a reliable stage for protests, is expected to draw 500 people. The march itself is set for 1 p.m. from the visitors center to Sentinel Bridge Parking Lot and back. Another event is planned in Tacoma. "The passion that scientists of all kinds harbor for their work and for the people they are helping is so incredibly real", she said.

The March for Science, a demonstration that took a cue from January's Women's March, is protesting the anti-science agenda that the new USA administration has put forward.

In New Haven, attendees will hear from academics from Yale and Wesleyan as well as Robert Klee, commissioner of the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection and a vocal critic of some of the actions the fledgling Trump administration has taken regarding climate change and the environment.

Scientists are rightly alarmed as well by the new president's budget proposals. There have also been talks of a knitted brain hat - similar to the "Pussyhats" donned by demonstrators at the Women's March. The videos feature 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben, actor and activist Maggie Gyllenhaal, renowned climate scientist James Hansen, longtime head of the EPA Environmental Justice program Mustafa Ali, and top atmospheric scientist Katharine Hayhoe. Global scientific research can be greatly affected by this. Independent research can move the cause of science forward, helping everyone without relying on vested interests to pay for it.

However, many scientists, like Brown, also believe that the current administration's policies may have a detrimental effect on science in general in addition to ignoring science when making policies. The same is true about research into vaccines and other medications that have benefited everyone.

The science march also precedes the Peoples Climate March on April 29. "But he was extremely supportive of our efforts, and once we reached an understanding of our non-partisan goals, Rush helped connect us to other scientific societies". But this is not just about recognizing the importance of the subject.

During the Harper Government, Canada witnessed what happens when science is undermined, Savage said, citing examples of funding cuts and "government minders" who would tell scientists what that could and couldn't say about their research. "I had hoped that we would instigate some of that discussion, and I think to a degree we have".

And it should not be a one-off event. "This is not a partisan issue". "Someone needs to stand up on this".

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