Sunday, April 23, 2017

The Best Of The March For Science On Earth Day

One of the signs at one of the Marches for Science on Saturday
I get it. The marches for science around the world on Saturday, Earth Day, were not all about climate.

This is a weather and climate blog, so I'm co-opting things a little bit from the scientists.

However, we can't escape the fact that much of the energy from the Marches for Science was a rebellion against science denial, and specifcially, denial of climate change.

Turnout, as expected was great. There were marches in all 50 states and in more than 600 cities around the world.

I'll (mostly) let people smarter than me decide whether these marches will advance activism on climate change, or change people's minds about the issue.

I've heard concerns that marches like  Saturday's are making science political. After all, it seems lately that liberals are tending to go for the fact based stuff and the extreme right (not the moderate GOP) seem to think that any fact that doesn't fit their world view is "fake news."

The climate deniers are the worst offenders with this. I heard somebody quoted this way and it make sense: Science has indeed become political but it's bipartisan. In other words, only the extreme wackos call scientific facts "fake news"

The debate now in climate change and other issues concerning science is do we find conservative or liberal or centrist solutions? These are obvioiusly debates worth having.

I guess I'll just devote the rest of this column to a somewhat more shallow look at the the marches: That means, the most entertaining moments, the weirdest, the most meaningful snapshots.

This was a very common sign at the Marches for Science.
After all, if you're going to engage people in any issue, you want to draw them in. Make them enthusiastic about what's going on.

People think science and scientists are  boring.  They're not. The Marches for Science Saturday I think was the coming out party for knowledge.

Of course, if it's a science march, things change a little bit from traditional demonstrations.

The usual chant at protests is: "What do we want?" "X" "When do we want it? "Now"

This time, the chant was "What do we want?   "Evidence-based science!" 
"When do we want it?!?"   "After peer review!"

As always, people got creative with signs during the marches.

One of my favorite signs was "Science is a cure for bullshit."

One of the saddest signs I saw was "I can't believe I'm marching for facts." Yeah, that is depressing isn't it?

The second-saddest sign I saw was, "Society should worry when geeks have to demonstrate."

Still, people want to stay optimistic. So one sign read, "Think like a proton: Stay positive"

Specifically to climate change: one popular sign captured the urgency of climate change: "Rise up before the oceans do."

Many people carried signs the read "Make Earth Cool Again," in reference to our already climatic-driven overheated plantet.

Another sign referenced President Donald Trump's climate denial and his shyness about revealing his finances: "Climate change is real. Donald'$ Net Worth is Not."  (The dollar sign is not a typo.)

And this gem: "Sticking your head in the sand is not a solution to global warming.  Your ass will still get very hot."

Animals were well represented in the marches. Which is effective. Everybody loves animals. Most people want to protect them. So this is great marketing.

A sled dog at one march carried a sign that read, "Climate change is melting my home."

As with all protest marches, it remains to be seen whether the Marches for Science have any real effect. But at least it puts politicians on notice that people who believe in a fact-based world are a very large constituency.

And they vote.

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