|Photo credit: NPR|
In 1970, 20 million people demonstrated in cities and towns all across the United States to bring attention to their concerns about the environment and humankind's impact on our planet. According to the website, earthday.org, the first Earth Day and the activism it inspired led to the formation of the Environment Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the Endangered Species Act by the end of that year.
A big part of that success story was that in the 1960's and 70's, respect for science had not yet been eroded by Christian fundamentalism. Members of Congress from both sides of the aisle were able to agree on basic scientific data and to work together to create legislation, based upon solid science, which would benefit the entire nation for decades to come.
Today, we live in a very different world.
The dismantling of the wall between church and state, which was facilitated in earnest during the Reagan years, has led to myriad devastating consequences for the country, but perhaps the most critical losses have been the gutting of public education (as funds have been siphoned off for religious private and charter schools) and the gradual acceptance that religious belief is being taught to millions of kids and presented to be as valid as the scientific method for understanding what is true about the world around us.
In 2017, we now have an upside down reality where anti-environment people have been put in charge of the EPA, where religious extremism has been allowed to dictate environmental policy and deny global climate change and where the new administration has declared war on air, water, earth and humanity.
What can we do? Quite a lot!
Public protest works. Speaking out and showing up, works.
This morning, all across the United States, people in cities and towns will be demonstrating on Earth Day again, just like in 1970. The March for Science is for everyone interested in a sane and safe world. It's time to stop the madness and insist that community and national leaders stop allowing public funds to be siphoned off to underwrite harmful mythology-based education and patently false pseudo-science, and restore actual science and the rigor of the scientific method of enquiry to our public offices.
Decisions which affect the life-sustaining earth, water and air of this planet must be made based upon the best science and research we can achieve. The time has come to insist upon it.
March for science today!
Look here to find a March for Science near you. And listen below for a little Saturday Inspiration as you head out the door!
Symphony of Science - MelodySheep