Yesterday Audubon members across the country joined fellow protesters to show their support for science and oppose cuts to research funding. My husband and our two sons marched in San Francisco (second march in three months for our little guys!) with our local chapter, Mt. Diablo Audubon.
The main march was in Washington, D.C., with 600 satellite marches on all seven continents. Audubon California and Mt. Diablo Audubon co-sponsored the March for Science in San Francisco. The Bay area had seven other marches in San Jose, Santa Cruz, Walnut Creek, Livermore, Berkeley, Pacifica and Hayward.
Birders made their presence known with signs expressing their enthusiasm for birds and nature. The East Bay Times described the demonstrators as “physicians, bird-watchers, chemists, teachers, students, engineers and others.”
One of the best parts of these protests is spotting all the clever, funny signs. Some of our favorites from yesterday include: “Defiance…for Science” and “At the start of every disaster movie, there’s a scientist being ignored.”
Rosalie Howarth helped carry our eight-foot Audubon banner two miles during the march: “My arms are aching today but my heart feels a little lighter. Marching is just one tool in the opposition toolbox, but it’s one that provides the most encouragement and positive reinforcement.”
Along the march route, we ran into old friends and met up with others who share our passion for science and the natural world. It was heartening and inspiring to be surrounded by thousands of people who believe public policy should be informed by scientific studies.
All the advances we have made in conserving wildlife and habitat have been informed by science and defended through science. We hope that yesterday’s march will just be the start of a movement to elevate science, protect research funding, and allow us to push forward our mission of preserving birds and habitat for future generations. As one sign said, “There is no Planet B!”