Save the Planet: Pierre Student Challenges Trump’s Climate Change Denial

The temperature broke 90 degrees in the nation’s capital today for the People’s Climate March. Tens of thousands of Americans brought their concern about the leader of the free world’s arrogant ignorance of science to the National Mall in temps twenty degrees above D.C.’s normal April 29 high. (Psst—Donald! Convert America to the metric system, and those Celsius temperatures will make it sound cooler.)

It wasn’t that hot last weekend in Pierre, but Josie Slaathuag’s March for Science speech boosted the temp a little. The Pierre Riggs junior and aspiring marine biologist would like the Trump regime to get real and fight climate change so she still has some marine biology to study when she graduates. She made this speech at last week’s March for Science in Pierre—video courtesy of her mom Missy, via Facebook:

Hmm… junior, graduates next year… but dang! Gotta be 25 to run for Congress, 21 to run for Legislature.

Thanks, Miss Slaathaug, for speaking for the truth! Some of us grown-ups will keep trying to stop other grown-ups from destroying your world.

16 Responses to Save the Planet: Pierre Student Challenges Trump’s Climate Change Denial

  1. Why would not the Governor crack down on this kind of rabble rousing? If people in Pierre are going against the grain it is no doubt going to get a few heads rolled. I suspect tolerance is low with the new ethics commission monitoring all goings on in the town.

  2. Gosh that felt good to read and watch! Thanks Cory!

    Too bad we ain’t got no marine biology way out here in South Dakota. Looks like we’ll lose that smart one along with the many other countless generations of kids who left this state for a more interesting way of life.

    …Our economy is the one biggest thing that breaks up families. In this case though, it will be this young woman’s interest in science that does it.

  3. Just blame it on science. It feels better that way.

  4. Hang in there, Adam: raise sea levels, and maybe we can go whale watching over Dan Lederman’s house.

  5. Donald Pay

    I appreciate any time a high school student digs into a subject and has an opinion. There will always be marine environments, even if they are degraded or shifted by climate change. She needn’t worry: the need for marine biologists, terrestrial ecologists, and may other scientists who study the earth’s natural resources will always be there, and will probably increase with climate change.

    The immediate problem is whether scientists and academic and scientific institutions from the United States are going to lead the research, or whether other nations, like China, are going to eclipse the US in scientific understanding and innovation. The most important immediate issue is whether Trump’s short-sighted budgetary cuts will decimate research. This happened for several years during Reagan’s first term, and many government scientists, academic science departments and institutions were cut and research was throttled back. It took nearly a decade to get things back on track. I have always wondered whether the acid rock drainage problems with two of the Black Hills mines would have been avoided had research on this matter occurred at a faster pace during the decade proceeding the mining in the late 1980s.

    It might be wise for scientists to think about learning Chinese, because the Trump administration appears willing to decimate many scientific disciplines, and China appears ready and willing to pick up where the US is failing.

  6. Mr. Pay is right that the US and South Dakota need to dig in and lead the way #4Science. In fact, since there is no reason whatsoever to fear burying nuclear wastes in The Borehole, let us get it dug and learn and learn and learn. Stop fearing boogeymen you know aren’t going to appear.

  7. Donald Pay

    Grudz, it’s not boogeymen I fear. It’s the Congress, the President and the Department of Energy. I’ve said that this could be done as a science project, but it would have to be done much differently with real science being applied, not under the Department of Energy and mostly for the purposes of stalking a disposal site. There is just too much backstory and past research on this that indicates the Department of Energy is targeting South Dakota for the borehole for disposal, not scientific study.

  8. If we put South Dakota scientists, like Dr. McTaggart, in charge, and made it so he did not work for the Department of Energy but perhaps an oversight commission, independent of the 3 branches of government and able to write laws as they see fit, conduct investigations, and also leverage one or two $50 “Borehole Credits” per student enrolled in science programs funded by scraping that money off of their tuition and away from the University system, we’d really have something.

  9. Don’t let grudz drag you down a rabbit hole. Miss Slaathaug makes a solid statement about the importance of respecting science and tackling climate change.

  10. mike from iowa

    Slightly off topic but as of this minute my yard is covered with snow. Asparagus and apple blossoms are not amused.

  11. Robert McTaggart

    These particular boreholes would be focused on how straight they can drill in a more uniform geology. If they cannot do that in the simpler geology, then how will they be able to do it in a more complex geology where the waste is likely to be placed?

    But I guess when you have all of the answers ahead of time, you don’t need to practice the scientific method at all.

    So by all means, let’s stop doing any research that would help us safely isolate our nuclear wastes from the environment. That’s a great idea….we don’t need to solve any more problems anyway.

  12. Robert McTaggart

    Stopping progress on developing a better means of nuclear waste storage would have the adverse effect of taking away a tool to combat climate change, namely the production of electricity from nuclear energy.

    It also means spending more than we need to for storing and securing the waste we already have on the surface. Wouldn’t you rather spend that money on subsidies for wind and solar instead?

  13. The next mission is to rebut Mike Rounds typically fallacious prophesying about the Paris Climate Accord and it’s affects on the American economy…….. The man is as bad or worse than Trump with qualification of a first term high school chemistry student preaching to The National Science Foundation.

  14. Me can’t think of any other way to create jobs and be good to our environment than to drill a borehole in South Dakota.


    How about legalizing industrial hemp? State tax revenue, productivity, land values, and jobs would go up. And no one would be able to get high on it. In fact, only idiots are against industrial hemp.

  15. Robert McTaggart

    The borehole research would help solve a big problem, and a South Dakota group would quickly be a leading set of experts on the drilling for solving that problem.

    But if you are talking mass quantities of jobs, then build a nuclear power plant (perhaps to satisfy our demand and our neighbors’ demands), build a reprocessing facility (which would reduce the amount of waste that people apparently don’t want to safely isolate), or perform the manufacturing or compliance with standards for the domestic and global nuclear industry (which we have been losing to China, Japan, Russia, etc.). The latter would be the easiest to do.

  16. I’d rather see industrial hemp in South Dakota. One stroke of the pen and suddenly we can pay our teachers more and offset other taxes and fees with the revenue it would generate.

    But no, because drugies might could maybe try to get high on stuff that does not get them high – and so we stand here as a state – as ignorant as can be – about Agriculture, production and even the American society we live in.