A typical Saturday morning a year ago consisted of Food Network and the sweet smell of crepes frying in a pan. Last week, I caught myself watching Saturday Night Live with Melissa McCarthy making one of her outrageous impressions of Sean Spicer, or to be frank, Spicey. I couldn’t decide what was more ridiculous: the skit or the remark that, “absolutely nothing matters anymore,” as a Trumped-up Alec Baldwin appears in a mock interview concerning Comey’s influence in the Russian investigation. As ridiculous as the episode was, they had a point, the White House now is in complete disarray. Something that should be as secure as the government has frightened me in these past few months. Our planet is being threatened by plans of coal mines and big oil companies, gun laws are unraveling, and Planned Parenthood is being sabotaged by white men who know nothing about women’s rights. These fears have remained with me since the day Donald Trump put his hand on the Bible that fateful January morning.
I was lucky enough to be a part of the March for Science on Washington last month. I would have to say thousands or more flocked to the National Mall in Washington, D.C. for the march. My faith in mankind was at its wits end before the march. Seeing so many people who had the same fears as me about the future of our planet and the science field quelled these feelings. People of all ages, races, and professions were there. The event felt like a family reunion. I had never met any of these people in my life, yet I felt as if I knew them all. I think this was the biggest refresher for my dad, who would talk to just about anyone about his passion for changing both our earth’s climate and political climate. I had never in my life seen him so apt to talking to complete strangers. He even befriended our Uber driver, who to my dad’s surprise, was listening to NPR; one of the only radio stations my dad listens to. His name was Lazaro, a college student and young father. While his wife works, he takes care of their son, and took a job as an Uber driver to support his family. He shared the same exact fears as my father, and it was truly heartwarming to see these two perfect strangers come together, despite their differences in age and race.
My father made his own posters mocking Trump’s views on global warming. Complete strangers would walk up to us and ask if they could take pictures of us and our signs. In return, we would do the same. Each one was unique, quotes from the Lorax, Bill Nye, and Neil deGrasse Tyson were among our favorites. It’s as if my faith in humanity was completely restored in just one day. Even though the rain poured down, we continued to march and loudly chant, “Science not silence!”. It didn’t matter to anyone that their clothes were soaked and the colors from their signs were washing out. What mattered was what was right in front of us and above us; the air that we breathe and all of the young adults who shape the fate of this country. By not staying knowledgeable on the importance of science, medicine and technology, to just name a few, we wouldn’t have vaccines to keep us from getting sick or fuel to power our cars. We have been so privileged to live in a world where these things exist, but what happens when we no longer pay attention to science and the world around us?