In Trump era, Park City science supporters plan Main Street march
Event could stress climate change issues like melting glaciers, dying coral
March 14, 2017
There are plans underway to hold an event in Park City on Earth Day in association with the nationwide March for Science, a gathering that could be the second large demonstration held in the city since President Trump took office.
The March for Science is planned on April 22. City Hall in a recent report previewing the special-events calendar for Park City included an entry showing the March for Science. The recent report said attendance could run from between 500 and 9,000 people.
The high-end number of 9,000 would put the March for Science in the range of the Women's March on Main during the Sundance Film Festival in January. The January event, which involved a march on Main Street and a rally in the flagpole parking lot on lower Swede Alley, was, by a wide margin, the largest demonstration in Park City's modern era.
The March for Science is planned as a "celebration of passion for science and a call to support and safeguard the scientific community," the recent City Hall report says.
One of the figures involved in the March for Science organizing said details are still under consideration. Daniel Syroid, who lives in the Snyderville Basin neighborhood of Timberline and is a retired electrical engineer, said organizers plan to submit a revised application for the March for Science this week. The lead organizer, Josh Hobson, said the route is designed to start at the Brew Pub lot toward the southern end of Main Street, follow Main Street north to Heber Avenue, turn east on Heber Avenue to the flagpole lot on lower Swede Alley. It would be the same route as the Women's March on Main.
"We need to respect science to direct our public policy," Syroid said, noting issues like coral dying as a result of increased acid levels in the oceans as well as the melting of glaciers.
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He said Scott Pruitt, the EPA administrator, and other Trump appointees are worrisome to the scientific community. Pruitt is "basically a climate denier," Syroid said.
He also mentioned concern about global temperatures increasing and sea levels rising, two related issued that are rallying cries of the environmental movement. He said there is a danger there will be large numbers of refugees as the climate changes.
"Our world is going to be much less habitable for humanity," Syroid said.
He said, though, the event is not planned as a protest and it is designed to be nonpartisan. Syroid said the marchers will support the idea that science should be the "basis of public policy."
The City Hall report says the March for Science will require approval by the Park City Council. It also says it will be a challenge for staffers to craft plans to lessen the impact of the March for Science in the little more than a month before the event is scheduled.
The March for Science would follow three months after the Women's March on Main and, although not designed to be partisan, it could continue the local resistance to the Trump administration. The Women's March on Main was also not planned as a partisan demonstration, but the crowd was heavily weighted toward Trump critics as many at the event mocked the Republican president-elect on the day before he took the oath of office.