UPDATE, APRIL 20, 3:53 P.M.: Dozens of UC Irive faculty members and students are also taking part in the March for Science in Los Angeles Saturday, and seven grad students from UCI’s Center for Complex Biological Systems will be at the Washington, D.C., march, according to Kathleen Treseder, professor and vice chair in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. The faculty donated money and frequent flyer miles to help students attend the out-of-town marches, adds Treseder, the OC Climate Action spokeswoman who recently joined UCI science faculty members in seeking a meeting with climate change denying Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-Huntington Beach). Treseder will be attending the LA march alongside the likes of Steve Allison, associate professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Kimberly Duong, graduate student researcher in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and president of UCI Climatepedia. Arthur Lander, the Donald Bren Professor in the Department of Developmental and Cell Biology and director of the Center for Complex Biological Systems, will be part of UCI’s D.C. contingent.
ORIGINAL POST, APRIL 19, 6:42 A.M.: The climate is so hot right now.
No, not the weather outside—although a heatwave is forecast to arrive soon—but climate is hot as in a political issue, as witnessed by all the climate change deniers darkening the West Wing and all those fearful of climate change headed for the streets this Saturday—Earth Day—and again next Saturday, April 29.
First, it’s the March for Science, whose main demonstration is in Washington, D.C., but there are also satellite marches around the country. Fullerton, Long Beach and the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival grounds are among the 41 places in California scheduled to have marches.
Government acceptance of the scientific consensus on climate change is just one of the issues propelling the March for Science, which was to originally be called the Scientists’ March on Washington and was born out of a Reddit discussion related to the Jan. 21 Women’s March. The nonpartisan March for Science also aims to support government transparency, evidence-based policies, funding for scientific research and acceptance of the scientific consensus on evolution.
Organized by scientists who are skeptical of the Trump administration’s agenda, the March for Science is being supported in Orange County by groups like 314 Action, a nonprofit that was founded by political activists, grassroots supporters and members of the STEM community. That group’s California coordinator and an advising board member is Kevork N. Abazajian, a UC Irive associate professor of Physics and Astronomy and executive board member of the campus Center for Cosmology.
Abazajian and three UCI associates went to U.S. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher’s Huntington Beach district office on April 10 to deliver a letter signed by 18 physical and biological scientists (17 from UCI, one from UC Berkeley) who want to meet and talk climate change with the veteran Republican legislator and longtime climate change denier.
The Fullerton March for Science pushes off at 9 a.m. in front of City Hall, 303 W. Commonwealth, with a rally and some short speeches, according to organizers.
The Long Beach march begins at East San Antonio Drive and Atlantic Avenue at 10 a.m., then concludes at the Green Prize Festival in Houghton Park at East Harding Street and Myrtle Avenue, say its supporters.
Both events are free.
Wash those shorts and athletic socks because the OC Climate March is set for April 29 in Irvine, where promoters expect 200 or more people. It is also tied to a national event in D.C.—The People’s Climate March—and more than 200 sister marches around the country.
The family friendly Orange County version—which is held at Irvine United Congregational Church, 4915 Alton Parkway—is actually broken into two parts. The morning theme is “Crises in the Ocean: How Compassionate Action Benefits Us All,” which begins at 9 a.m., then there is a noon lunch hour followed at 2 p.m. by the “People’s Climate March-Orange County.”
Morning speakers are: Kate Mackey, a UCI assistant professor of Earth System Science; Gene Baur, president and co-founder of Farm Sanctuary and author of Living the Farm Sanctuary Life; and Jonathan Balcombe, scientist, leading animal advocate, and author of What a Fish Knows. Next, Joni Marie Newman, a vegan chef and author of Just the Food, leads a cooking demonstration. Book signings are also planned.
“Our April 29 events are meant to engage and empower people to become part of a mass climate movement going forward,” says Roger Gloss, a founding member of the local grassroots group Orange County for Climate Action. “Change in these times must come from the bottom up, and, as the organizers of the People’s Climate March understand, ‘To change everything we need everyone.’”
Co-hosting are Living Ubuntu, the IUCC Green Faith Committee, Farm Sanctuary, Plant Powered OC and SoCal Vegfest. Organizers ask that you RSVP so they can develop head counts for the morning and afternoon programs. Learn more by visiting occlimateaction.org.