World (Sputnik) – Responding to an alarming rise in science denial in the West, hundreds of thousands of people in more than 600 cities around the globe are celebrating the use of science as the way to view the physical and natural world when formulating global policy.
March for Science, taking place in hundreds of cities, seeks to be “the first step of a global movement to defend the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments,” the movement’s website explains.
“We are at a critical juncture,” said science communicator and event emcee Cara Santa Maria. “Science is under attack,” she said, according to the Washington Post.
During US President Donald Trump’s election campaign, he consistently referred to climate change as a hoax, stressed his support for a continuation of the enormously unpopular and ecologically hazardous Keystone XL oil pipeline, and eliminated key Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations enacted by the Obama administration.
Following Trump’s election, his administration quickly moved to identify those employees within the Department of Energy who had worked with the Obama administration in crafting the pro-environment regulations.
Other indicators cited by March for Science organizers include the known pro-industry biases of Trump’s cabinet, the elimination of new global warming and climate change research grants — especially those regarding the support of sustainable and renewable energy sources — and the imposition of a gag order on EPA scientists to prevent them from publicly releasing their findings.
Jeffrey Jacobs a DC marcher from Herndon, Virginia, said, “We’re not here for partisanship. There are many Republican scientists. Science helps everyone,” according to the Washington Post.
The primary march in Washington DC was mirrored Atlanta, Berlin, Chicago, Los Angeles, Boston, San Francisco, Sydney, Milan, and hundreds of other communities large and small.
“We are marching today to remind people everywhere, our lawmakers especially, of the significance of science for our health and our prosperity,” said well-known pro-science pundit Bill Nye in a Washington, DC, speech before a crowd in the pouring rain.
— Steve Venick (@Steven_Venick) April 22, 2017
“Show the world that science is for all,” said Nye. “Our lawmakers must know and accept that science serves every one of us.”
“Save the world!” he called, to the vocal approval of the large crowd.
Earlier in the day Nye, addressed CNN guest William Happer, a physicist who advises Trump on the environment and who frequently claims that climate change is a “myth” and that the Earth is becoming “greener.”
Nye schooled Happer for the latter’s incomprehensible insistence that human-induced climate change is not real.
“I encourage you to cut this out,” Nye advised, “so we can move forward and make the United States a world leader in technology.”
Nye explained to the obstinate Happer that, “We want advanced wind turbines, advanced concentrated energy plants. If we were to do that, we would have at least 3 million new jobs in the United States that could not be outsourced. We would not need to have our military on the other side of the world defending what people call ‘our oil.'”
“We could move forward and we could export this technology,” Nye continued.
“We could be world leaders in this instead of wringing our hands and cherry picking data and pretending that this problem that’s obvious to the scientific community […] is somehow not obvious to you.”
New York’s March for Science covered well over 10 blocks of downtown Manhattan, according to local reports, and several thousand turned out in hundreds of other locations, including Oklahoma City (at the center of the US oil business), Chicago, Miami, Washington DC (where it was pouring rain), Los Angeles and multiple cities across the US and the world.
Trump’s only response to the march was a tweet acknowledging April 22 as Earth Day.
Today on Earth Day, we celebrate our beautiful forests, lakes and land. We stand committed to preserving the natural beauty of our nation.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 22, 2017
This report was prepared by Sputnik News.