Friday, April 28, 2017

NYC Earth Day March for Science

I mentioned that Saturday's rain wasn't enough to dampen spirits at NYC's March for Science; I was able to say that with confidence because I was able to go march with local members of the Okeanos Foundation who had built a beautiful scale model Polynesian voyaging waka to carry in the march and who invited all Pacific Islanders and their friends and supporters to join them.

After joining in more protests in January and February than I've been in in my entire life, I'd had to take a bit of a break during March and April because of things that came up in both my personal life and work, but I'd been considering trying to fit the March for Science in before my tin whistle teacher's memorial service, and when I saw the beautiful model and the invitation on the Facebook page of one of my Hālāwai friends, that settled it.

I've been very concerned by the various cuts and restrictions that the new administration seems hell-bent on putting on various government-run scientific organizations (NOAA, for instance, is the first place I go for my weather but there was an interesting article in the Times this week that spells out impacts beyond those that a layperson like myself might think of), so I was very glad to join in. It was a great morning, I overheard someone say "This is the geekiest march ever, and I love it!", and I totally agreed.

There were a couple of students from the Rutgers Documentary Club who were talking to participants and asked me for a few words on why I was there, which was almost impossible because, you know, where do I even start? As a cancer survivor? As a paddler and swimmer who can play safely in the waters of NYC because of the tremendous improvements brought about the Clean Water Act? As a fan of citizen science groups like Gotham Whale (oh jeeze that reminds me that I still need to get them reports from my seal paddles, I'm sorry Paul!)? Or on a more basic level, as someone who has walked through old graveyards and been amazed at the percentage of people who died in what your average modern US citizen would consider midlife?

As it was I tried to say all of those at once and it probably came out as a babble. Of course the next day, I came up with the sound bite I wanted:

 You can't care for something if you don't understand how it works. We need to care for our home here, along with everything on it, and good science is our best chance to understand how we can do that. Malama honua!

More pictures on Flickr, unfortunately with the beautiful waka I forgot to take non-waka pictures and there were some very clever signs, but this gives some idea of how the day was. So glad I was able to stay for the whole event and still make it to the memorial service on time. It was a great event. 


JP said...

Good for you for going.

My excuse is that I was in the placebo non-marching group but that isn't good enough really said...

Looks like the NYC was a blast. I was sorry to miss the Science march here in D.C. [rained here also. i was out of town] I hope to make up for it with the climate march tomorrow. We can't stop letting the current Power That Be know how we think and feel about the degradations to our world that come with denial of solid science.

Alana said...

As someone who is a graduate of the Bronx High School of Science, I, more than anyone, should be out there marching. I will not bore you with my excuses. Thank you for taking this on, Bonnie.

bonnie said...

It was a great day! So many things to do these days, can't do all of them. I have friends who are doing the calling their representatives every day, I haven't managed to do that but I do feel like these events send a serious message that people are watching (and a lot of us don't like what we're seeing at all). I feel like we are in a long-haul situation here so I'm just trying to hold my activities to a pace I can sustain.

In fact I'm missing the Climate March tomorrow in favor of going paddling, it's just going to be too nice to not get out there on the bay! Grownchildren, you might get to see the Okeanos waka (canoe) tomorrow, they are taking their boat on the road to DC!