By Matt Allen, news correspondent
Hundreds of activists congregated in the Copley Square area to stand up for science last Sunday.
This movement was opposing President Donald J. Trump’s administration and Congress for discrediting aspects of science that the scientific community has an outstanding consensus on like climate change.
Anthony Downs, an environmental engineer for CK Environmental Agency in Canton, Massachusetts, who attended the rally, said he is worried about the scientific knowledge Trump is basing his decisions off of.
“Trump focused a lot of his campaign around the notion of creating jobs for Americans,” Downs said. “Trump believes in big coal and oil companies, which could potentially bring jobs back to the U.S., but he entirely discounts the most prominent reasons we’re trying to move away from these fossil fuels.”
There were a number of partner organizations involved in orchestrating this event, including the Boston Natural History Museum, Greenpeace USA, The Alliance for Climate Education, MIT Alumni for Climate Action Leadership, Divest BU, Divest Harvard and many more.
A national organization called Refuse Fascism conducted a donation fund throughout the event. Stan Lawrence, a representative of Refuse Fascism, said the collected donations went to further their organization’s public awareness campaign.
Refused Fascism believes the Trump-Pence administration is a fascist regime, and their main campaign slogan of “Make America Great Again” is rooted in the ideas of Charles Lindbergh from the 1930s, Lawrence said. Lawrence also said the reason people were drawn to this rally is because they support scientific thought and research.
“This demonstration is a protest in the support of science, the support of people who engage in science and the support of people who are trying to understand reality,” Lawrence said.
The rally featured a number of guest speakers, including Northeastern University’s Daniel Faber, professor of sociology and the director of the Northeastern Environmental Justice Collaborative. Faber spoke on how we are living in a dangerous era for reason.
“We are witnessing the most profound attack against science that has ever existed,” Faber said. “This administration is serving their own interests over the truths of science that can serve so many. When we stand up for science, we are standing up for those in Roxbury who are dealing with midnight dumping of toxic waste in their community.”
The rally also focused on Scott Pruitt, former Oklahoma Attorney General, who recently was appointed to be the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Pruitt was appointed to this position despite the fact that he has a longstanding track record of suing the EPA and harshly opposing the former presidential administrations’ regulations on the burning of fossil fuels.
Other people attending the rally were scientists, local students and professional environmentalists.
Downs said big coal and oil industries have had a proven negative impact on the environment.
“The science is in, and there is no longer a debate over the facts. The burning of these types of fossil fuels causes climate change, raises sea levels because of ice melt, causes the acidification of our oceans, and the depletion of our ozone,” Downs said. “Just because President Trump doesn’t understand it, doesn’t mean it’s not real.”
Photo by Derek Schuster