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Earth Day spurs walks nationwide

June 30, 2017

 

Louisiana Tech students gather in Monroe and Shreveport to march in the name of science and climate change. – Photo by Dillon Nelson

Dillon Nelson
Staff Reporter | djn005@latech.edu

 

Earth Day was Saturday. This meant the spirit of science was in full effect.

 

Groups around the world gathered to hold marches in the name of science and climate change. Both Shreveport and Monroe held their own science marches April 22. After each walk, teachers and local activists were allowed to speak on issues like global warming and science deniers.

 

Landon Sims, a junior biological science major, went to the march in Monroe. He said he thought it was awesome this many people around the country would gather in mass on Earth Day.

 

“People might call this a kind of unnecessary protest and say it’s unlikely to change anything, but Earth Day is all about awareness,” he said. “I’m happy to see people weren’t discouraged by the gloomy weather Saturday.”

 

Sims said he was glad to hear the issue of coastal erosion brought up at the end of the march, where he heard different professors and citizens speak.

 

“I just got back from a biology conference where we learned a lot about the effects of climate changes on our coast extensively,” he said. “It’s good to know this something activists are still paying attention to.”

 

Sandra Hill, a professor of English at University of Louisiana at Monroe, said teaching our children better critical thinking skills should be a priority. She said students should be taught how to properly have an argument by studying rhetoric in class. She said developing critical-thinking skills will help people to better discuss science in the future.

 

“You can’t cherry-pick science, and if people want to make an ad hominem attack — basically an argument calling you a know-it-all, they need to know that this adds nothing to their argument or the discussion,” she said. “People can somehow accept that science has given us cure for many diseases, but they can’t accept what it says about climate change?”

 

Hill said an example is how people like to pick and choose elements of the Bible when confronted with scientific facts. She said despite the Bible being an important book, it is outdated and inconsistent.

 

“All of these people who turn to the bible when confronted with science are very happy with science when it benefits them,” she said. “They do not seem to care that turbine engines and penicillin are not in the Bible, and the truth is many do not want or care to change.”

 

Christopher Forester, a senior biochemistry major and president of the Louisiana Tech Chemistry Society, attended the march in Shreveport. He said the best way to further spread the influence of science is to focus on being empathetic when talking to scientifically ignorant people.

 

“We don’t want to attack people’s beliefs, but we want to present them with support and data for our facts,” he said. “Really, all we’re doing is just gathering evidence and showing people all we can.”

 

Forester said one of the main ideas at this march was to drive citizens to partake in activism beyond only Earth Day and the marches being held nationwide.

 

“Contact your senators, and contact your representatives to let them know how you feel about issues and how they might help fix them,” he said. “The more people that talk about an issue, the more change we’re going to see.”

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