New Haveners To March For Science — And Jobs

Lucy Gellman PhotoWhen New Haveners march for science on Saturday, they won’t just be fighting climate change. They’ll be fighting for jobs in the state.

Legislators, union affiliates, faith leaders, scientists and environmental activists delivered that message Tuesday morning at Common Ground school, where they had gathered for a press conference on climate change and job growth in the state. The hour-long affair was part of the CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs, a collaboration between the Interreligious Eco-Justice Network (IREJN) and Connecticut AFL-CIO, the statewide chapter of a national network of unions.

Held beside Common Ground’s sun-soaked urban farm, the press conference was designed as a call to action before New Haven’s Rock to Rock bike ride and March for Science this Saturday at Common Ground and East Rock Park. Starting where the environmentally minded Rock to Rock ride ends, the march is one of hundreds taking place nationally on Saturday, followed by the People’s Climate March in Washington a week later. Rock to Rock meanwhile celebrates Earth Day, raising money for the city’s environmental nonprofits.

The call to march follows President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), statements debating the reality of climate change, and campaign promise to pull the United States from the Paris Climate Agreement.

New Haven pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions earlier this year; now many of its advocates are setting their sights on the state. Taking a page from Independent U.S. Sen. Angus King of Maine, U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy argued that Connecticut should start invoking the “rototiller rule” — that if you borrow something, you should give it back in even better condition as a gesture of respect — before warning that “the clock is ticking on our ability to prevent disaster.”

“I can’t believe we’re having a march for science,” he said. “It’s ridiculous. It’s like having a march for two plus two equals four.”

Murphy and other speakers added that fighting climate change isn’t just about protecting the environment — it’s about creating jobs and making Connecticut’s economy stronger. Pointing to the state’s forays into solar energy and alternative plant- and animal-based fuel sources, Murphy repeated a point he has made on stops to the city and state before: Some country is going to get the majority of renewable energy jobs. “Why should it not be the United States?” he asked.

Mustafa Salahuddin, president of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 1336 in Bridgeport, added public transportation to that list. Citing the nearly 40 percent of statewide greenhouse gas emissions that come from cars and trucks — and the increased rates of asthma they have caused for kids in New Haven and Bridgeport — he argued for increased bus funding and route expansion from Connecticut’s Department of Transportation. Addressing a public health issue for cities with poor air quality could also create more jobs in public transportation, he argued.

“Let’s join in the fight to make our air cleaner,” he urged the crowd. “Get on the bus, and march in the streets.”

The March for Science New Haven takes place this Saturday, April 22, at 2 p.m. in East Rock Park. For more information, visit its website. There are also New Haven and Connecticut buses heading to the People’s Climate March on April 29; to find out more about those, click here . 

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posted by: SparkJames on April 19, 2017  8:01am

If we lived in a system dominated by multiple viable political parties rather than this useless duopoly, I wouldn’t mind so much when politicians
insert themselves into people’s activism. Politicians profit off the divide and capitalize on the polarity. They need to sit down and listen or go away.

posted by: Noteworthy on April 19, 2017  9:26am

Silly Season of Protest Notes:

1. There are no truer words:  “I can’t believe we’re having a march for science,” he said. “It’s ridiculous. It’s like having a march for two plus two equals four.” Chris Murphy.

2. It is a waste of time and accomplishes nothing. This press conference doesn’t matter. None of the political hot air and buffoonery matters and working people into a frenzy doesn’t matter.

3. Want to affect change? Write letters to Congress. Call members of Congress. Do research and pass it on. Get involved in political campaigns across the country. These demonstrations are so pointless and powerless. It just feeds into the hands of people like Murphy and Blumenthal who spend their entire political life and commentary criticizing, being outraged or “so very concerned” about some problem while working part time in Washington and the rest of their week preening and posing for the press and the people like a couple of peacocks.

posted by: Dkrause on April 19, 2017  12:26pm

March for Science -
Three of the top reasons:
1. Raising our voices to be heard
2. Galvanizing our energies to continue to participate in this democracy
3. Educating the electorate

Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/events/123856048151157/
Website: http://www.sciencemarchnhv.org

posted by: N'Zinga Shani on April 19, 2017  1:13pm

ACT-UP EFFECTIVELY: WRITE LETTERS TO, AND CALL, MEMBERS OF CONGRESS
Not every issue lends itself well to a march, or to only a march.  Any over-used strategy, regardless of how effective at first, is at risk of losing its potency.  Science and jobs need specifics. A march lone might not be the most effective strategy.  Let’s engage more people.
•  Get together with people on your street; design effective strategies to combat the craziness in DC.  First try to convince the doubters you know; give them FACTS! We the American people need to also convince (ALL) members of Congress that this is important to us as a nation.
•  Get your local, state and Congressional representatives to meet with groups to discuss the changes desired.  Talk to the pastors, community leaders and business representatives in CT
•  Yes, climate change is damaging; tell people why.  Tell us the dangers versus the benefits!
•  Design short info statements. Teach people to care about this by telling them why.
•  Appeal to CT’s media outlets for effective PSAs; brainstorm in small groups to write PSAs.
•  Reach out to local and state media:  WYBC, WNHH, WTNH, WFSB, WVIT, radio stations.
•  Put bold stickers on your vehicles and on your front lawn. Tell people why they should care. Show them how they are being affected.  Hold small group discussions at your house. ACT-UP!
•  Democracy works best when we have effective strategies that make a positive difference.
•  EMPHASIZE HOW THESE ISSUES AFFECT JOB CREATION IN THE USA AND IN CT!

posted by: JCFremont on April 21, 2017  10:28am

Do those science jobs include those in the big-pharma sector? Funny Senator Murphy would scoff at a march for 2 + 2 = 4. Well over the past two decades politicians and other “proggressive” thinkers have been making math less important and instead of looking new ways to teach and study how people learn math they have made it less important and even giving partial credit for 2+2=7 because, hey Jr. got the symbols right.

posted by: Dkrause on April 21, 2017  2:03pm

JCFremont, it may not have been clear from the quote, but in context, Senator Murphy was agreeing with you completely in his comment on the need to have a march for 2+2=4.  He was saying that we shouldn’t need to have such a thing, but in today’s world, this is needed.