Thursday, December 27, 2007

Congressmen join ScienceDebate2008 effort

In part to make up for the situation described below, I'm supporting an effort to get the presidential candidates to debate science and technology issues: ScienceDebate2008.

Today, that effort got a boost when two congressmen, Vern Ehlers, R-MI, and Rush Holt, D-NJ agreed to co-chair the steering committee. From the press release:
"Advancing science and technology lie at the center of a very large number of the policy issues facing our nation and the world - issues that profoundly affect our national and economic security as science and technology continue to transform our lives,” the two said in a joint statement. “No matter one's political stripe, these issues pose some of the most important pragmatic policy challenges the next president will face."

“We believe a debate on these issues would be the ideal opportunity for America and the candidates to explore our national priorities for the twenty-first century, and we hope candidates will wish to be involved in such a discussion,” they said.
Ehlers is the Ranking Republican of the Subcommittee on Research & Science Education of the House Science and Technology Committee. Ehlers has Ph.D. in physics from U.C.-Berkeley and taught at Calvin College in Michigan for 16 years. Holt is Chairman of the Subcommittee on Intelligence Policy and also serves on House Committee on Natural Resources. He has a Ph.D. in Physics from New York University and was assistant director of the Princeton Plasma Physics Lab.

I'm still hopeful this debate will happen during the primaries were there's less control over the content and structure. But a debate between the two major party candidates would get more coverage. Either way, the voters win.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Why aren't Sunday morning news shows asking about Global Warming?

(An intro for you international readers and those who avoid TV) All the major networks have a half-hour to one-hour show on Sunday morning where various pundits and news figures interview various White House and Congressional figures. I stopped watching these a while ago since they have an annoying conservative bias and only talk about what the Village Elders (pundits in the prestige press) think is important.

But because it is a reflection of what the Village Elders think is important, its telling that these talk shows, which frequently have presidential candidates or their spokesmen as guests, don't ask about global warming. We don't want them asking if its real. We want them to ask candidates what they're going to do about it.

The League of Conservation Voters have set up a website highlighting this issue and started a petition to hopefully get their attention. I encourage you to sign it.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Lets hear the candidates debate their solutions for global warming

Nearly all of the major-party presidential candidates have some kind of plan for dealing with global warming. But which is better? Who really knows his/her stuff? What about their support of science and technology in general which has suffered greatly under the anti-science Bush administration?

This should not be a minor issue but one of the biggest issues in the campaign along with Iraq and health care.

I've joined a group of science bloggers calling for a presidential debate focused only on issues of the environment, health and medicine, and science and technology policy. Strong support for these areas used to be a given but after 8 years of Bush, we need to hear specifics from the candidates.

You can get involved by submitting a question.

I'll recommend that Tim Russert not be the moderator.