Marches were held across the nation for the March For Science movement on April 22, which is known as Earth Day.
The March For Science is a movement revolving around the celebration of science and the role it plays in the lives of civilians every day.
The movement’s mission, according to the March For Science website, revolves around, “robustly funded and publicly communicated science as a pillar of human freedom and prosperity.” According to the site, “We unite as a diverse, nonpartisan group to call for science that upholds the common good and for political leaders and policymakers to enact evidence based policies in the public interest.”
Planning for the movement began before President Donald Trump’s inauguration, but many involved with the movement now cite the inauguration as their reason for taking part in the march.
President Trump’s executive order on March 28 to nullify former President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan did not help the anti-Trump sentiment among members of the movement. The plan was supposed to close coal-fired power plants and to replace them with wind and solar farms. According to the New York Times, the Obama-era plan was part of the 2015 Paris Agreement, where 195 nations committed themselves to lowering greenhouse gases and slowing the effects of climate change.
A professor of Environmental Economics at Harvard, Robert Stavins, mentioned some concerns he had about the world’s carbon dioxide polluters.
“One of the greatest concerns is what other key countries, including China, India and Brazil, will do when the U.S. reneges on the Paris agreement,” said Stavins in a New York Times article concerning the nullification of the Clean Power plan. “Worst-case scenario, the Paris agreement would unravel. That would be a tragedy.”
As mentioned before, marches were held across the nation in favor of the goals of the movement.
According to the site for the March For Science, the goal and principles of the movement are “to speak up now because the safety of our families, the education of our children, the foundation of our economy and jobs, and the future we all want to live in and preserve for coming generations are currently at risk.”
In North Carolina, various college campuses held March For Science rallies and Earth Day activities. In Charlotte and Raleigh, there were two separate rallies per city, along with multiple other rallies around the state.
At UNCG, the rallies coincided with the third annual Science Everywhere event. It began around noon and ended at 4 p.m.
Associate head of the Department of Biology at UNCG, Dr. Malcolm Schug, spoke about the event with UNCG Now.
“Science Everywhere is a unique program that exposes young people to the wonders of science, technology, engineering and math in fun and engaging ways. Through hands-on activities, kids have a chance to learn more about biology, chemistry, computer science, ecology, sustainability and art. The day even includes a trip to the UNCG planetarium. It’s truly the Super Bowl of Science,” said Schug.
According to Washington Post, attendees in Washington D.C. closed the festivities with a march towards the U.S. Capitol.