Saturday, April 22, 2017

Marched in Wichita- to support science and oppose science skepticism on climate change

By SJ Otto
People still believe in science and that was evident today as more than 2,000 people marched from the old Historical Sedgwick County Courthouse, here in Wichita, Kansas, to the Mid-America All-Indian Center for a March For Science- ICT, this morning and early afternoon.
People gathered about 11am to hear a number of speakers who talked about the need for science in today's world and politicians who believe in that science, such as the need to take precautions for global warming.
As many as 600 of such rallies have taken place across this country and the world today. These protests were sparked, in part, by President Donald Trump's executive order last month, which seeks to roll back Obama-era climate change and environmental policies.
Here in Wichita Kim Burton Lujan, electrical engineer, spoke of the need to have more diversity in those who enter into schools for engineering.
"I was the only woman in my electrical engineering class," Burton said.
She added that only 20 percent of those who go into engineering are women.
"We need as many different people and points of view as possible to get into the sciences," she told the crowd.
She encouraged people to resist government spending cuts to science education and spending that protects the environment, such as clear water.
Dave McDonald, biomedical researcher at Wichita State University, told the crowd that the US leads the world in Bio medicine.
"Half of the Noble Prizes for medical developments come from the US," he said.
He added that people today can expect to live a longer and better life.[1]
"There are some things to be excited about," he said. "In the future we can expect to better manage cancer care and rely less on chemo and radiation. There will be the growing of new organs for people."
He said that we should not expect to rely on just the private sector for research on medicines and medical developments.
"Eighty percent of medical research comes from universities," McDonald added. "There are calls for budget cuts for up to 20 percent and that can cause grave damage."
Former candidate for the US House of Representatives, in the 4th district, James Thompson, Democrat, addressed the crowd.
"We are building a movement," Thompson said. "My little campaign turned into a movement. The way we do that is to stand up. I ran for office because I was tired of what I was seeing."
He added that we need to get out and elect people who will listen to us and who agree that the science of global warming is real.
"It  doesn't matter whether Democrat or Republican," Thompson added. "Global warning is true whether it is believed or not."[2]
He encouraged the crowd to focus on local elections such as school board and city council. Thompson said there is a need to get people elected who believe in Science.
"Those who deny this science are making money from fossil fuels," he added. "Just follow the money."   
As many as 2,000 people or more marched for science in Wichita, Kansas.
It was good to see children get involved.
There were lots of good signs.

[1] The longer and better life is unlikely for poor individuals if the Republican Party continues with its plan to role back Obamacare and if states such as Kansas continue to prevent Medicaid expansion. See "New Republican health care plan—just like the old ways—before Obamacare."

[2] "Truth does not change because it is, or is not, believed by a majority of the people." -Giordano Bruno

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