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Vote for Science, 2012!

September 4, 2012

Brit Trogen

The 2012 American Presidential campaign has not been overly concerned with science. Trumped by the economy, social issues, and the vastly different personalities of the candidates, issues of science have taken a back seat. It makes perfect sense: climate change and scientific research are issues that only affect economically-sound countries, so thankfully we don't really need to worry about them during recession. 

 

But if for some crazy reason you're still interested in knowing the candidates' stances on science, I recommend taking a gander at sciencedebate.org.

 

 

 

 

A brief summary of the highlights:

 

On Climate Change


Obama: "Climate change is the one of the biggest issues of this generation, and we have to meet this challenge by driving smart policies that lead to greater growth in clean energy generation... My administration has made unprecedented investments in clean energy, proposed the first-ever carbon pollution limits for new fossil-fuel-fired power plants and reduced carbon emissions..."

 

Romney: "There remains a lack of scientific consensus on the issue — on the extent of the warming, the extent of the human contribution, and the severity of the risk — and I believe we must support continued debate and investigation within the scientific community... I oppose steps like a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system that would handicap the American economy and drive manufacturing jobs away, all without actually addressing the underlying problem..."

 

On R&D


Obama: "I strongly support investments in research and development that help spur America innovation and proposed a goal that, as a country, we invest more than 3 percent of our GDP in public and private research and development.. Under the Recovery Act, my administration enacted the largest research and development increase in our nation’s history..."

 

Romney: "I am a strong supporter of federally funded research, and continued funding would be a top priority in my budget. The answer to spending constraints is not to cut back on crucial investments in America’s future, but rather to spend money more wisely... Good public policy must also ensure that federal research is being amplified in the private sector, and that major breakthroughs are able to make the leap from the laboratory to the marketplace."

 

On Water


Obama: "Through partnerships with communities around the country, we are working to improve water quality, restore rivers and critical watersheds, and we are making headway in ensuring that our nation’s waters best serve its people."

 

Romney: "[America's water laws] have not been modernized in over twenty years and are now significantly out of date. Our communities and businesses must contend with excessively costly and inflexible approaches that impose unnecessary economic constraints and trigger inevitable litigation... I will modernize the federal laws and regulations governing water use to enable smarter, more collaborative, more flexible, and more cost-effective approaches..."

 

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I'd recommend reading the quotes in their entirety, as they make for a fairly comprehensive comparison of the stances of the candidates. Of course, by no means should any of this information play a part in determining your vote, should you have that option. It's not like science policy affects anyone here in the real world... Just sayin'.

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