March for Science is part of the equation in Park City
Event expected to draw hundreds to Main Street on Saturday
April 18, 2017
A march is part of the equation in Park City on Saturday.
Park City plans to mark Earth Day with a March for Science, a gathering meant to show support for ensuring public-policy decisions are based on scientific evidence. There will also be speeches by experts in a variety of fields during the event in Park City. The local March for Science is part of a nationwide movement planned on Saturday.
The march is scheduled to begin at 9 a.m. at the Brew Pub lot toward the southern end of Main Street. The marchers plan to descend Main Street to the walkway between Main Street and Swede Alley where the Franz the Bear statue is located. They will then move up Swede Alley to the Brew Pub lot, where a stage will be placed for a rally. The march itself is expected to last 20 minutes and will be followed by speakers. The event moves to the Santy Auditorium at the Park City Library from 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. with remarks by more speakers.
Josh Hobson, the lead organizer for the March for Science in Park City, said in an interview he moved to Utah for its natural beauty and is worried about its future.
"As a citizen, I'm concerned with our environment," Hobson said.
The March for Science is not designed to be political in nature. The environment and related issues, though, are oftentimes highly partisan as Democrats are seen as being more protective of the environment than Republicans.
Hobson said he attempted to design the event to be a "nonpartisan celebration of science." He acknowledged, though, the lineup of speakers is weighted toward figures who see climate change as something that is occurring.
Hobson, as an example, said coal producers hold political sway with President Trump and Gary Herbert, the Republican governor of Utah.
"Instead of investing in cleaner, renewable, we're still stuck on coal," he said, contending that Utah political leaders favor energy production over the environment.
Hobson acknowledged some state political leaders, such as Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox, are addressing climate change.
The March for Science organizers anticipate between 500 and 700 people will attend, down from the 1,000 estimate publicized as City Hall approved a permit for the event in late March.
The organizers drafted a speaker list heavy on figures holding doctorates in the sciences. Robert Davies is described as "Utah's own Climate Science Guru" while Brian Moench leads a group called the Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment.
Hobson said Nann Worel, a member of the Park City Council, is scheduled to present information about City Hall's environmental efforts. The municipal government has an aggressive program meant to significantly reduce emissions. There is worry that a warming climate may someday threaten the ski industry that is critical to the Park City economy.
The March for Science is expected to be the second significant issue-oriented event in Park City since Trump took office. The Women's March on Main, held during the Sundance Film Festival, drew up to 9,000 people to Main Street. The Women's March on Main also was not designed as a partisan event, but the crowd was heavily against the Trump administration.
For more information, see http://www.facebook.com/events/1515182551839119.