In light of President Trump’s recent gag order to the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Agriculture, scientists across the country are planning to fight back. No press releases will be issued and all social media accounts – along with grants and funding – will be frozen until a Trump-appointed “digital strategist” can issue new regulations – such as banning the discussion of the Trump administration repealing all the regulations that keep our air and water clean.
The Badlands National Park’s Twitter account made headlines yesterday when they began firing off tweets full of climate science in direct defiance of Trump’s order; after the tweets mysteriously vanished, an alternative National Parks account popped up, run by the rangers, resisting Trump’s draconian anti-science agenda any way possible.
But scientists around the country are planning to make a bigger statement. Organizational preparations have begun for a Scientists’ March on Washington. Birthed in a Reddit thread, the idea quickly took off on social media, racking up 80,000 members in less than a day while the Twitter account has 26,000 followers. “We were inspired (well, infuriated) by the current attacks on science from the new administration. Slashing funding and restricting scientists from communicating their findings (from tax-funded research!) with the public is absurd and cannot be allowed to stand as policy!” said public health researcher Caroline Weinberg.
Are scientists going to march on Washington? Yes we are! https://t.co/9MzZVgiQ7Q
— March for Science (@MarchForScience) January 25, 2017
“Although this will start with a march, we hope to use this as a starting point to take a stand for science in politics.Slashing funding and restricting scientists from communicating their findings (from tax-funded research!) with the public is absurd and cannot be allowed to stand as policy” reads the official website.
Trump’s descent into full-on totalitarian information restriction and climate change repression was as quick as it is horrifying. On top of the gag order, Trump has ordered the removal of the Climate.gov page sometime in the coming days, meaning that all the critical climate information stored upon it will be lost to the public, possibly forever.
Climate change is the biggest threat facing the American people and human civilization as we know it. The consequences of the fossil fuel industry’s reckless efforts to delay the shift to renewable energy and distort the facts that indicate the world is being heated by human actions will be catastrophic as millions become environmental refugees, fleeing rising seas, punishing storms, dying lands and drought. Without a doubt, the wealthy oligarchs like Donald Trump and Rex Tillerson would shut their doors on those refugees as well.
In a nation where the truth itself is under siege by barbarian lies and pernicious gaslight, it is more important than ever that we join these brave men and women and demonstrate that we will not allow five thousand years of scientific development to be tossed aside by the petty whims of an ignorant brute and his wealthy puppet-masters.
Colin Taylor is the editor-in-chief of Occupy Democrats. He graduated from Bennington College with a Bachelor's degree in history and political science. He now focuses on advancing the cause of social justice and equality in America.