Are Science Geeks the New Soccer Moms?


A little science for you on this fine (indeed, Super) Tuesday: The New York Times' always-correct, always-reliable John Tierney has a great wrap-up on where the candidates stand on various science-related issues.

All the candidates support more R&D (surprise, surprise) and more reliance on biofuels (yes, ethanol's appeal extends even after the Iowa caucuses). None of the candidates endorse my favorite policy, a carbon tax. Both Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama do support another approach favored by economists, a cap-and-trade system. They both also support an array of other subsidies and mandates ( many of which remind me of the boondoggles of the plans in the 1970s and 1980s that were supposed to lead us to "energy independence.") Mrs. Clinton's plan calls a doubling of money for basic energy research a $50-billion Strategic Energy Fund financed in part by oil companies. Mr. Obama's plan calls for $150 billion to be spent over 10 years but doesn't say how it will be financed.

Mr. McCain, unlike Mr. Romney, explicitly supports a cap-and-trade system to limit emissions. Both of the Republican candidates acknowledge that global warming is a problem but are less specific than the Democrats in saying what they'll do about it. They do, however, look to decrease carbon dioxide emissions by more reliance on nuclear power, a form of energy that is conspicuously absent in the Democrats' list of promises.

For more, including health care and InTrade elections futures markets, read the whole thing.