Year 3, Month 9, Day 12: There Is No Gravity; The Earth Sucks.

The L.A. Times records both candidates’ responses on climate change issues from the online Science Debate:

WASHINGTON — At the Republican National Convention last week and in at least one stump speech over the weekend, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney used climate change as a laugh line ridiculing President Obama’s priorities.

But in comments to the Science Debate website Tuesday as part of an online debate organized by a consortium of scientific organizations, the Republican candidate took another position, similar to the more moderate stance he struck last year, when he conceded that the planet was getting warmer.

“I am not a scientist myself, but my best assessment of the data is that the world is getting warmer, that human activity contributes to that warming, and that policymakers should therefore consider the risk of negative consequences,” Romney said in response to a question about climate change.

Obama for his part seldom utters the words climate change, although his administration has taken several significant steps to combat it. Yet, as he has worked the last few weeks to draw clear contrasts between himself and Romney, the president has talked about climate change to younger audiences, often at colleges. To Science Debate, Obama identifies climate change as one of the most pressing concerns of the era and lists the steps he has taken during his term to mitigate it — and what he might do next.

“Climate change is one of the biggest issues of this generation, and we have to meet this challenge by driving smart policies that lead to greater growth in clean energy generation and result in a range of economic and social benefits,” Obama said.

We are soooooo fucked. Sent September 5:

In a political environment dominated by scandals du jour and the demands of the chattering class, it is inevitable that science in general — and climate science in particular — will get short shrift. However, it is fascinating to observe the responses from Mr. Romney and President Obama to questions about climate change.

While Mr. Romney typically says one thing to his scientific interlocutors and something else to his tea-party constituency, who regard any acknowledgement of global warming as apostasy, one can only speculate about the President’s reluctance to use climate change as a campaign issue. He may be correct in feeling that a crisis unfolding over decades lacks the emotional immediacy required for a modern electoral campaign. Perhaps as planetary extreme weather intensifies, the greenhouse effect’s epiphenomena will no longer fall outside the purview of the 24-hour news cycle. That would be good news — of a very bad kind.

Warren Senders

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