Environment

Science is the star attraction at protest march

South Florida residents gathered at Museum Park in downtown Miami before marching along Biscayne Boulevard on Saturday, April 22, 2017, lending their voice to the March for Science in Washington, which drew thousands of people to the nation’s capital, across the country and around the world. The Miami march departed from Museum Park and traveled to the Stephen P. Clark Government Center.
South Florida residents gathered at Museum Park in downtown Miami before marching along Biscayne Boulevard on Saturday, April 22, 2017, lending their voice to the March for Science in Washington, which drew thousands of people to the nation’s capital, across the country and around the world. The Miami march departed from Museum Park and traveled to the Stephen P. Clark Government Center. pportal@miamiherald.com

Scientists, science teachers and fans of science-based reasoning took to the streets Saturday in downtown Miami, lending their voice to the March for Science in Washington, which drew thousands of people to the nation’s capital and to cities across the country and around the world.

The marchers — young/old, black/white, women/men — chanted “Science Not Silence” and “There is no planet ‘B.’” Posters decried Rising Seas, South Florida’s connection to climate change and how “A planet is a terrible thing to waste.’’

Much of the ire was directed at President Donald Trump, who over the years has called global warming “a hoax.’’ Marchers, too, were concerned about budget cuts to science-based programs, including a possible 20 percent budget cut to the National Institutes of Health.

The marchers also poked fun at Gov. Rick Scott, whose Florida Department of Environmental Protection had ordered employees not to use the term “climate change’’ or “global warming’’ in any official communications, according to an investigation by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.

After the speakers finished, the protesters marched a mile from Museum Park to the Stephen P. Clark Government Center for a science expo.

Julie Kramer of Code for Miami was one of those with a booth at the expo.

“Code for Miami is a civil hacking group made up of developers, scientists and concerned citizens,” she said.

Kramer said one of the group’s main concerns is open data, which calls for making certain environmental records public information.

Charles Fulco, an expert on solar eclipses, had a telescope pointing toward the sun at his booth, encouraging people to watch for the total solar eclipse on Aug. 21, when the moon will block the sun.

“It's the most important scientific event in decades,” Fulco said.

Fulco handed out cardboard glasses that looked similar to 3-D glasses, which he said would make it easier to view the eclipse.

“We need to have an awareness of real science,” Fulco said. “This eclipse will show factual science versus fake science.”

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