From Inauguration to Earth Day: The Rise of the Science March Movement

Climate March
Scientists will March on Washington, DC on Earth Day 2017. Moment Editorial/Getty Images / Getty Images

Donald Trump remained fairly tight-lipped on environmental issues during the 2016 presidential campaign. However, since taking office as the 45th President of the United States, his views on climate, once confined to his blustering Twitter posts, have begun to take a bold shape in political Washington.

Tracking President Trump's Climate Snubs 

Since the very moment Trump took office, his administration has made move after move to tighten control of climate information and discourage views of climate believers.

Many of these gag orders have come swiftly, within mere days of the Obama-Trump transition. To date, they include:

  • Removal of the climate change page from the White House website a mere hour after Trump's inauguration.
  • An order aimed at federal agencies which oversee environmental and scientific policy (including the EPA, NOAA, NASA, DOI) that restricts what they can convey to the public through news releases and official social media accounts about their work.
  • Instructing the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) communications team to take down the website's climate change page. 
  • Vows to dismantle and reshape the EPA, an agency that "has deliberately used its regulatory power to undercut American industries and advance a misguided political agenda that has minimal environmental benefits", says Rep. Lamar Smith, chairman of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee. 
  • Vows by President Trump to "cancel" U.S. involvement in the Paris Climate Agreement, the 2015 landmark agreement between 200 countries that pledges to reduce carbon emissions.  
  • Trump has lined his cabinet with picks (Scott Pruitt, Rex Tillerson, Rick Perry, Ryan Zinke) who are unlikely to champion U.S. environmental priorities and whose service records in fact appear to be in direct competition with the offices President Trump has assigned them to lead. 
  • The signing of an executive order to resume construction of the Keystone XL and Dakota Access oil pipelines, an act which could potentially endanger the indigenous people and wildlife, and contribute to global warming by increasing U.S. dependence on fossil fuels (and the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere).   
  • Vows to reverse the Obama administration's initiatives on climate, including the Clean Power Plan. 

From these actions, and from the climate naysayer statements spoken by President Trump and members of his newly minted staff, it appears as if they're aiming to discourage dissenting views. And this has left environmentalists and climatologists none to happy. 

Scientists Aren't So Easily Silenced

In response, scientists have begun a movement to resist what they feel is the censorship of facts and scientific truths. Their peaceful protests have included everything from creating rogue Twitter accounts (under which they can continue disseminating out to the public) to archiving climate data on non-federal servers (for fear of being gaslighted by the government should the data suddenly disappear). But their most extensive show of force will come on April 22, 2017, when the global community of scientists take science to the streets with a Science March on Washington, DC.

#ScienceMarch

Following in the footsteps of January's Women's March on Washington, the Science March is an opportunity for scientists of all disciplines to come together and have their voices heard by government.

Planning the event for Earth Day—a day meant to honor the Earth and renew our devotion to its environmental protection—was a brilliant move, but the significance of it is more than meets the eye.

The march actually ties in perfectly to this year's Earth Day theme: environmental and climate literacy. According to Earthday.org, "We need to build a global citizenry fluent in the concepts of climate change and aware of its unprecedented threat to the planet." This theme is quite fitting and timely, considering the current political climate surrounding the very topic.     

For more information on the Science March, including details on sister marches being planned in local cities across the U.S. and globe, visit www.marchforscience.com

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Means, Tiffany. "From Inauguration to Earth Day: The Rise of the Science March Movement." ThoughtCo, Feb. 14, 2017, thoughtco.com/rise-of-the-science-march-movement-4126808. Means, Tiffany. (2017, February 14). From Inauguration to Earth Day: The Rise of the Science March Movement. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/rise-of-the-science-march-movement-4126808 Means, Tiffany. "From Inauguration to Earth Day: The Rise of the Science March Movement." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/rise-of-the-science-march-movement-4126808 (accessed November 21, 2017).