Saturday, April 22, 2017

March For Science Miami ... by gimleteye #marchforscience

Follow me on Twitter: @gimleteyemiami

Today's March For Science joins Miami to cities around the world and people planting their feet, signs, and spirit "for" science. The Miami event starts at Museum Park downtown at 11AM and will end at the Stephen Clark Government Center a short distance away.

Yesterday, a Twitter post reflected my feelings:

I can't believe we have to march for FREAKING SCIENCE, either, but such is the effect of a state government under Rick Scott and a federal government under his buddy, Donald Trump. Both are driving science into the shadows and deep into the weeds.

This isn't an academic issue. It is a matter of life and death. For example, there is evidence -- we have documented on our blog -- that the state of Florida is withholding data on rare pediatric cancer clusters in Florida. It is infuriating. Outrageous. Despite the corporate runs for cancer, the people wearing pink or yellow wrist bands, politics continues to conspire against science.

Moreover, it is appropriate for the March Against Science in Miami to end at County Hall. County commissioners and the executive mayors of Miami-Dade, Florida's most populous county, routinely use science as cannon fodder in service of big campaign donors and powerful special interests.

Exhibit #1: Florida Power and Light's failed cooling canal system at Turkey Point in Homestead. For DECADES, FPL dodged the manifest evidence that its cooling canals were leaking hyper saline water underground in all directions: toward population centers, drinking water wells, and into Biscayne National Park. Politics allowed FPL to avoid its legal obligations.

Exhibit #2: The Miami-Dade West Wellfield. This wellfield supplies 2.2 million Floridians with most of their drinking water. Not only did Miami-Dade County Commissioners -- many current commissioners included -- shovel science to the side, allowing development and rock miners to encroach on the wellfield protection zone, they subverted science showing the danger for many years.

Exhibit #3: The South Dade Watershed Plan. A decade ago the nation's most expensive and intensive science-based effort mapped a plan for future development in the remaining open areas of farmland in West and South Dad. When the plan -- costing about $15 million -- was finished, county commission took the science and put it on a shelf due to opposition from large political donors in farming, rock mining and development. This is particularly relevant today, because the study considered low lying, flood prone areas in South Florida that will be impacted by sea level rise and climate change.

The county commissioners who have been invited to join the march today can and will no doubt make the case that they support science.

County Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava, for instance, promoted and supported a science-based resolution calling for land acquisition in the Everglades Agricultural Area in 2015, that her fellow commissioners supported. Once the sugar industry got wind, however, in 2016 a more specific science-based appeal to the state legislature did not pass the county commission and withered instead.

In the current session of the Florida legislature, science has been further shoved into the background as Big Sugar wages a battle with more than 100 lobbyists to thwart the will of the people. Based on science.

I've been an observer how politics wrecks science-based decision making for close to three decades. It is and time for younger generations to become involved because the ultimate collision of science and politics is the one over climate change. Gov. Rick Scott and US Senator Marco Rubio, and most of the GOP in Florida, are climate change deniers. So is President Trump.

I marched in the Vietnam War. I've marched for women's rights. I marched for the 2000 recount of the presidential election. I marched for the Homestead Air Force Base and for the national parks and for the environment. I can't believe in 2017 we have to march for FREAKING SCIENCE. But more than march, people who believe that democracy depends on fact and science have to vote.

PS. If you miss today's march, there is another next Saturday 1PM, April 29 on Earth Day at Jose Marti Park.


Anonymous said...

March for $cienti$t$, say what it really is. The $upport for bogu$ conclu$ion$ $upported by faked tabulation$. Taxpayer$ $$$ going to hack$ driven by a pre-conceived agenda.

Answer to Anonymous1 said...

Anonymous, you should go live with the Amish then, why would you care to write a comment on a computer if this is all about money and not real science, as if the people denying the science didn't have an agenda themselves...

Anonymous said...

Agenda= $$$

The journal Tumor Biology is retracting 107 research papers after discovering that the authors faked the peer review process. This isn’t the journal’s first rodeo. Late last year, 58 papers were retracted from seven different journals— 25 came from Tumor Biology for the same reason.

March against fraud!!!

Anonymous said...

The ill-conceived South Dade Watershed Plan was shelved because it got zero buy-in from the municipalities and their electorate within the plan area. The plan’s authors failed to conduct the proper due diligence to understand that there are many long-time, well-established, very desirable residential neighborhoods within a half mile of the U.S. 1 corridor. If these residents (who are generally voters) had the insight to buy close-in homes, in well-established neighborhoods, years before the plan’s inception, you can be sure they won’t take kindly to a self-serving, urban planner’s idea to build 200’ tall, high-density, developments where four-story, commercial zoning currently exists. I don’t think any resident would mind new development in moderation along the corridor but, let’s face it, developers and the politicians that gorge themselves silly on their development-driven campaign contributions, seldom do anything in moderation.

Anonymous said...

Science March Co-Chair is the eminent PhD William (Bill) Nye, aka The Science Guy.

Answer to Anonymous1 said...

You forgot to include that most of the journals pulled were from China, so your point is moot as to what it has to do with this march... Bad examples can be found in everything, but that doesn't make the entire premise a waste... Bad science should be corrected, and that is what happened, what do you propose? That we go back to the days of the cavemen? Or that we spend money invading countries? Oh, wait...

Anonymous said...

There is a Jekyll and Hyde aspect to science that can be quite scary at times:

Update 7:06 P.M. Eastern: The EPA says it's reversing course and keeping chlorpyrifos on the market.

Ah, Scott Pruitt and the EPA. Mad science at work.