I have asked my Congressman, Jerry McNerney, to sign on as supporting A Call for a Presidential Debate on Science and Technology.
Cross posted from The Progressive Connection
Taking from the “sponsors” web page, the following rationale.
Given the many urgent scientific and technological challenges facing America and the rest of the world, the increasing need for accurate scientific information in political decision making, and the vital role scientific innovation plays in spurring economic growth and competitiveness, we, the undersigned, call for a public debate in which the U.S. presidential candidates share their views on the issues of The Environment, Medicine and Health, and Science and Technology Policy. Science Debate 2008.
So far, 3 university presidents have endorsed this effort (Washington, Princeton, Duke) as well as 13 Nobel Laureates and 8 Congress Critters of both parties.
Unfortunately the only California Congressman to do so has been Sam Farr.
If we are going to have any technological solution to the problems that face us, we need leadership that knows what science is all about, that understands what it can do and, of equal importance, what it can not do. McNerney has that knowledge if he has the will to use it.
As for others… it is an open question. I would not hold Pelosi’s support of a renewable fuel standard in the recent energy bill as being based on science. It was more than likely based on being able to pick up a few Democratic votes in the traditionally red states.
We all know that the world in warming. In fact, it is warming much faster that originally predicted. We can watch reports coming from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bali.
So why are the political lists so silent?
I am of the opinion that most politicians do not want to hold their own record up to public scrutiny. LA Mayor Villatgairosa would fight Climate Change with a Million Trees and never asks where the water to grow those trees in the desert would come from.
Just to pick on a single Democratic nominee (The Republicans are hopeless on this issue except for McCain, and he is still pretty bad.) I would cite Barack Obama’s saving the world with corn based ethanol. It is not about anything other than winning votes in Iowa, to hell with the planet.
I could do the same with the rest of the Democratic Senate who voted 86-8 this morning on a new energy bill. They did not even have to call back Biden, Clinton, Dodd and Obama to win this vote, as they have compromised away too much to gain such wide support. Even then, one of the 8 was a Democrat from Michigan… it figures.
It seems that the real action is cooling off and a lot of enviros are getting very frustrated.
I grant the bill had some good things: improved CAFE standards for example. If Pelosi delivered that, good for her. But in essence, this bill is little better than the Bush positions in Bali.
I am going to start posting the press releases of Green Party Presidential Candidate, Kent Mesplay, at California Greening. At least, he is a scientist (PhD in BioMechanical Engineering) and his current job (for the San Diego Air Quality Control Board) puts him right in the middle of understanding what is happening.