Earth Day Marches for Science Planned for Rapid City, Pierre, Sioux Falls, and Aberdeen

Earth Day is coming and so are the Marches for Science!

On Saturday, April 22, believers in science, logic, and facts (that should be all of us) and the foundational role of reason in democracy will rally in Washington, D.C., and around the world to protest the anti-science attitude of the Trump Administration.

Four marches are in the works here in South Dakota:

  1. Rapid City: 9:00 a.m. MDT, starting at School of Mines Surbeck Building
  2. Pierre: 2:00 p.m. CDT, starting at federal building/U.S. Courthouse, 225 S. Pierre St.
  3. Sioux Falls: 10:00 a.m. CDT, starting at Carnegie Town Hall, 235, W 10th St.
  4. Aberdeen: 1:00 p.m. CDT, starting at Central Park, across from the ARCC.

Earth Day March for Science April 22 2017 Aberdeen South Dakota

If you join me here at the Aberdeen march, we’ll walk a square through the heart of Aberdeen: Central Park to the public library, then over to Main, up to red Rooster, and back to Central Park, where we will find the Green Aberdeen Earth Day Fair in full swing at the Briscoe Building.

Bring a sign, and bring a scientist!

41 Responses to Earth Day Marches for Science Planned for Rapid City, Pierre, Sioux Falls, and Aberdeen

  1. Enno Limvere

    Who is in charge of the Aberdeen walk?

  2. “In charge” sounds scary… but Enno, for the moment, I am! What would you like to know?

  3. Mr. H, since you are in charge of this walk, will you vet the participants to make sure you don’t have rabble rousers, and I am sure there are some, who try to intertwine with your marching squads and then at the most in-opportune moment they break out signs against your march mission or they throw eggs at the judges or some such behavior, like that which many of the antis and other rabble rousers like at the NoDAPL camps did? Since you are in charge I am sure you have thought of all these eventualities. Can you share your operational plans?

  4. Enno Limvere

    Just thinking we could help each other out as we will be outside if the weather is good on the West side of Central Park. There will be live music outside.

  5. Enno! That sounds great! We’re planning to start our march from the SE corner of the park (we won’t get in your way), then, as you can see from the route above, come right back to where you’ll have your event in full swing. Do you foresee any problem with that plan?

  6. Grudz, I will tolerate no violence from anyone taking a walk with me around town. Our whole point is that we base our discourse and decisions on facts and reason. Individuals not committed to that principle—like Donald Trump—will not find themselves welcome.

  7. Douglas Wiken

    Check for parade permits, etc. so Daugaard and goose steppers aren’t putting a protest area around you and siccing he highway patrol on you with clubs and tasers.

  8. Douglas, good caution! My city councilor Jennifer Slaight-Hansen informs me that Aberdeen requires no permits for public demonstrations. As long as no one blocks traffic in the right of way, protestors are free to march, chant, wave signs, the whole nine First Amendment yards. If law enforcement officials come on the scene, we’ll ask them to join us and share their experience with the importance of science and factual evidence in their line of work.

  9. If you wanted to start on our side and get a send off that would be fine. If you have any promotional material on this send it to greenaberdeen@yahoo.con and we will post it on our website and media.

  10. Thanks, Enno, for your willingness to help. Right now the post you see here and the Facebook event page linked above are all the promotional material available. Stay tuned—I’ll share more as the event grows!

  11. Lower birth weight is better than glowing birth weight. Socioeconomic reasons seem to be the major culprit in lower birth weight as what is currently the causes on Indian reservations right here in South Dakota. Tennessee Valley is also known for its very poor while population as well as black population, it is poverty stricken. A lot of the land in that area was taken to build the TVA. For better or worse, the government took a lot of prime land and covered it with water. If you see the impact of doing the dam building here in South Dakota, you will see that the government took vast amounts of treaty lands from the Indians and flooded it for the dams. The best way to solve these socioeconomic issues such as low birth weight is through better healthcare and a better economy or what I would call, jobs. Put in another way would be for the government to keep its word.

  12. Robert McTaggart

    Let’s not ignore science-based methods of delivering clean energy. The study shows that has real-life consequences.

  13. Don Coyote

    It appears the SJWs are causing quite a schism in the March for Science with their calls for diversity, equality, immigration, and lord knows what else. Some of the organizers/scientists have left the march because of it adopting a left-wing political tone

    “At the heart of the disagreements are conflicting philosophies over the march’s purpose. In one corner are those who assert that the event should solely promote science itself: funding, evidence-based policies, and international partnerships. In another are those who argue that the march should also bring attention to broader challenges scientists face, including issues of racial diversity in science, women’s equality, and immigration policy.”

    Why am I not surprised.

  14. what is/are SJWs mr coyote?

    “broader challenges scientists face”–what’s wrong with being liberal facing ever more complex issues? Republicans have politicized climate science, tobacco science, pollution science, oil spill science…what ever else yah got?

    “Why am I not surprised.” you taking shots at liberals and progressives because…?

  15. Very good link Mr. Coyote. Of course there are conflicting philosophies in this, it has to do with encouraging more people into the science field. “Regardless, many people will likely analyze the list to gauge whether it reflects the diversity of the scientific community at large and whether speakers address some of the key barriers people face to joining scientific professions.” It would not be a surprise to me that this organization was hacked by the russians as well to complicate matters further.

    leslie is correct on her lack of shock that the shots taken seem to be only at liberals and progressives, but leslie should also note that the shot Mr. Coyote is also taking, is directly at women. The last thing a republican wants is a thinking scientific woman out there competing in his man’s world. Women also seem less likely to go against what they feel is against the fairness of an honest discussion on things like climate change and pollution. So young ladies, get into this field. You tend to be smarter with numbers and with solving complex issues. Parents, encourage your girls to strive for this field in math and science, the world needs you.

  16. Robert McTaggart

    If this is really about the science of climate change (i.e. it’s on Earth Day), then it should be about recognizing the threat and deploying solutions to fight it.

    There will be plenty of pro-solar and pro-wind supporters. But I suspect there will not be much pro-nuclear sentiment at the rallies. So let’s believe the science of climate change, but not the scientists who are working on nuclear energy. But hope springs eternal. It’s not a matter of only solar/wind or only nuclear…we need all of them to combat climate change.

    We do need more women in the STEM fields. Nationally in Physics the rate is not quite 25% at the B.S. and Ph.D. levels. In the early 70’s this was closer to 5%. Send them my way…we’ll take ’em. They can even study materials science and make a better solar cell and I’ll love it :^).

  17. Douglas Wiken

    How many years from start of construction of a nuclear facility to actual production of energy and return of all energy needed for production of the facility?

    Apparently for solar it is about a year and a half.

    And, if you are going to push nuclear energy, push the Thorium salts systems, otherwise, nuclear energy is another retrograde problem.

  18. Good point Mr. Wiken, how many more decades before the ones they started a decade ago can come on line? Doc just loves to troll. Here is something that has been discussed by I believe Cory and others. If trump and the republicans would put a little more resources into renewable energy, the rust belt would be greased and polished with more work than they could do. I would say that it would eliminate unemployment (there has to be some unemployed do to a multitude of reasons).

  19. Robert McTaggart

    When France built up their nuclear fleet (to the point of generating 70% of its electricity from nuclear), the time from licensing to building was much shorter. So the licensing and the regulatory framework can be much better than it is today. And there is current legislation aimed at doing just that for the new reactor designs.

    The bigger problem for constructing nuclear plants in a timely fashion is the fact that we haven’t been building them. Only recently have a couple of new ones been under construction. Now China and Russia are moving in on what the United States developed first. Great.

    Solar can be built more quickly, but it needs to be replaced more often too. Plus there are other life cycle costs not captured yet (like carbon from natural gas or energy storage or recycling). Economically the current nuclear plant designs suffer at the beginning, but overall do great over the 40-60-80 year time frame.

    Let’s allow the scientists and engineers to build and prototype the advanced reactors (molten salt ones included!) that address your issues with nuclear power. Science is supposed to help make the world a better place.

  20. Robert McTaggart

    Yes Jerry, let’s have more wind and solar too. But let’s avoid emitting more carbon in the name of building more solar and wind. That is what is happening now when we burn natural gas to make up the difference.

    So you can spend a lot of money developing battery storage that isn’t commercially available, or build load-following nuclear plants that can be built now. We’ll probably do both.

  21. Robert McTaggart

    “Reuters surveyed 32 utilities with operations in the 26 states that sued former President Barack Obama’s administration to block its Clean Power Plan, the main target of Trump’s executive order. The bulk of them have no plans to alter their multi-billion dollar, years-long shift away from coal, suggesting demand for the fuel will keep falling despite Trump’s efforts.”

  22. If we changed from homogenized milk to pasteurized milk, we would cut emissions drastically. Not only in the need for milk cows, but for the need of the grains to feed them. We would also cut back drastically on the amount of energy each supermarket has to utilize the keep the homogenized milk from spoiling. Think of the tens of thousands of tons of cheese we have stored in caves in Missouri for some kind of fondue party I guess. By changing things like that, it would improve our grid system immensely. The Farm Bill would actually mean to regulation of farms and change the way they operate to bring them an honest business plan. No more CAFO to pollute the water and air and to stop bringing illegal help in to exploit.

    Nationalize the grid system to make it a priority for the consumers to have power to their homes regardless of weather conditions. Make it underground along with high speed internet. Not to difficult as we have most of west river currently getting that kind of internet service even in the most rural areas. Hey, it is 2017, not 1917, demand better.

  23. Robert McTaggart

    I’m all in favor of allowing consumers to power their homes regardless of weather conditions ;^).

  24. Doc- I don’t get your logic: “more wind and solar too….avoid emitting more carbon in the name of building more solar and wind. That is what is happening now when we burn natural gas to make up the diff.”

  25. doc-I was a the 1st earth day and it has never been so limited. we got big brains!!

    as Gen. Stan McChrystal would say….in
    kind of an intelligent position as we approach “earth day”. Green peace sign. Its for our children and grandchildren, republicans. get yer head out!!

  26. Robert McTaggart

    As you know leslie, wind and solar are intermittent. Because they are not necessarily available when the demand is present, something else must generate the electricity that people use, when they want to use it.

    Today we do this by burning more natural gas. So building more solar and wind will bring along increased consumption of natural gas if nothing else changes.

    If energy storage does not work or is not enough, all I am saying is that we should consider load-following nuclear as a carbon-free option to make up for intermittent renewables. But if climate change isn’t an issue, get ready for more fossil fuels instead.

  27. Robert McTaggart

    “I think our community should focus more on eco-tourism rather than destroying the mountains and blasting the mountains away trying to get coal and polluting our streams…”

  28. Douglas Wiken

    RM, There are ways to store intermittent and stranded wind and solar energy that do not involve huge storage systems and which do not require coal or natural gas for backup. Also, you appear to be suggesting that replacing coal and natural gas with wind or solar energy would require more coal burning and natural gas burning. That does not seem to make sense.

    Denmark has coastal areas where there is surplus energy from wind at night. Residents use electric cars and charge the batteries at night. This effectively shifts the cost of storage to vehicle owners and reduces the capital expenditures by utilities. Wind and solar can be used to generate methanol and anhydrous ammonia with reverse fuel cells, etc. This pulls carbon, hydrogen, and perhaps oxygen from the atmosphere. This can then be used to generate power at a lower constant level than the maximum solar or wind rate. These systems may require a longer payback time than solar by themselves, but also make the necessity of fossil fuels or nuclear power less. These systems to mostly use energy produced at site of power generation make more sense than shipping SD electricity to the coasts via power lines. If regulation of wind power and solar power is left to the PUC, all they see is more power lines. That is their hammer and they think every energy nail needs to be pounded with that hammer.

    I am still wondering how long it takes to get enough power generated with current nuclear systems to pay construction costs. Figure it from time of construction start, and or, from time of construction completion and online production.

  29. If you all want to come to our March for Science, I’ll give you a special section of the park after the march where you can conduct a full seminar/debate on competing methods of power generation.

  30. Touché Cory, touché

  31. Robert McTaggart


    Replacing today’s coal and natural gas with some component of wind and solar will reduce the amount of carbon that is emitted. But demand inevitably increases as we convert more of our economy to use electricity. More efficiency will help reduce the slope of the increase.

    I am also a big advocate of changing the way we use energy. Wind and solar for direct battery storage that is independent of the grid demand? Terrific. Wind and solar plus gas to satisfy the demand in any kind of weather at any time? Not so much.

    Take your example of electric cars. Most people do not have one today. Practically, unless we stop doing something else with electricity, that energy must be added on top of what we already generate. Most will not be able to recharge off the grid with their own home system.

    How about another energy-efficient refrigerator for the basement? Heck, it’s energy-efficient! But we consume more electricity than we were using before…just not as much as we would have with an older model.

    If your goal is to solve the climate change issue, I don’t understand why emitting carbon helps. When we reduce carbon from coal and gas today with wind and solar, that is a win. When we generate more carbon indirectly by replacing nuclear with wind and solar, that is a loss.

    If the amount of carbon we emit per kilowatt-hour is less, and we generate a whole lot more kilowatt-hours, I fear we could end up emitting more total carbon than we are today. Please note that we have several billion people in the world who are not using the amount of energy we do today, but soon will. So it is not only about domestic use.

    I’ll try to find out a time-scale for you regarding the larger plants…it’s a fair question and I know it’s longer than anybody wants. But that is one reason we need to build the smaller plants and refine our licensing and regulatory structures that have grown organically. The other is to avoid emitting carbon indirectly from gas backup for renewables.

  32. Robert McTaggart

    “If you all want to come to our March for Science, I’ll give you a special section of the park after the march where you can conduct a full seminar/debate on competing methods of power generation.”

    You mean right next to the Farmer’s Market that has a steady supply of fresh tomatoes? :^)

  33. Robert McTaggart


    With regard to how long it takes to bake a nuclear reactor from start to finish…I found the following for large reactors only. This is prior to any streamlining that is being discussed for both large and small reactors.

    “As nuclear power plants are complex construction projects, their construction periods are longer than other large power plants. It is typically expected to take 5 to 7 years to build a large nuclear unit (not including the time required for planning and licensing). ”

    “ How long does it take to complete the review of a COL application?

    Generally, the NRC performs an acceptance review in 60 days, followed by a nominal 30-month detailed review for an application that references a certified design. Non-certified designs would take 48 to 60 months to review. The NRC also allows 12 months for completion of the hearing process. There are many factors that could impact the review schedule, including requests from the NRC for additional information and the timely
    availability of that information from the applicant, and other factors outside the control of the NRC. The agency develops specific review schedules for each application based on its completeness and quality. “

  34. Douglas Wiken

    Thanks for finding the info.

    If solar and wind is used to produce fuels from atmospheric gasses including carbon dioxide, how does burning those fuels then add air pollution. It seems to me the net effect would be zero.

  35. Robert McTaggart

    A larger question is how much fuel could you produce in that process per day? If they produce fuel, but not enough to make a profit, then it won’t happen.

    There are critical elements in coal fly ash that are suitable for many industrial applications, but the cost of extracting something at the ppm or ppb level is too high. The same thing may occur with extracting CO2 for fuels (400 ppm) unless you process a lot of air through your design….which takes more energy.

  36. Don Coyote

    @Jerry: “the shot Mr. Coyote is also taking, is directly at women.The last thing a republican wants is a thinking scientific woman out there competing in his man’s world.”

    Is that right? Then I guess as a Republican and a man I’ve failed since I’ve raised a daughter who became a scientist (PhD in chemistry specializing in NMR spectroscopy). So don’t lecture me on holding women back in STEM.

    The fact remains that this march is becoming less and less about science and more and more about policy and failing left-wing politics.

    @leslie: SJW = Social Justice Warriors: A pejorative term for an individual who repeatedly and vehemently engages in arguments on social justice in a shallow or not well-thought-out way.

  37. Robert McTaggart

    Perhaps of interest to ethanol and carbon capture fans…funded in part by DOE, in part by industry.

    “Led by the Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM), the large-scale major demonstration project is demonstrating an integrated system for collecting CO2 from an ethanol production plant and geologically storing the CO2 in a deep underground sandstone reservoir. The CO2 is a byproduct from processing corn into fuel-grade ethanol at the ADM plant through biological fermentation.”

  38. Douglas Wiken

    I was referring to methanol and anhydrous ammonia production using reverse fuel cells and other systems. The net impact of production and use would be near zero emissions. Some processes do not have a net zero because they utilize fossil fuels or waste from fossil fuel production, etc.
    George Olah, Nobel Chemist, wrote a book titled The Methanol an alternative to the idea of hydrogen being a primary fuel source. While not mentioned in the Wikipedia article below, Olah’s idea was that those process could be used for remote intermittent energy sources.

    Methanol can also be produced from CO2 by catalytic hydrogenation of CO2 with H2 where the hydrogen has been obtained from water electrolysis. This is the process used by Carbon Recycling International of Iceland. Methanol may also be produced through CO2 electrochemical reduction, if electrical power is available. The energy needed for these reactions in order to be carbon neutral would come from renewable energy sources such as wind, hydroelectricity and solar as well as nuclear power. In effect, all of them allow free energy to be stored in easily transportable methanol, which is made immediately from hydrogen and carbon dioxide, rather than attempting to store energy in free hydrogen.

    CO2 + 3H2 → CH3OH + H2O

    or with electric energy

    CO2 +5H2O + 6 e−1 → CH3OH + 6 HO−1
    6 HO−1 → 3H2O + 2/3 O2 + 6 e−1
    CO2 +2H2O + electric energy → CH3OH + 2/3 O2

  39. Robert McTaggart

    In terms of energy density butanol > ethanol > methanol.

    So beyond any chemistry differences, you have to generate more methanol to get the job done.

    The combustion of methanol still releases the carbon dioxide, it just goes through an extra step of going into the methanol before it gets into the atmosphere. If some of that carbon dioxide comes from coal in some fashion, then net carbon in the atmosphere would increase.

  40. Robert McTaggart

    I wouldn’t mind one of these in the backyard instead of roof-based solar.