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March for Decency: My thoughts after the Science March on Washington

Here On Out: An Earth Day Op Ed.

By Jack Wheatley

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I landed in D.C. a couple hours after the large Science March on Washington occurred on the National Mall. After settling into our hotel room, my dad and I decided to take the metro down to see if there were still people protesting. When we saw that the crowds were gone, he asked me if I wanted to head back. But something stopped me. Strewn all across the lawn and paths were battered and used up signs, signs from the same march preaching about protecting the planet, ones that read “Science Is Not A Liberal Conspiracy” and “Give a hoot, don’t pollute.” It made me upset, furious actually. I consider myself an active conservationist and proud science writer, I wanted to march with them. And I know this wasn’t the majority, and I know it probably wasn’t even 25%, but it’s still a big deal. I think America has a problem about practicing what we preach, and that problem is killing us, literally.
I think we all like to believe that we are doing the most we can to protect the environment. We turn off the lights, don’t let the water run when brushing our teeth, bike to work once a week, but there’s a larger issue here. As much as we like to think we are doing are best, the most crucial tasks at hands are things we refuse to give up or address. That new coat you decided to buy instead of patching up your old one. The “next time” mentality when deciding whether or not to bring reusable bags into the supermarket. Deciding to buy the nonorganic large strawberries. The things we as Americans know as most detestable, pollution, artificial eating, and over consumption, we refuse to let go of.
I drive an old car, one that puffs clouds out the back every time I leave for school in the morning. I’m not unlike the rest of the country. In our defense, it’s not 100% our fault that we aren’t living as clean as we should be.
Former President Obama signed a bill into office in 2013 that worked to protect Monsanto, a leading GMO corporation who pushes against properly labeling what’s in our foods.
Our country continues to work alongside big oil and gas companies who make it harder to invest in sustainable energy. But just because the hurdle is higher doesn’t mean we can’t find the means to jump over it.
We as a people need to constantly be looking for new ways to brighten the road ahead, more than just holding up signs for a few hours. Call your Congressmen, knock on doors, hand out fliers. Buy less stuff. Be grateful for what you have. If you don’t want something, donate it, give it to someone who needs it. Try to eat local. Supporting small businesses is crucial for cleaner living. Go out and enjoy the outdoors. Tell your friends about what there is to do in nature, and make every day, Earth Day.

 

 

Featured image from CNN, rest are author’s property.

1 Comment

One Response to “March for Decency: My thoughts after the Science March on Washington”

  1. Lena Fox on April 26th, 2017 9:19 AM

    Nicely said Jack!

    [Reply]

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Flushing's High School's Independent Voice
March for Decency: My thoughts after the Science March on Washington