Obama vs. McCain: Where Do the Candidates Stand on Science Issues?

Prying answers out of the candidates about science-related issues this electoral season has proven almost as challenging as prying interviews out of Sarah Palin, McCain's elusive running mate. Aside from an early focus on the candidates' respective energy policies (see: their positions on offshore drilling), the press has shown relatively little interest in scrutinizing Obama's and McCain's views on matters of science.

Even the once controversial issue of stem cell biology, which, alongside gay marriage, helped mobilize the conservative base for George W. Bush during the 2004 election, has received little shrift this time around.

Economists Denounce Harper "Climate Plan"

Conservative policy “highly likely” to fail

Three top economists, led by Dr. Mark Jaccard of Simon Fraser University in Vancouver, have released an analysis (attached) of the Conservative government's climate policy, saying that, as designed, the might make no headway whatever in reducing Canadian CO2 emissions.

Jaccard and fellow economists Nic Rivers and Jotham Peters, say the Tory plan is particularly faulty on two counts: it sets “intensity targets” that allow allow absolute emissions to continue going up, and it allows companies to purchase “offset” that completely absolve the firm of making any CO2 reductions itself. Both of these policies are proven failures in actually limiting or reducing the total emission of CO2.

Are We Seeing Early Signs of a Planetary Croak?

Half of Europe’s amphibian species could be wiped out in the next 40 years. Scientists from the Zoological Society of London say that the combined force of climate change, pollution, disease and habitat loss and degradation has left many with “nowhere to run”.

After assessing the amphibians’ prospects, they predicted that more than 50 per cent of the 81 species native to Europe faced extinction by 2050.

"Drill Here, Drill Now" Hits the Jackpot!

Las Vegas casino tycoon Sheldon Adelson upped his ante in former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s unregulated issues-advocacy group in August, with a $750,000 donation that helped propel the organization to the No. 2 fundraising spot among so-called 527 political groups this election season.

Cynical New Democrats playing into Harper's hands

Canada's New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton continues to opt for cheap partisan opportunism over sound environmental policy - most recently decrying the British Columbia carbon tax as “unfair for ordinary working families” and tying it to Conservative Party leader Stephen Harper.

There was a time when the NDP had real credibility as Canada's most environmentally conscious party - a position that they have given over, apparently in equal parts, to the Green party and to Stephane Dion's Liberals.

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