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East Bay stands up for the Earth

Perry Continente, pcontinente@lmcexperience.com

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Hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets April 22 in over 600 separate marches across the country with one common goal — support and defend science and its place in this new political paradigm.

Following closely on the heels of the International Women’s March, the March for Science is similarly a reaction to the Trump administration. Whereas the Women’s March was largely in response to the President’s position on abortion and women’s health, as well as his past conduct towards women, the March for Science is a reaction to the administration’s environmental stance and questionable relationship with objective fact.

LMC student Odochi Nwokochah attended the San Francisco march.

“I went last minute,” said Nwokochah, who attended after “hearing about the things Trump is doing.”

Nwokochah continued, “I wasn’t really sure what to expect, I hadn’t been to a march or a protest before, but it was really fun.”

While the organizers of the march claimed to be apolitical, there was a clear anti-Trump sentiment amongst the protesters. A man in the Walnut Creek march handed out handy pre-made signs that called for impeachment while other signs read “Truth Trumps Lies.”

State Senator Steve Glazer spoke at the Walnut Creek March bemoaning how “Political parties are trying to make the environment a political issue.”

Dr. Durwynne Hsieh of LMC elaborated on the subject, saying that Trump is calling into question ideas the scientific community almost universally agrees on, and added the Trump administration is calling into question “the scientific validity of evolution and global warming.”

Both Glazer and Hsieh focused on how new the Republican anti-environmental stance is, and with good reason.

President George H.W. Bush passed a bill to increase regulations to make the air cleaner and said “I take great pleasure in signing S. 1630 as a demonstration to the American people of my determination that each and every American shall breathe clean air.” Republican Theodore Roosevelt was also known for his environmental activism.

“We have fallen heirs to the most glorious heritage a people ever received, and each one must do his part if we wish to show that the nation is worthy of its good fortune,” said Roosevelt, who championed the National Parks Service, a whose budget has been drastically reduced under President Trump.

            The Trump administration is the most violently anti-environment agency in a long time. The administrator of the EPA, appointed by Trump, is a climate change denier and has led several lawsuits against the EPA in the past. Trump himself stated in an interview that when it comes to the environment, “We can leave a little bit, but it can’t get in the way of business.”

Many spoke at the march — scientists and politicians, young and old were represented. One of the speakers, Cat Bobino, characterized the actions of the administrations as “an attack on objective reality.”

“Science is the best shot we have as a method for finding out what is true,” said Hsieh. “It is kind of under attack these days, especially after this last election cycle.”

The Trump administration has taken a far from scientific approach to the truth. Kellyanne Conway’s infamous “alternative facts” remark is indicative of the administration’s loose relationship with reality.

Nwokochah was motivated to march, in part, by this lack of scientific objectivity, “Trump doesn’t really stand for anything,” said Nwokochah.

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East Bay stands up for the Earth