All Out to Defend and Humanize the Natural and Social Environment
The second People’s Climate March is taking place in Washington, DC on Saturday, April 29 at the National Mall, blocks from the White House. Tens of thousands are expected to attend, highlighting the deep concern of the people over climate change and their demand for deep-going transformations to avert the dangers it poses and defend the natural environment.
The march organizers note that April 29 will mark the 100th day of the U.S. Trump administration and that the action will “show the world and our leaders that we will resist attacks on our people, our communities and our planet.” In that regard, participants will denounce the fact that not only has the Trump administration dropped the pretense of previous U.S. administrations of acting to combat climate change and protect people from its effects, it has begun to reverse what environmental protections did exist. This includes budget cuts of around 31 per cent from the Environmental Protection Agency and an executive order revoking various measures of the previous U.S. President’s “Clean Power Plan” as well as promises to continue the previous administration’s program of expanding U.S. domestic oil and gas production.
On Earth Day, April 22 more than 600 March for Science events were held around the world followed by a week of actions. According to estimates, several hundred thousand people participated. Eighteen rallies were held in Canada with thousands of participants. The day of action began with a march in Washington, DC and spread to other cities and countries.
The marches were a “celebration of science” but also highlighted “the very real role that science plays in each of our lives and the need to respect and encourage research that gives us insight into the world,” organizers said. In response to questions about whether scientists should involve themselves in politics, the March for Science website noted, “In the face of an alarming trend toward discrediting scientific consensus and restricting scientific discovery, we might ask instead: can we afford not to speak out in its defense?”
March for Science organizers argued, “The best way to ensure science will influence policy is to encourage people to appreciate and engage with science.” They noted that the application of science is essential to protecting “the health of our communities, the safety of our families, the education of our children, the foundation of our economy and jobs, and the future we all want to live in and preserve for coming generations. We speak up now because all of these values are currently at risk. When science is threatened, so is the society that scientists uphold and protect.” Organizers also stressed the need to affirm science as a democratic value.
The March outlined the following principles:
– science that serves the common good;
– evidenced-based policy and regulations in the public interest;
– cutting-edge science education;
– diversity and inclusion in [science, technology, engineering and mathematics];
– open, honest science and inclusive public outreach;
– funding for scientific research and its applications.
Earth Day Marches for Science
Latin America and the Caribbean
(Photos: TML, March for Science, R. Savi, B. McNoldy, J. Owens, G. Molina, J. Combden, M. Hudema, L. King, D. Leung, V. Brown, Science First, C. Malgarin, S. Watson, B. Stirling, B. Bowen, O. McBride, J. Peters, J. Hopgood, A. S. Sind, M. Sepulveda, R. Lexzier, C. McCabe, T. Omozuwa, B. Rakeepile, A. Oshiro, Kalikasan)