Activism

Life in Times of Trump, “I can’t believe we’re marching for facts” Edition

Written by Sven Eberlein

This is, in fact (or is it a fact? who knows anymore), the year 2017 we find ourselves in, and thanks to the extraordinary verbal manure spreading machine posing as president that is America’s latest export, millions of rational people across the globe found it necessary last weekend to spend their Saturday getting up early, making a boatload of signs, and taking to the streets to insist that science, in essence, exists and has done some pretty helpful things.

As a friend of mine wrote on Facebook:

science-march_35You guys this Earth Day is heavier than most. It is 2017 and we are forced to have a March for Science. Think about that. The basic concept of knowledge is being questioned. That scientists have to defend the very idea of science is something I’d expect in the Dark Ages. But this is not underground alchemy. This is what leads to cures for diseases, stable food crops, clean water and the technology we all rely on. And the same people who would deny climate science use these other things everyday. We must see through this sham and call it out for what it is.

“The same people who would deny climate science use these other things everyday.”

Think about that: some of the same people who have enough trust in science to unquestioningly reap its benefits almost every moment of their lives — from driving their car or getting a cancer screening to shopping online or flicking on a light switch — can simply not bring themselves to trust scientists when they tell us about the overwhelming evidence that the Earth’s climate is heating up so fast due to our human fossil burning activities that we only have a few decades (at most) left to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint and have a chance of surviving on this planet. I don’t even blame most of them, for as on so many other issues in this fake news world we live in, they are being intentionally misled by a few cynical players like the fossil fuel industry and their Republican cronies in Congress.

Here’s what gets me though. The consequences of this willful denial will affect the families of all those oil execs, Republican congresscritters, and Mr. Chinese Hoax himself, not to mention all the constituents whose eyes they’re pulling the wool over.

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You’d think that even if you had some genuine skepticism regarding the realities of climate change and you’re in a position of power and responsibility, you’d err on the side of caution and at least not sabotage the mechanisms that have already been put into place to deal with the problem and that don’t hurt anybody, like the Paris Climate Treaty, Emissions Standards for Vehicles, or a booming clean energy industry. But no, Mr. Ferret Top and his ilk have made it their mission to latch on to that single mutated cell in the forsaken nether region of their brains where non-existing immigrant and terrorist threats can make their knees buckle while the looming mass extinction of life on Earth elicits a pathetic “look at me pissing off the liberals” meh.

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And so it happened that almost 150 years after the invention of the light bulb and 50 years after a man walked on the moon, scientists of all stripes and from sea to shining rising sea felt it necessary to come out of their labs, stations, classrooms, and retirement…

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to say that science really holds an indispensable place in our world, because, well…

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But it wasn’t just scientists that took to the streets, and it wasn’t just in America that they did it. The utter ignorance and idiocy that Trump has bullhorned across the globe in his unpresidented ego trip brought out millions of people from all walks of life in over 500 cities and 130 countries, trying to fight the alternative fact virus that seems to be spreading like crazy (pun!).

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In my stomping grounds of San Francisco, an estimated 50,000 marchers had come out to revel in a sea of sanity with each other.

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It was, as usual in our lively town, a fun and celebratory affair.

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with lots of quirky signs…

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super artistic ones…

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great costumes…

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and quintessential San Francisco…

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Of course, Furor’s Hair is always a fun target, but it takes a scientist to come up with an equation for it. Or rather, a noquation…

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The tiny hands department also had an abundance of riches. I liked this one for a good geeky zinger…

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and this one for its wishful thinking… (I bet just the carbon footprint to protect the Trump clown show exceeds that of most towns in America)

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but this one won me over for its sheer mischief.

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Personally, I went with a hearty Trump mockery for the backside of my sign…

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photo: debra baida

while keepin’ it real on the front…

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photo: debra baida

while my partner in signage went deep and beautiful with a Wendell Berry quote:

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It was great to see so many kids out, demanding accountability…

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and raking dying industries over the coals.

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The little ones also had some pretty excellent electoral suggestions…

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as did the big ones…

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I can see the official campaign slogan…

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No matter who runs, this just seems like a really good idea in general…

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Because only the most uneducated and ignorant pols would shrink the agency that makes sure your citizens have clean air and water…

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photo: debra baida

and cut funding for the very researchers that might come up with the cure for your disease.

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The message was quite simple: facts matter and without an educated citizenry we will continue to give away our collective stewardship over the public good.

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Science, clean energy, and grassroots engagement will continue to be a force to be reckoned with, more so now than before.

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But it won’t come easy and will take all of us to not let up and give in to the chaos fatigue that popular voter loser trump is trying to sow.

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Whether we like it or not, there is no choice but to keep fighting for a more healthy and truthful relationship with this earthly paradise we’re so fortunate to be living and thriving on. For not even the power of science will enable us to create a Planet B.

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Sven Eberlein

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