Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson Answers 20 Questions on Science Policy

Compare his answers with Clinton, Trump, and Stein over at ScienceDebate.org

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ScienceDebate
ScienceDebate

The group ScienceDebate.org argues that the folks who would be our leaders should be knowledgeable about how scientific evidence and research effects public policy and economic growth. So they have asked each of the leading four candidates 20 questions related to science policy. Among them are questions on government funding of research, how to handle man-made climate change, what role does vaccination play in protecting public health, how protect biodiversity, what role is there for nuclear power in our energy mix, and what should be done about the problem of opiod addiction.

Just few excerpts from the Johnson/Weld campaign's answers are below

On innovation: First, true leadership in science and engineering cannot happen without a robust economy that allows the private sector to invest and innovate. Conversely, in times of slow or nonexistent growth and economic uncertainty, basic research and higher-risk development are among the first items to be cut. Thus, the most important policies for science and engineering are those that reduce the burdens on the economy of deficit spending and debt, and which reduce a tax burden that siphons dollars away from investment and into government coffers….

On climate change: We accept that climate change is occurring, and that human activity is contributing to it, including through greenhouse gases like methane, nitrous oxide, and carbon dioxide. Unfortunately for policymakers—the very activities that appear to contribute to climate change also contribute to mankind's health and prosperity, so we view with a skeptical eye any attempts to curtail economic activity….

On energy: The Johnson Weld administration takes a holistic, market-based approach to energy policy. We believe that no source of energy is categorically wrong or right, but some sources of energy may be procured or used incorrectly or used in the wrong applications, too often as a consequence of government interference and manipulation….

On vaccination: We believe the current legal infrastructure regarding vaccination is basically sound. There are currently no federal vaccination requirements, leaving those requirements largely to the states and school districts, consistent with the legal requirement that children attend school.

On scientific integrity: Science has too often been encouraged to oversell its results in the political theater. In order to have a fully informative exchange between politics and science, investigators and reporters should be as transparent as possible with respect to the degrees of uncertainty findings have.

Go here to read and compare the answers to the 20 science policy questions of all four leading candidates.

Disclosure: The Johnson/Weld campaign asked me to provide some input into their answers which I did.

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  1. A true libertarian would reject this “Science of Man” and accept the one true science of creation.

    That’s why I’m voting Trump 2016.

    1. GayJasy is way late on this. I read the news last week about “candidates answer science question.” You know what the first paragraph said? “We received answers from all the major candidates, except for Gary Johnson.”

      1. With that said, his answers are mostly good.

  2. Oh good, it’s time once again for our bi-annual climate science trial by ordeal.

    So, did he float or nah?

  3. In saddened that Johnson went from being “open” to the libertarian solution to climate change (carbon tax- and yes, that’s a libertarian solution) to now rejecting it completely.

    So he is a guy who accepts the science behind a changing climate and in essence is shrugging his shoulders saying “Oh well, nothing to be done.”

    There isn’t a free market on energy because there isn’t a cost on carbon. He is for nuclear? Fine, but nuclear isn’t happening without the government intervention Johnson abhors, it’s just too expensive. And no, that expense isn’t just regulations.

    He supports the EPA, he supports some environmental regulations, he accepts science…but he lost me when he backtracked on a solution.

    1. Trump’s answer stands out as being the only one that says, basically, deal with the consequences?& doesn’t assume climate change is bad, either.

      1. Eventually, technological innovation will solve this problem by leading JackandAce to finally figure out how to use the href tag.

        1. Yeah, don’t count on it.

        2. “…leading JackandAce to finally figure out how to use the href tag.”

          You can’t teach a brain dead zombie new tricks.

    2. I was just about to be a libertarian, but then…

      So honest and forthright.

      1. Well, not a “Reason libertarian,” anyway.

        1. Ladies and gentlemen, JackandAce, demonstrating that global warming environmentalism exists primarily as an excuse to look down at other people for being either anti-science or anti-progressive or whatever it is that makes you feel better than they are.

          Secondarily, as an ancillary concern, global warming exists as an environmental challenge mankind my face.

    3. “Oh well, nothing to be done.”
      Nothing to be done by the govt. Isn’t it the spin that the free market and technological wonders will take care of climate change? Hasn’t the marvel that is fracking already done its part to bend the curve by reducing evil coal’s use?

      1. That’s the spin. And that’s all it is.

        1. Are you suggesting burning methane does not produce less CO2 than burning coal or oil?

          But of course! That fits with your well demonstrated scientific ignorance.

    4. Taxes are initiations of force and therefore go against the very core of libertarianism which is NAP.

      So no, you’re totally wrong.

      1. If I’m wrong (and I’m not), then I’m wrong with other libertarians like Jerry Taylor and the Niskanen Center.

        1. They are also wrong.

          Imagine a scenario in which taxes are not initiations of force and get back to me.

          1. Ok wait here…

          2. In the meantime, you imagine a “free market” that doesn’t take into account costs. No need to get back to me.

            1. If I owe someone something, say I threw a car tire on their property, I ought to either clean it up or pay them for the inconvenience. But it was I who initiated force in this instance.

              In the same manner, if I throw deadly particulates onto another’s property or air, I ought to either clean it up or pay them for the inconvenience. But, again, it was I who initiated force in this instance.

              I exhale CO2. So do you, assuming you aren’t a robot or alien of some sort. It isn’t deadly, it doesn’t harm others. If you claim that at a massive rate I could hurt or kill another with it, I’d agree. The same is literally true of every other molecule. So you’d also have to say you wanted to “tax” O2 and N2.

              The other problem is, you said “tax”. And taxes are initiations of force by definition. So you are incorrect logically and grammatically.

              1. Alrighty then. Enjoy your day!

            2. “In the meantime, you imagine a “free market” that doesn’t take into account costs.”

              Free – that word does not mean what you think it means.

              Taxes imposed by govt mandate are not part of a truly free market. .

        2. Niskanen Center? Do you guys think JackandAce is really Willy Wonka Wilkinson?

    5. You should move away from the north and lessen your carbon footprint. But the climate is secondary to your needs isn’t it?

      1. My carbon footprint is bad enough for sure. I like NY. You know, the Mets.

        1. So you are willing to ask others to do what you won’t.

          At least you have the courage to admit it…

          If you don’t act like you believe you then why should we act like we believe you?

          1. I have to move to the south to do something? Yeah, I don’t think so. Big thanks.

            1. So you had admitted that you were wrong, got caught in an inconsistency, and withdrew the point.

              Once again, with that kind of “argument”, why should we act like we believe you?

              1. Fuck the climate. A short little government employee hates the south.

                1. If that is me you are referring to (not short, and own my own business), I love the south! Went to school there, worked for years in Arkansas, Texas, and North Carolina. Just like NY more.

            2. Why do you hate the south joe? Too many people of color?

              1. Have some fun today!

    6. Johnson went from being “open” to the libertarian solution to climate change (carbon tax- and yes, that’s a libertarian solution) to now rejecting it completely.

      Citation needed, because he didn’t say anything in his answer hear about the carbon tax – either for or against. He’s come out in favor of it previously, but I have yet to see him repudiate it.

      Once again, JackAss makes shit up.

      1. But maybe Reason got it wrong, eh?

        1. Yes. Reason gets many things wrong.

    7. Your problem the actual science says that Global Warming isn’t really a problem.

      Yes it is happening and yes man is behind most of it but the actual rate of warming does not have us reaching the supposed danger zone of +4 degrees celsius over the pre industrial average until sometime in the 2300s, much further away from today as the development of the internal combustion engine is.

      Given that natural technological change is going to have us largely off fossil fuel consumption well before then there isn’t any point in wasting resources on carbon mitigation strategies.

      1. Interesting you say that today. 375 members of National Academy of Science just published a letter they sent to Congress urging action on climate change. Just one quote from some scientists:

        “We are certain beyond a reasonable doubt, however, that the problem of human-caused climate change is real, serious, and immediate, and that this problem poses significant risks: to our ability to thrive and build a better future, to national security, to human health and food production, and to the interconnected web of living systems.”

        Immediate problem, as in now. Not the year 2300. But hey, maybe you’re right and those scientists are wrong

        1. Of course those ‘scientists’ are wrong.

          Climate does not move at a pace humans are capable of seeing as ‘immediate’. Humans are far too ephemeral for that.

          You need to grasp that ‘scientist’ does not mean the same thing as ‘god’.

          1. Jackass conveniently forgets 30,000 scientists signed the OISM Petition. Scientists who believe in the religion of AGW are actually a small minority.

            1. Thirty thousand! My goodness! That’s a big number, isn’t it? Wowie zowie.

              No, not really. That’s a minuscule fraction?three tenths of one percent?of all US science graduates, and the only qualification for answering the petition was that you be a science graduate (only people within the United States were polled).

              And how many of that 0.3% were climate scientists? Does it even matter?

              This is petition is strikingly reminiscent of that supposedly representing “architects and engineers” who suspected the WTC twin towers were brought down by explosives rather than those two planes that happened to ram into them.

              Ninety-seven percent of climate scientists accept the thesis of anthropogenic global warming.
              So what if your high-school biology teacher doesn’t buy it?

              By the way, it would be interesting to see the Venn diagram mapping the overlap between AGW deniers and creationists.

        2. Interesting you say that today. 375 members of National Academy of Science just published a letter they sent to Congress urging action on climate change.

          What would be more interesting is how many of them are sucking on the taxpayers teat. For people like jackass you only follow the money when it goes to stuff you don’t like.

        3. Immediate problem, as in now. Not the year 2300.

          In the year 2300 all those scientists will be dead … they want the taxpayers money now!

          But hey, maybe you’re right and those scientists are wrong

          They base their beliefs on the climate models that have failed spectacularly, draw your own conclusion.

        4. Immediate problem, as in now. Not the year 2300.

          In the year 2300 all those scientists will be dead … they want the taxpayers money now!

          But hey, maybe you’re right and those scientists are wrong

          They base their beliefs on the climate models that have failed spectacularly, draw your own conclusion.

    8. Johnson’s position was clear – the possible damage to the “environment” is less than that damage wrought by policies that dramatically increase the cost of energy. In terms of the quality of human life, more energy outweighs the actual changes that result from a degree or two of temperature increase.

      That’s not “do nothing” position anymore than refusing to bomb Syria is a do nothing position in relation to terrorism.

  4. Interesting what answers are given by politicians to these “foot in the door” questions. Also interesting how Trump’s answers are consistently the shortest.

    1. I almost laughed out loud at Trump’s climate change answer. He literally went “there is much still to learn. Here are four unrelated random actions that humans might do. We should decide what to do.”

  5. Overall, Johnson’s answers are best for us, but could be better from our POV. He’s far too much of a pot partisan, even after selling his interest in that biz, attributing to it much too big a role in dealing with opioids. What are the unspecified other non-opioid analgesics that are being suppressed by the medical-pharma-gov’t conspiracy?

    Trump’s answer on opioids implies the only problem is with illegal imports. I don’t know whether that’s a relatively good or relatively bad stance for a politician to take on the subject.

    Disappointingly, none of the candidates had anything good to say about loosening dispensing or prescribing of narcotics for pain patients, although I supposed Stein’s anti-WOD answer might be interpreted as encompassing that.

  6. No answers that pissed me off.

    That is good. I think he does better in written form than when speaking.

    1. Disclosure: The Johnson/Weld campaign asked me to provide some input into their answers which I did.

      He does better in written form when spoon fed the answers.

      1. If you think any of the candidates sat down at their laptops and just whipped out the answers extemporaneously, well I mean that’s a nice image.

        1. My odds that the candidates personally wrote the majority of these answers:

          Stein: 30%
          Johnson: 0.2%
          Clinton: -1%
          Trump: -1000%

          That said, whoever wrote Johnson’s bit really did do a nice job.

          1. whoever wrote Johnson’s bit really did do a nice job.

            You sure you want to give Ron kudos? It might go to his head.

      2. I have no doubt the ClinTrump campaigns also employed a team of science experts to provide their answers with Clinton at a definite advantage. Not sure who Trump could find but he paid somebody enough so his responses didn’t sound completely out of his ass.

  7. GJ gives pretty good responses, especially about moving science funding away from grants subject to the whims of politicians. Unfortunately, his response that essentially the government should do nothing about climate change right now will earn him the wrath of those who fucking love science, and who always vote for the D anyway. He should have stuck with the carbon tax idea for a little while longer at least.

  8. “Initiate a WWII-scale national mobilization to halt climate change, the greatest threat to humanity in our history.” – Jill Stein

    Okay Jill, but I’m not sure how we solve climate change by invading Poland.

    1. No, she wants to Nuke Japan. Twice.

      1. I believe the modern day term is “double tap”.

    2. I’m not sure how we solve climate change by invading Poland.

      Not sure, but exterminating 60 million+ people will reduce their carbon footprints to zero.

      1. No, their rotting corpses give off CO2, CH4, SOx, and other gases.

  9. Here are some climate change solutions that science-loving proggies should get behind, but won’t:

    1. Replace coal and oil burning power plants with pebble-bed or Thorium nukes.
    2. Biofuels other than corn-based ethanol. Brazil is very successful here.
    3. Spraying sulfate aerosols in the stratosphere to block out some of the solar radiation driving climate change. This happens in volcanic eruptions and can be done safely using jet aircraft exhausts or rockets; it is also reversible, but the mere mention of this will send most proggies into convulsions.

    Instead, all I hear are “solar panels, windmills, and electric cars” (humming Smurfs tune to myself)

    1. #1, yes.

      #2, yes, but, not cheap enough here. Brazil has basically free raw materials for biofuel. Just stop using corn would be good enough.

      #3 is fun, but I wouldnt trust the government to get it right.

    2. I’m still a little boggled that corn ethanol is still a thing, with all the other options that exist. For god’s sake, a Bush-era SOTU address championed switchgrass ethanol over ten years ago, it’s insane that the last steps to feasible large-scaling its production have seen basically no progress even amidst the climate change frenzy.

      1. Cellulosic ethanol is thought to be a net detriment to the environment by many. And it’s not competitive with oil at less than about $150/bbl.

        Brazil is destroying rainforest to make ethanol. The rainforest makes a huge fraction of the O2 in the world and consumes a lot of CO2.

        1. Methanol may be the way to go. It already proven itself (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Methanol_fuel) and can be made more easily with existing technologies, but we must keep the donations from big corn flowing.

          1. I worked on novel methanol processes in the ’80’s. It’s toxic, corrosive, soluble in water, and easily separates from gasoline or diesel. Not convenient.

            We had a test car fueled by neat methanol. It had tremendous acceleration and was great fun to drive.

  10. Uh oh. Looks like Lamar Smith is going to have to run some subpoenas on the SEC now as well.

    http://www.wsj.com/articles/se…..1474393593

  11. RE: “in times of slow or nonexistent growth and economic uncertainty, basic research and higher-risk development are among the first items to be cut.” That’s one of the reasons the libertarian idea of leaving basic-science funding to industry and charity is an unsound idea. Basic-science funding is too important to be left to the whims of the market. The free-market funding mechanism–convincing folks to invest their savings in the hope of earning profit–is also fundamentally unsuitable for basic-science funding, because the very large majority of basic science produces no direct profit to the scientists nor to their financial backers. The profits caused by basic science go to someone else.

    1. A reduction in the current “blank check” government funding of research would not necessarily be a bad thing. There are many very wealthy individuals and foundations who fund research already, and more would step up to the plate. In the current system, you can have a dozen researchers who all study nearly the same thing and publish nearly identical papers in different journals. Instead of working in the lab and taking risks with their ideas, scientists are encouraged to play it safe, so that their grants will get renewed, and at least half the money in every grant goes to the university where the scientist is a faculty member-supposedly to pay for running the lab, but most of it goes towards paying administrators’ salaries and grad students’ tuition, even if they are only doing research and not taking classes anymore. It also discourages collaboration with researchers outside of their immediate field because such publications do not count as much at grant renewal time. The government-funded research enterprise has changed very little in the past 50 years and is need of disruption to be more innovative and effective, but don’t look for the government to do this. I say this as someone with a Ph.D. in cell biology who was supported for many years by NIH grants.

      1. RE: “There are many very wealthy individuals and foundations who fund research already, and more would step up to the plate. In the current system,” Maybe they would, and maybe they wouldn’t. It’s a gamble, and if you bet (by cutting gov support of basic science) and lose, what you lose is USA’s status as the world’s primary problem-solver, innovator, and high-tech Mecca, brain-draining the rest of the world–an epic, calamitous loss. And if you bet and win, what do you win? Basic-science funding is less than TWO PERCENT of our budget. So even if you totally zero it out, you don’t win much, only enough to finance a very modest tax-cut or debt-reduction. So the wager you would make by cutting gov support of basic science and hoping charity and industry would take up the burden, is like if a bookie offers you a chance to wager your home and both your cars for a chance to win a bottle of beer and a stuffed animal. Very unwise, even if you feel very sure that you would win.

      2. RE: “and at least half the money in every grant goes to the university where the scientist is a faculty member-supposedly to pay for running the lab, but most of it goes towards paying administrators’ salaries and grad students’ tuition, even if they are only doing research and not taking classes anymore.” The cut the university takes is called “overhead” and it’s usually 35% or less. Not “at least half”. And why shouldn’t the prof’s grant pay his students’ tuition???

        RE: “It also discourages collaboration with researchers outside of their immediate field because such publications do not count as much at grant renewal time.” Bunk. Collaboration with profs in other fields shows that your work has applications and uses and implications beyond your narrow specialty, and that’s an ASSET when it comes to grant-getting. I know, I did NMR research in a lab with lots of applications in other areas, from biochem to geology to catalytic surface-science to ultra-low-temperature physics and superconducting electronics, and I was also an immunochemist (monoclonal-antibody guy) and benefited enormously from the fact that immunochemistry has applications in a very wide variety of biological, medical, and chemical areas.

  12. We believe the current legal infrastructure regarding vaccination is basically sound. There are currently no federal vaccination requirements Result 2016, leaving those requirements largely to the states and school districts, consistent with the legal requirement that children attend school.

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