It was 85 degrees in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday, but thousands skipped a trip to the beach or the mountains and instead dragged themselves along a mile-long route to listen to a few celebrity pseudo-scientists and activists drone on about climate change.
The “March for Science” crowd brought along numerous signs, props, and costumes to walk through downtown L.A. toward City Hall and gathered for speeches by celebrity seismologist Lucy Jones and billionaire environmentalist activist Tom Steyer. But to some marchers the agenda for the march wasn’t entirely clear – except for being against President Donald Trump.
Asked why she was marching, Claudia Kries of San Pedro told the Los Angeles Times, “Why wouldn’t I be? I’ve been at every march since Trump got elected. It’s how I stay sane.”
While some marchers expressed their concern about climate change and how Trump is shifting U.S. policies both domestically and internationally, it’s apparent that many attendees are vehemently anti-Trump, and not just on environmental issues.
Jeniffer Hernandez, a professor and immunologist at the Keck Graduate Institute School of Pharmacy in Claremont, said she felt attacked by Trump: because her parents are immigrants from Mexico, because of Trump’s comments about assaulting women and because her research lab is funded in part by federal grants.
“I’m outraged. I’m upset,” she told the Times. “We need to be out here.”
She carried a sign, written partially in the colors of the Mexican flag, that read: “I’m a 1st generation Mexican-American scientist not a murderer, rapist or drug dealer.”
The marchers did encounter a small group of Trump supporters along the route, though there was no hint of trouble, in sharp contrast to the violence unleashed by leftist counter-demonstrators that disrupted a number of pro-Trump marches throughout California over the past year.
— Javier Panzar (@jpanzar) April 22, 2017
Though the march was supposed to be “nonpartisan,” it was sponsored by NextGen Climate America, a Steyer-backed nonprofit group. Steyer, rumored to be mulling a run for governor of California in 2018, has financially supported a number of environmental causes in the state, including last November’s Prop. 67 that mandated a plastic bag ban at all grocery stores throughout California.
The reality is that this march, and others taking place Saturday around the world, were highly politicized and not at all “nonpartisan.” It’s a process that’s increasingly dividing the scientific community, said Alex Berezow, senior fellow of biomedical science at the American Council on Science and Health.
“Yes, science has received broad bipartisan support for decades,” Dr. Berezow told Breitbart News. “However, conservatives have been losing trust in scientists in recent years. This is a direct result of the politicization of science and this march underscores that.”
Dr. Berezow, a microbiologist who objected to the nature of the march, also pointed out that the “March for Science” organizers defended ISIS after Trump ordered the “Mother of All Bombs” dropped on the terrorist group’s hideout in Afghanistan. A tweet critical of the “MOAB” attack was later deleted after it had been widely ridiculed.
The speech-making at the end of the march was short on science and overloaded with hyperbole. Here’s this gem from Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) to conclude the festivities:
— Rep. Brad Sherman (@BradSherman) April 22, 2017
Follow Samuel Chi on Twitter @ThePlayoffGuru.