At the People’s Climate March, help launch a new drive for a 100% renewable energy economy on April 29
Letter from Bill McKibben, Co-Founder of 350.org, March 1, 2017
I don’t know if you’re like me, but there are days when the sound of Mr. Trump’s voice just makes me want to curl up in a fetal position.
The losses we’ve suffered just in the past week, as the new EPA head started gutting water and air protections, makes me think of the earlier generations of activists who worked so hard to get these laws enacted. Last night I wanted to shout at the TV when, instead of mentioning climate change, he boasted about approving new pipelines.
But then I remind myself that, given the situation, we’re off to a pretty good start fighting his efforts. The Women’s Marches and the airport protests were remarkable moments, and they put a dent in his momentum. We’ll need much more of this kind of resistance.
Specifically, for those of us focused on the climate questions that will define the future of our planet, we need to be fixing on the end of April. On April 22, Earth Day, scientists will march, and I hope the rest of us will be engaging our community: we’ve got to keep explaining to all our neighbors that climate change is the furthest thing from a hoax.
When we did this in New York in 2014 it helped propel the plane towards the Paris climate accords. This time we need—powerfully—to make clear that we haven’t gone away, and that we will not let the U.S. retreat.
It will be a solemn day—we’ve just come through the hottest year ever measured on this planet, after all. But it will also be a joyful and rousing one: we’ll be celebrating the launch of a new drive to make our nation run on a 100% renewable energy economy that works for all. We know Trump won’t support it, but we’re getting on with the job at hand: demonstrating the political will for climate justice so that every other politician sprints as far ahead as possible.
Here’s the place to sign up: 350.org/PCM2017. But we need you doing more than signing up and showing up. We need you, as always, organizing: getting others to come, filling buses, creating art, suggesting themes.
We need each other, really. That’s what a movement is. Thanks, Bill McKibben
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Updated: Which science groups have endorsed the March for Science?
The March for Science, set for 22 April, is creating a buzz in the scientific community. The march arose as a grassroots reaction to concerns about the conduct of science under President Donald Trump. And it has spurred debate over whether it will help boost public support for research, or make scientists look like another special interest group, adding to political polarization.
Leaders of many scientific societies have been mulling whether to formally endorse or take a role in the event. ScienceInsider has been tracking what they decide, and here’s what we know as of 28 February (most recent updates at the top of each section):
Say they are supporting the march
On 28 February, the Society for Freshwater Science (SFS) in Logan, Utah, formally endorsed the march. “For those SFSers that march, SFS will be preparing a series of short statements (suitable for signs, buttons, t-shirts) that call particular attention to recent efforts to roll back environmental protections for U.S. freshwaters (WOTUS and the stream protection rule) that are in clear disregard of the best available science,” SFS President Emily S. Bernhardt and President-elect Colden Baxter wrote in a statement.”We would appreciate your creative suggestions for pithy, eye catching and reasonable statements.”
On 23 February, some major groups—including AAAS (publisher of ScienceInsider), which has about 100,000 members, and the American Geophysical Union (AGU), which has about 60,000 members—announced they are signing on. The two organizations were on a list of 25 formal partners unveiled by the March for Science.
“We see the activities collectively known as the March as a unique opportunity to communicate the importance, value and beauty of science,” AAAS CEO Rush Holt wrote in a statement on the website of the Washington, D.C.–based organization, which bills itself as the largest general science society in the world. Participation “is in keeping with AAAS’ long-standing mission to ‘advance science, engineering and innovation throughout the world for the benefit of all people.’”
“This is a unique moment for AGU, the scientific community, our nation, and the world,” AGU President Eric Davidson and President-elect Robin Bell wrote in a statement on the website of the organization, also based in Washington, D.C. The March “presents … a very real, high-profile opportunity to call on our elected leaders to remember the role science plays in our society and to support scientific innovation and discovery, and the people and programs that make it possible,” wrote AGU CEO Chris McEntee.
The details of how the endorsing organizations will be involved in the march are still being worked out, AAAS CEO Rush Holt told ScienceInsider. For instance, possible financial support from AAAS has not yet been discussed, he says. Holt acknowledged concerns that the march could lead to a political backlash if it is perceived primarily as a partisan attack on the Trump administration. But he says “I would be more concerned about having a big rally on behalf of science and our not being there.”
Here are the groups included on the 23 February list of formal March for Science partners:
- Earth Day Network (Coordinates annual Earth Day events; more than 50,000 partner agencies)
- 314 Action (newly formed group to help scientists run for office)
- 500 Women Scientists (newly formed activist group)
- American Anthropological Association (about 10,000 members)
- AAAS (more than 100,000 members)
- American Association of University Professors (over 50,000 members)
- American Geophysical Union (about 60,000 member)
- American Society for Cell Biology (about 9000 members)
- Association for Research in Vision & Ophthalmology (more than 11,000 members)
- Center for Biological Diversity (more than 1.2 million members and activists)
- Cochrane Collaboration (more than 38,000 members)
- Consortium of Social Science Associations (more than 100 member organizations)
- Department for Professional Employees, AFL-CIO (coalition of 22 national unions)
- Entomological Society of America (about 6000 members)
- International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers, AFL-CIO (more than 80,000 members)
- League of Extraordinary Scientists (science education group)
- National Center for Science Education (advocates for teaching scientific issues like evolution and climate change in schools)
- National Coalition of Native American Language Schools and Programs (supports schools using Native American languages)
- The Natural History Museum (mobile museum)
- New York Academy of Sciences (20,000 members)
- NextGen Climate America (advocates for low-carbon energy production)
- Research!America (380 member organizations)
- Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (about 6000 members)
- Science Debate (advocates for inclusion of science issues in election debates)
- Sigma Xi (more than 110,000 members)
- Society for Conservation Biology North America (more than 5000 members)
- Union of Concerned Scientists (about 100,000 members)
- The American Statistical Association (ASA) in Alexandria, Virginia. ASA “endorses the stated purposes of the 22 April March for Science as a celebration of our passion for science and a call to support and safeguard the scientific community,” reads a statement on ASA’s website (nearly 19,000 members).
- The American Association of Physical Anthropologists (AAPA) supports the march and canceled a plenary lecture at their annual meeting, scheduled in New Orleans, Louisiana, this year, so that organization leaders can accompany conference attendees to the local march, AAPA Vice President Josh Snodgrass told Science (about 1700 members).
- The Association for Psychological Science in Washington, D.C. “We stand with all of the other disciplines in the scientific community in support of the march and are helping to get the word out via social media. And we are brainstorming about other ways to help,” the organization’s executive director, Sarah Brookhart, wrote in an email (about 33,000 members).
- The American Sociological Association in Washington, D.C., has endorsed the march in a statement on its website (more than 13,000 members).
Say they are thinking about it, but no decision yet
- The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) in Washington, D.C. (about 38,000 members).
- The Optical Society (OSA) in Washington, D.C. (more than 20,000 members).
- The American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB) in Rockville, Maryland. (about 4000 members).
- The American Institute of Physics (AIP) in College Park, Maryland. (a federation of 10 societies that, combined, have more than 120,000 members).
- The American Chemical Society (ACS) in Washington, D.C. (more than 157,000 members).
So far no organizations have explicitly come out against the march. But the American Institute of Physics Chief Executive (Robert Brown) suggested in an email that any “inflammatory demonstrations will cause negative retaliations.”
See also: https://www.marchforscience.com/