Rally in support of science research draws 1,000 to Boulder bandshell

| Apr 23, 2017

Close to 1,000 supporters of science gathered at the Bandshell in downtown Boulder on Earth Day, Saturday, April 23, joining demonstrators worldwide. It was stirring to see the resolute ranks of the Boulder science community out in large numbers. Attendees heard stirring remarks by retired Ohio trial judge William Chinnock, then took to the streets for a short march through downtown. At our request, Chinnock provided a text of his remarks, which follows.

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Good Morning Boulder! Good Morning Colorado! Good Morning America!

Thank you so much for coming to the Boulder Earth Day March for Science. It’s just another sunny day in Colorado. I am William Chinnock, retired Ohio judge and founder of Boulder Saturday Marches. In good weather or bad, we resist and persist!

I’m happy to say this is the 10th consecutive March we’ve had since Feb 4 and with today’s attendance about 10,000 people have attended Saturday Marches.

(Reporter photo)

We have marched and protested against the Immigration Ban. We have marched and protested against the Repeal of Obama Care. We have marched and protested against the Swamp Cabinet. We have marched and protested against Trump’s Secret Tax Returns. And we have marched and protested against the Fictitious Wall.

And this is our final regularly-scheduled Boulder Saturday March. The emphasis is on “regularly scheduled.” In other words, Trump’s “First 100 Days of Harm” are coming to an end, and we’re not going to have marches every Saturday in the future.

But we will have Saturday Marches when there is “Breaking News.” Like confessions regarding Russia. Like indictments. Like appointment of a special prosecutor. Like appointment of an independent commission. Like a court order for a new election.

All you need to do is check our website BoulderMarches.com.

Now please let me give you 10 minutes of actual facts, not alternative facts, regarding the Boulder scientific and academic community.

Resist Trump’s war on science

Trump is engaged in a war on science, medicine, health, and academia.

It consists of his proposed budget to Congress, which slashes essential scientific and medical research of a great multitude of major federal research facilities and universities.

It adversely impacts thousands of institutions and hundreds of thousands of researchers by budget cuts of 18 to 31%.

These cuts put the health and economy of the United States at risk.

You know, don’t you, that the Internet was developed by federal-funded scientists? Half of all life-saving drugs have been made possible in the last 23 years because of federal-funded research.

Trump during his campaign promised to work to “cure disease.”

Here’s how Trump works to cure disease.

His cuts are deep and broad. Trump’s drastic cuts will have devastating consequences on vital research into cancer, chronic and infectious diseases, and other illnesses.

Trump’s cuts will adversely impact the air we breathe and the water we drink.

Trump’s cuts will eliminate research on emerging diseases, health safety, mental health services, food safety, water safety, drug safety, chemical safety, wildlife care, medical research, substance abuse services, public wilderness areas, fish and wildlife services, and energy research.

Boulder’s famous Co-Labs

NIH, The National Institute of Health, is the biggest funder of biomedical research in the world; it funds 2,600 institutions, mostly university scientists. The NIH conducts vital research into cancer, chronic diseases, and other illnesses. Trump wants a 20% cut; a $6 billion cut, which would turn NIH back 15 years. This is despite the fact that every $1 NIH spends means a $2.20 economic payback within 12 months. Yes, the staggering number of federal-funded researchers is 300,000! These cuts would mean no federal grants in 2018. They would mean a setback for cancer patients, cancer survivors, and cancer families. Trump’s cuts would kill 1,650 people each and every day.

EPA, The Environmental Protection Agency, makes possible our clean water and clean air. Trump wants to lay off 3,200 EPA workers; he wants to eliminate the Chemical Safety Board, the Board that investigated the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill. He wants to eliminate the Nassau Satellite Program. He wants to eliminate the Chesapeake Bay Cleanup which affects 35 Million Americans. He wants to eliminate the Great Lakes CleanUp Program.

Trump wants a 31% cut -– a $2.6 billion cut -– in the EPA budget. He wants to cut no less than 50 programs from the EPA. Between 1970 and 2015, air pollution has declined 70%! We’re almost twice as good breathing clean air today than we were 45 years ago. Tens of thousands lives have been saved.

But let me tell you about “Trump’s cures” in the last 90 days. Miners can again pollute United States streams and lakes. The Clean Air Act has essentially been voided. The air is dirtier, by government decree. Gas and oil companies can now violate the Paris Climate Agreement. Our auto pollution standards have been voided; we are breathing more exhaust fumes. Power plant cleanup has been voided. These “cures of Trump” have already been effectuated so that we can breath more mercury, lead, arsenic, and other pollutants into our bodies. Trump has actually removed the word “science” from EPA’s Mission Statement!” He says: “We consider the EPA a waste of money”.

NOAA, The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, here in Boulder, is the lead agency for weather forecasts, dangerous weather, satellites, fisheries, ocean services, and climate monitoring. Trump wants a cut of 26% — a $1 billion cut — in the NOAA budget. This sum would fund the Department of Defense’s wars for all of 12 hours!

DOE, The Department of Energy, funds Boulder’s National Labratories, the world’s foremost scientific research labs. It monitors the nuclear arsenal, so let’s cut it 20% says Trump — with his finger on the nuclear button! Why not? What could go wrong?

The Fogarty International Center is a small $69 million agency, but it has an international reputation regarding global health. Trump wants to eliminate 400 projects from it, such as AIDS, Ebola, maternity mortality, and emerging diseases.

Trump wants to divert these billions and billions of dollars that are earmarked for science (1) to build a wall which 65% of Americans don’t want, and (2) to increase the military budget by $54 billion, so he can play with half-million-dollar missiles!

Long-term effect of cuts

Trump wants to defund the very essence of what keeps our society functioning.

America would lose research and researchers in a way that would not be recoverable. Trump’s cuts would end our nation’s reputation as an international leader in science.

Science research is a long and complicated journey; one discovery gives rise to another; it can’t start and stop on a dime

Trump’s cuts will motivate young scientists not to go into government research; and without government research, there is little or no research.

Trump’s cuts would motivate older scientists to leave the country in a Brain Drain. You’ve heard of a Brain Drain; this is the reason why Albert Einstein left Germany.

National prosperity and security at stake

Since World War II, investment in scientific research has been critical to our national prosperity and security, with half of the nation’s economic growth attributable to science and technology research.

Boulder’s CO-LABS and UC-Boulder are considered the crown jewels of scientific research in the world, and such cuts would substantially adversely impact tens of thousands of workers and the $2.5 billion science contribution to the Colorado economy. Boulder would lose a $1.1 billion economic impact. We could lose 7,600 jobs in Boulder alone!

Here are some comments by experts:

“Cuts are shortsighted and dangerous.”

“Cuts will have severe negative impact on the lives of most Americans and will blunt economic growth.”

“With Trump, there is an undeclared war on educational knowledge in general, and on science in particular.”

Even Newt Gingrich says: “It is irresponsible and shortsighted, not prudent, to let financing dwindle for basic research.”

The good news

The good news is that Congress, and not the president, decides the budget. But it will only decide in favor of science if the public stands up and speaks out. That means you — what you are doing today by being here and marching for science. It’s in your hands, and feet!

Congress in the past has responded favorably to substantial outcries against similar outrageous proposals by administrations, ?bu tonly if and when the public stands up and speaks out. We see the devastating consequences that plague our nation when 50% of eligible voters fail to vote! We saw what happened on Nov 8, 2016.

So let us not allow permanent damage to be done to America by allowing permanent damage to be done to its science, medicine, health, and academic communities.

So, let’s stand up, speak out, and resist Trump’s War on Science! Thank you for your activism!

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(Reporter photos)

One Comment »

  • Carol Knight said:

    Thanks for the report! I was in Denver, and saw some funny and creative signs also, such as “Roses are red, Violets are blue. We believe in facts; Trump hasn’t a clue.”

    I like the “Grab facts sign.” Never tried to pluralize pussy, but I think he had it right.

    Speaking of clueless, I try to call Cory Gardner’s office every week (202-224-5941) I begin with, “I’m 4th generation Coloradoan and no one has paid me to call you.”

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