Exclusive: Interview with Senator John Edwards on Science-Related Topics
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.
As I am at work and unable to moderate comments, the comment section is
closed on this post, but will be open on the previous post (here) where I
hope you will remain civil and stay on topic. You are also welcome to
comment on this interview at several other places (e.g,. DailyKos, MyDD,
TPMCafe, Science And Politics, Liberal Coalition, the Edwards campaign blog
as well as, hopefully, your own blogs).
I cannot answer any additional questions for Senator Edwards, of course, but
there are likely to be other opportunities in the future where your
questions can be answered so feel free to post them in the comments thread
on the other post and I'll make sure he gets them. The interview is under
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
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.
[Use link above to continue reading this fascinating interview]