Presidential Candidate Science Smackdown: Barack and the Democrats

Democratic Candidates reports on the Democratic presidential candidates' views on climate change as documented by the journal Science.

What do the would-be Presidents say about science? The journal Science just released its rundown of the most prominent candidates' positions. None of the campaigns gave Science direct access to the candidates, though that may be a good thing: when it comes to details, advisers are probably the best sources of information. Below is a quick synopsis of the leading Democrats' positions; the Republicans are here, and expect a future post on less-prominent candidates excluded by Science.

Barack Obama. The freshman senator from Illinois promises to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 and spend $150 billion on biofuels. He's supported embryonic stem cell research and increased funding for avian influenza programs. He also wants to double federal spending on basic research, expand internet access and spend $18 billion on science-related education initiatives. However, he'd take money from NASA programs to pay for this. Like Hillary Clinton and John Edwards, he promises to end political interference with science; unlike them, scientists applaud him for already doing this in his work as a community activist, state legislator and freshman Senator. But in that credit, some find reason for concern: will his ideals hold up on the national stage? Full article »