The Absurdity of Marching for Science as War Looms Large

by William Skink

I’m not sure the science of it, but after forest fires do their thing, delicious fungi emerge, but only when the ground gets warm enough.

This was the bounty from mother nature I sought today with my family, not the useless MARCH FOR SCIENCE I saw people plastering Facebook with.

I get the political context of marching for science. Trump and Republicans (and Christians) are lumped into the anti-science category, so of course the resistance to that now manifests as a march in the streets for that. For science.

I wonder how many people out marching for science today gave any thought to how the application of science in the pursuit of war has created weapons capable of destroying life on earth? Not all life, but definitely ours, which is all we really care about, right?

I’m not pointing this out thinking I’m any better. I’m really not. I have the same kind of phone my friends on Facebook have to post their pictures with, the same phone that requires certain mineral elements with fancy, scientific names, like lithium. Minerals that just so happened to have been “discovered” 9 year into America’s longest war, in Afghanistan:

WASHINGTON — The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.

The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.

An internal Pentagon memo, for example, states that Afghanistan could become the “Saudi Arabia of lithium,” a key raw material in the manufacture of batteries for laptops and BlackBerrys.

After getting dirty today hunting for mushrooms, I took a shower. But my hands are not clean. I type this post on a product that comes to me through the exploitation and suffering of others.

The way I deal with my complicity is by making art and helping others. Another thing I find helpful is refusing to allow myself to get sucked in to the dangerous political red/blue binary that blinds people to the anti-war consensus of the public, and the pro-war consensus (Republicans AND Democrats) of the political establishment.

Last weekend it was Trump’s taxes, this weekend it’s science. With war on our doorstep, what’s next on the march menu to nowhere?

When Trump launched missiles into Syria–missiles we wouldn’t be able to create without science–why did so many miss their mark? If it was a Russian missile defense system shooting them down, or a Russian hacking of the guidance technology directing the missiles, that means direct military action between two nuclear-armed nations has already occurred.

Why isn’t resistance to war the reason people are marching in the streets? We are on the verge of the lid blowing off, yet becoming cheerleaders for science on Earth Day is all the resistance can think to do?

What other conclusion is there other than we are fucked?

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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19 Responses to The Absurdity of Marching for Science as War Looms Large

  1. Big Swede says:

    Looks like we gassed the Syrians before Assad.

    “On Friday’s broadcast of HBO’s “Real Time,” host Bill Maher stated that Syria’s dysfunction started due to climate change, and “we talk about Assad gassing people, we’re gassing them too. We’re just doing it slower with CO2.”

    “Maher said, “[T]he Syrian problem started with climate change. It did. 75% of Syrian farms failed. A million and a half people migrated to the cities. That’s where it began. And by the way, these people who are starving, which is — whether you’re bombed or you’re sarin gassed, or you’re starving, death is death. But — I mean, we talk about Assad gassing people, we’re gassing them too. We’re just doing it slower with CO2.”

  2. Big Swede says:

    According to all the predictions made on the original Earth Day we truly are f’ed.

  3. Steve W says:

    No one wants to march against war, or to organize one. They are to busy mushrooming! What do you think?

  4. I’m not thinking, I’m preparing.

    • Steve W says:

      Are you preparing an anti-war march or mushrooms?

      • do you think you’re funny? I’m disaster planning, which is something I think everyone should be doing, especially with the recent blackouts.

        were you at the MARCH FOR SCIENCE Steve? do you really think these marches will do a goddamn thing other than make like-minded people feel smugly satisfied (temporarily) that they are taking a stand against Trump?

        • Back during the 80s Howard J. Ruff, in his book How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years, recommended we all have six months food stored. I might add to that that you be packing rifles, handguns, grenades, and a also take out a subscription to the Michigan Militia Quarterly. As long as you’re scared shitless, you know.

          But then, it could be just another TV war.

        • Big Swede says:

          Famous Howard Ruff quote. “It wasn’t raining when Noah built the Ark.”

        • This has been a steady mantra of the right wing, that even though you are evidently wrong in your predictions, you will eventually be proven right, whereas when others are right in their predictions, you say they will eventually be proven wrong. All we need do is put a time frame up, say one year, for your predictions to come true, after which you have to admit error.

  5. Turner says:

    I thought there were some pretty cringeworthy moments in that march for science. All those shouts for “Science! Science!” coming from people with little or no background in science sounded like religious fervor to me. Next week’s march against global warming should be more effective. Especially if it targets the fossil fuel industry.

  6. steve kelly says:

    I’m waiting for the anti-perpetual-war march. Or, the anti-political-corruption march. No cattle drives for me, thank you.

    • Big Swede says:

      Lately, every time the Left plans a protest a riot breaks out.

      • JC says:

        Worked for Vietnam.

        • First I’ve heard of it.

        • JC says:

          I realize that most snark goes over your head. Don’t think too hard about it.

        • So go slow with me then, get it down to my level. In saying “Worked for Vietnam” you were not actually saying that protest movements in any way affected the outcome or length of that war. You were saying the opposite. “Did not work in Vietnam either” was your true meaning. Then by saying the opposite of what you believe to be true, you are engaged in “snark”?

          I must study this thing called “snark.” It befuddles me deeply.

        • JC says:

          Snark Mark. Biting sarcasm. People protested during Vietnam, they turned to riots. Swede’s premise, while true, belied the notion that the rioting was not always caused by the protesters, but by police or provocateurs.

          Why do I have to explain this stuff to you? It’s like having to explain a joke. It ruins it.

  7. Big Swede says:

    To quote Carlin, “The earth will always be here, we’re the ones going away”.

    • JC says:

      Inevitable. Unless the next time a rogue planetoid crashes into us, the pieces are scattered too far apart to coalesce into anything but another asteroid belt.

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