In these days of dangerous lies called alternative facts and facts touted by our leaders as fake news, the celebration of Earth Day has never seemed more important. All over the nation today, people in cities big and small gathered to defend science and scientific research. Scientific knowledge and education is important to keep our water and air clean, our food healthy and safe, and keep our young people educated instead of indoctrinated in ignorance.
The organizations that sponsored our event.
In one important sense, the Trump presidency is the best thing that could happen to our country, because it’s forcing people to wake up and finally take a stand for the things that really matter. I doubt there would be this level of activity had Hillary won the election. People would remain stuck in their apathy and cynicism.
It’s encouraging that so many cities had such a big turnout for these Marches for Science, including my own. I live in a small city (a blue city in a red state), but it seemed like there were thousands of people attending (though some were probably just there to watch the goings-on).
Our March for Science started at one end of town (where I picked up my tee shirt I’d ordered ahead of time) and wound up on the other, in a park in the center of the city, where we’d be seen and heard. I enjoyed watching people’s reactions, most who seemed friendly to the cause. Many people carried signs, though I didn’t — but as you can see, I enjoyed taking pictures of the signs, most which were pretty creative. We chanted and someone banged a drum while we marched to the park.
When we arrived at the park, loudspeakers were playing three rock songs related to science: Major Tom by David Bowie, Rocket Man by Elton John, and She Blinded Me With Science by Thomas Dolby. Some of the attendees were dancing to the music. After about 20 minutes of listening to music, the organizer of the event — a 17 year old high school boy named Luke Shealy — gave a short but inspiring speech and introduced some other speakers. They were all good, but one — a Latino man who is also an astrophysicist — was so passionate he moved many people to tears.
Young Luke Shealy, the organizer of our March. The tee shirt I purchased is exactly like his.
After the speeches, some local musicians played for awhile, and I went to the various tables and picked up literature and a couple of bumper stickers. Next Saturday I’ll be attending another rally I just found out about today addressing climate change. I might make a sign this time!