Science met activism on Saturday as thousands of people took part in March for Science NYC, a celebration of science, scientists and the importance of both as they face more deniers, restrictions and budget cuts than ever before.
The New York event was one of more than 600 offshoots of the central event taking place in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with Earth Day 2017.
Formerly known as the Scientists’ March on Washington, March for Science is a nonpartisan group that is rising up against proposed budget cuts under President Donald Trump and his plan to undo President Barack Obama’s plan to reduce global warming.
“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?” the march’s website said.
That is what drew Erin Chapman to March for Science NYC, to show Trump that “people care about science. It is in every aspect of our lives,” the New Yorker told Metro. She works for an institution that counts scientists among its employees, and they, like so many others in the field, “depend on grants, and their work is really important.”
Marcher Eric Guy, who carried a sign that read, “In a world of ‘alternative facts,’ the biggest liar is king,” said he believes rallies such as March for Science do send a signal to President Trump.
“Though I doubt they do much to change what Trump sees beyond the end of his nose, the narrative is changing in the congressional districts,” he said.
One example of such a change is the Republican health care bill that failed to pass last month. Among many factors and opposition on both sides, constituents flooded their senators with calls to oppose the bill, which did not receive enough GOP support to repeal Obamacare.
Whether or not advocates and constituents alike can influence a change of thought among Republicans, climate change deniers, Trump, who has called it a hoax “created by the Chinese,” and others, remains to be seen.
The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 6, 2012
But as many signs at the March for Science offered a chilling reminder that “There is no Planet B” — that should be food for thought regardless of what side of the aisle you’re on.