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Exclusive: Interview with Senator John Edwards on Science-Related Topics

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Catchawave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-09-07 12:54 PM
Original message
Exclusive: Interview with Senator John Edwards on Science-Related Topics
http://scienceblogs.com/clock/2007/07/exclusive_intervi...


Posted on: July 9, 2007 8:59 AM, by Coturnix

I had a great pleasure recently to be able to interview Senator - and now Democratic Presidential candidate - John Edwards for my blog. The interview was conducted by e-mail last week.

<snip>
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Welcome to my blog, Senator. It is great privilege for me to be able to ask you a few questions on topics of interest to the scientific community in particular and the 'reality-based' community in general.

1. Let's start with the fun part of the interview - your personal thoughts on science: past, present and future. Were you a science geek as a kid, where do you get your science information today and how do you see the world transformed by science in the future?

First, let me say I was not a science geek growing up. Nothing against science geeks. But that wasn't me.

However, I do believe that science is the key to innovation in the American economy, the key to improving our standard of living. We see the impact of science everyday--from biotechnology to smart bombs, from satellite Global Positioning Systems to the Internet.

The Office of Science and Technology Policy will play a central role when I'm president. We need to encourage science, and do it honestly and openly. It's unfortunate the Bush administration hasn't shared that view. The censorship and suppression of science on climate change, on air pollution, on stem cell research--all to advance a political agenda--is wrong. Policy should be science driven; science shouldn't be politics driven.

For example, I support reductions of carbon emissions by 20 percent by the year 2020, and reduce it by at least 80 percent by the year 2050--because that's what the science tells us we need to do. If we don't listen to the science--if we continue to ignore it, as this administration has done--the results will be catastrophic.


2. How do you propose to tackle the complex issue of climate change and, if elected in 2008, what can you do to persuade the Congress, the private sector and the American people, as well as all the other nations in the World, to accept your plan although it will require substantial changes in the way we think: choosing quality of life over raw wealth! Is America ready for this?

I believe America has to lead the way in dealing with the crisis of climate change and global warming. We are four percent of the world's population, but we emit as much as 25 percent of the world's greenhouse gases. We have no credibility with the rest of the world on this issue right now. We're the worst polluter on the planet. America needs to lead by example.

We need to make certain that America understands this crisis--that if we have a 4 to 8 degree rise in our temperature then there will be migration of hundreds of millions of people. There won't be enough food or enough water and millions of people will be flooded out of their homes. America must understand it and the president of the United States must understand it.

Here's what's really important to understand: we can actually turn the crisis of global warming into an opportunity. We can create a new, clean energy economy that creates 1 million new jobs, ends our dependence on foreign oil, and brings rural communities back to life. And ultimately, we can become a leader for the rest of the world.

Our first priority is capping and reducing greenhouse gas pollution. We must do what the consensus of the scientific community says is necessary to stop the Earth from getting more than 2 degrees warmer.

What the Bush administration has done is constantly rewrite what the science says and substitute the talking points of the oil industry. They literally hire lobbyists into the White House to substitute special interests for science. That's got to stop.

What the scientific community says today is - taking into account what's going on in the developing world --- the U.S. needs to reduce our global greenhouse emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050. As president, I will enact a national cap on carbon emissions that meets that goal.

In terms of how we get there, we need to invest in renewable energies like wind, solar, and biofuels. And we have to raise the fuel-efficiency standards significantly in this country. I believe the number is 40 miles per gallon by 2016. That would single-handedly reduce oil demand by 4 million barrels per day.

We must lead the world to a new climate treaty that commits other countries--including developing nations--to reduce their pollution. I will insist that developing countries join us in this effort, by offering to share new clean energy technology and, if necessary, using trade agreements to require binding greenhouse reductions.

I will create a New Energy Economy Fund by auctioning off greenhouse pollution permits and repealing subsidies for big oil companies. The fund will support U.S. research and development in energy technology, help entrepreneurs start new businesses, invest in new carbon-capture and efficient automobile technology and help Americans conserve energy. Finally, we must reduce the demand for more electricity through efficiency for the next decade, instead of producing more electricity.

Our generation must be the one that says, "We must halt global warming." If we don't act now, it will be too late. Our generation must be the one that says "yes" to renewable fuels and ends forever our dependence on foreign oil. Our generation must be the one that accepts responsibility for conserving natural resources and demands the tools to do it. And our generation must be the one that builds the New Energy Economy. How do we do it? It won't be easy, but it is time to ask the American people to be patriotic about something other than war.


...more Q&A's at the link....

http://scienceblogs.com/clock/2007/07/exclusive_intervi...
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jsamuel Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-09-07 12:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. Thanks!
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Catchawave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-09-07 01:04 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. JE makes this so easy to understand
Had to share with the rest of my "science geek challenged" DU friends.

....and you're welcome :D
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benny05 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-09-07 01:41 PM
Response to Original message
3. Isn't this great!
Real questions and real answers from a POTUS candidate who gets it. Thanks for posting!
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Catchawave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-09-07 02:03 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Thanks benny....
I'm crossposting this over to the DU JE supporters forum for safekeeping, busy day on the DU :D
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Catchawave Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-09-07 04:34 PM
Response to Original message
5. *kick*
For the Science people :)
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waiting for hope Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-09-07 09:14 PM
Response to Original message
6. Thanks for posting this!
I had the damnedest time at work trying to keep up with this....

"Policy should be science driven; science shouldn't be politics driven."

He gave a kick ass interview.


:kick: and a :thumbsup: and a bunch of these - :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :bounce: :hi:
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Carolina Voice Donating Member (197 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-09-07 09:20 PM
Response to Original message
7. What a cool idea!
This man thinks of everything, doesn't he? How wonderful of you to put it together and share it with us. Thanks.
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machka Donating Member (177 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-09-07 09:35 PM
Response to Original message
8. K&R! n/t
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bettync Donating Member (76 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jul-09-07 11:24 PM
Response to Original message
9. Great idea!
You got a lot of information! I like the plans to work with other countries!
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