Time for another stop on our March for Science coverage. If you would like to add your voice to this growing chorus and tell us why you are marching, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This time, we're taking off to the Great White North. Hello Nova Scotia!
I sometimes feel like the wrong person to be part of organizing the Halifax March for Science.
I’m neither a scientist, nor even a Canadian.
But when you look at the bigger picture, that doesn’t matter as much as it sometimes feels. The progress of science has enriched our lives, grown our economies, and made the world a fantastically better place.
For instance, vaccines have eliminated diseases that were once common killers. The space race has given us the technology that allows us to work from pretty much anywhere we can set up a computer. The internet has created more opportunities for connection than has been possible at any other time in human history.
But that forward momentum is now under threat.
I’m not a scientist, but I know anti-scientific policy is a fast track in the wrong direction.
The scientific consensus on climate change is overwhelming, and given the state of the Arctic this past winter, and a recent report projecting that irreversible effects could soon start kicking in, we don’t have the time to waste with politicians trying to unpick 20 years of negotiations.
Already we’ve seen the US government remove climate change from its priorities, instead proposing to defund the agencies responsible for helping solve it, deleting data from publicly available sources, and shifting agencies’ priorities in order to blunt the focus on it.
Restricting data and stopping scientists from talking openly about their research and then refuting those that do with flimsy, cherry-picked evidence is anti-scientific.
We need our leaders to listen to and act upon the scientific consensus, and we need scientific progress to speed up in the face of adversity. And when those in positions of power decide to do none of that, people need to do what they can where they are to fight it.
I’m not a scientist, but I know anti-scientific policy is a fast track in the wrong direction. I’m not a Canadian, but the decision to disregard climate truth will impact me wherever I am on this planet.
If all I can do is make sure it’s clear where I stand by joining others whose research is at risk of being silenced — then that’s what I will do.
My hope is that these marches will not only send a clear message to those south of our border that we stand with scientists against those who would silence them, but will also let our leaders closer to home know that we also have our eyes on them.
Whether that’s the Nova Scotia provincial government’s refusal to divest from coal by 2030, or the Prime Minister’s decision to continue approving disastrous pipeline projects, our eyes are on them. We are watching.
The Halifax March for Science will be 11:00 am April 22nd, at Grand Parade outside City Hall.
Join us in sending a message to power wherever it is and wherever you are.