Science Issues Play Central Role as GOP Hopefuls Jockey for Position; Schwarzenegger's Brand of "New Centrism" Offers Sharp Contrast to Romney's Ostrich-Headed Appeasement of the Right
Matthew C. Nisbet, Ph.D. is Associate Professor of Communication Studies, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Nisbet studies the role of communication and advocacy in policymaking and public affairs, focusing on debates over over climate change, energy, and sustainability. Among awards and recognition, Nisbet has been a Visiting Shorenstein Fellow on Press, Politics, and Public Policy at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government, a Health Policy Investigator at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and a Google Science Communication Fellow. In 2011, the editors at the journal Nature recommended Nisbet's research as “essential reading for anyone with a passing interest in the climate change debate,” and the New Republic highlighted his work as a “fascinating dissection of the shortcomings of climate activism."
Science issues are lining up to be a big part of the political jockeying by the 2008 presidential hopefuls. Plans are in the works to make Framing Science the-go-to-site for news and insight tracking the candidates' strategies and positions. So stay tuned...but today, an update on the GOP side.
Former MA Gov. Mitt Romney has emerged as a hot ticket on the GOP fundraising trail, reportedly raising millions, and accumulating top staff to join his Boston HQ. Meanwhile, Washington buzz is that he is already the candidate of choice among Christian conservatives, based on his strong anti-abortion stance and his move to the right on stem cell research.
Senator John McCain, in contrast, hopes that science boosts him with moderate voters, helping to negate his hardline views on the war. McCain continues to push for his bill that would cap greenhouse gas emissions and that would set up an emissions credit trading system. Like fellow presidential hopeful Bill Frist, McCain flip-flopped his position on stem cell research, coming out in favor of expanded funding. "It's a very complex scientific issue," McCain (Ariz.) told NBC's Tim Russert in 2005. "But for us to throw away opportunities to cure diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's and many others I think would be a mistake."
Though he won't be running for commander in chief, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenneger is putting pressure on GOP presidential hopefuls to adopt pro-science stands on global warming and stem cell research. As part of Arnold's "post-partisan," "new centrism" strategy, the Governator stands in sharp contrast to right-wing appeasers like Mitt Romney. Here's how the Boston Globe's Darrin Jackson describes the contrast in today's column:
[Schwarzenegger] is now the nation's most prominent Republican elected official fighting global warming. While Mitt Romney, our own former Republican governor and now presidential aspirant, played to his party's ostrich-head right by removing Massachusetts from the regional agreement to charge power plants for greenhouse gas emissions, Schwarzenegger this month signed an executive order requiring the state to cut auto and truck emissions. The initative would cut the state's emissions back to 1990 levels by 2020.
Our new governor, Deval Patrick, announced this week that our state will rejoin the regional initiative. But Schwarzenegger is rightfully the new star of a very real drama because he is willing to cut loose from the six years of ignorant inaction of his party's standard bearer, President Bush. California alone is the world's 12th-largest producer of greenhouse gases. The United States produces a quarter of the world's gases with only 5 percent of the population.
When Rush Limbaugh whines that Schwarzenegger's rhetoric on global warming "is no different than what Greenpeace could say," the conservative talk-show host only adds to the notion of a good-as-can-get Republican (Romney had a shot at this notion, negotiating a healthcare expansion copied by Schwarzenegger, but choked on global warming and his frothing quest to kill gay marriage).
How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.
While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.
A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.
We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.
Using advanced laser technology, scientists at NASA will track global changes in ice with greater accuracy.
Leaving from Vandenberg Air Force base in California this coming Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. ET, the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 — or, the "ICESat-2" — is perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, and when it assumes its orbit, it will study ice layers at Earth's poles, using its only payload, the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS).
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