One year ago, we wondered what would happen after a man who called climate change a Chinese hoax was elected president of the United States.
Certainly, 2017 will be remembered for a series of cringe-worthy political appointments, disappointing regulatory repeals, and controversial executive actions — not to mention Trump’s decision to exit the Paris Agreement. But it was also a year that birthed a new band of scrappy resisters who fought the climate-change denying, regulation-repealing powers that be.
As a result, 2017 was actually a pretty impressive year for resistance — and here are some of the efforts that led that charge:
Pipeline protesters fought back
Since the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline became nation news last year, Native American organizers at Standing Rock have galvanized pipeline protests across the country — from activists opposing the Atlantic Sunrise pipeline in Pennsylvania to those pushing to stop development of the Bayou Bridge pipeline in Louisiana. Members of Congress have asked U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions to prosecute activists as “domestic terrorists” as local authorities and developers struggle to quell determined pipeline protests.
Although the Trump administration dealt a blow to the national movement when it allowed construction of Dakota Access to continue this year, the Standing Rock Sioux claimed victory in court when a judge mandated that the pipeline’s developer, Energy Transfer Partners, conduct a new environmental review of the project and develop an oil-spill response plan.
Thousands of nerds marched on Washington
Leaving the typical stoicism of their laboratories and academia behind, thousands of demonstrators with advanced degrees joined the March for Science in Washington, D.C., this April to protest rollbacks on environmental regulations and funding cuts to research. More than 600 solidarity marches popped up in cities across the world, each ringing with rally chants like, “Who runs the world? Nerds.”
While the marches may be over, the movement is still afoot: March for Science organizers have established a nonprofit group to “build a global community of science advocates.”