New Mexico marches for science
Throughout Saturday, activists and others marched as part of the global March for Science, which coincided with Earth Day.
The largest rally in New Mexico took place in Albuquerque on the Albuquerque Civic Plaza.
In Las Cruces, more than 500 people marched through the city center on Saturday morning and then took part in a rally with speakers and music.
Las Cruces March for Science
In Santa Fe, US Senator Tom Udall, a Democrat, addressed the crowd and said that science was not a party issue and that “all politicians need scientists so that we can make good decisions.”
He also said that federal scientists who work at agencies like the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy, and the National Institutes of Health “should be able to do their jobs for the American people without worrying about political interference have to”.
Udall said climate change is “the moral, political and scientific challenge of our time and we must face it aggressively”.
Several people wore colorful costumes at Albuquerque’s event, including a person disguised as a dinosaur and a couple disguised as both a grim reaper and a medieval plague doctor.
Jackie Coombes, a microbiologist disguised as a plague doctor, said she was concerned about the consequences of the federal government’s cut in vaccines.
“We think it’s that easy to go to Walgreens and get a flu shot,” she said. “If you refuse that, people get sick very quickly.”
She added that Ebola is still a pandemic in Africa that “could just get on a plane and come here”.
“If we cut science down, people will die,” Coombes said.
Trey Smith, an Albuquerque high school teacher who teaches speech and debate, said he attended the rally because “the important thing is to show that there is no debate about science; it’s real, we have to trust him. “
“I try to teach my students that using evidence and critical thinking are important life skills,” said Smith. “It seems like we have a federal government that tends to shun science and facts, and I’m afraid what this will do to our future generation, our children.”