by N in Seattle, 10/21/2012, 4:30 PM

Almost five years ago, a small group of individuals began to call for a Presidential candidate Science Debate. The idea quickly gained momentum, with support from dozens of Nobel laureates, the leaders of over 100 major universities, prestigious scientific organizations (among them AAAS, the National Academies of Science and Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine), and tens of thousands of American citizens. From thousands of submitted questions, a list of 14 was eventually developed. Science Debate 2008 had bipartisan Congressional co-chairs, a television deal with NOVA, and even rented a venue. Unfortunately, although both the McCain and Obama campaigns produced written answers in 2008, neither side agreed to make science the topic of a debate.

The story in 2012 has been very much the same — tremendous support for a colloquy on the important scientific issues to be faced in the next few decades, a set of 14 serious questions, written answers but no debate. This cycle, the editors of Scientific American graded the Obama and Romney responses:

To make our determination, we invited readers to send us leads and solicited input from our board of advisers and other subject-matter experts. We scored the candidates’ answers on a five-point scale (with five being best), using the following criteria: how directly and completely they answered the question; scientific accuracy; feasibility (including economic viability and clear accounting for both revenues and costs); potential benefits to health, education and the environment; and sustainability (meaning how well the proposed solutions balance the needs of current and future generations).

While SA‘s evaluation found Romney to be more specific in his plans, and to have greater feasibility, Obama greatly exceeded Romney in scientific accuracy. In particular, Romney’s responses on climate change, ocean health, and freshwater “revealed an unfamiliarity with the evidence that shows how urgent these issues have become”. Also, as an opponent of Net Neutrality, Romney scored 0 on the question about the Internet.

The Science Debate people presented a subset of their questions — those particularly relevant to the Evergreen State — to the candidates for Governor of Washington. The issues on that list were:

  • Innovation
  • Climate Change
  • Education
  • Ocean Health
  • Vaccination and Public Health
  • Science in Public Policy

As would be expected from the author of a well-received book on green energy, Jay Inslee provided extensive and detailed answers to the six queries.

Rob McKenna’s responses, in full, are displayed below:

 
 
 
 
 

McKenna was invited to answer the questions on six different occasions. He failed to reply to any of the invitations. Even on what is allegedly his signature issue — education — his silence was deafening. In his typical weaselly fashion, McKenna opted to say nothing whatsoever instead of revealing his Republican anti-scientific orientation. He’ll do anything not to offend the teahadist GOP base in Washington while passively thumbing his nose at the reality-based voters in the Puget Sound environs.

Playing mute has worked for McKenna in the past; it worked well (and may almost have been appropriate) when he was running for a statewide service position. But after Dino Rossi’s twin failures to fool enough people in gubernatorial — that is, executive — elections, we the people of Washington are onto these barefaced attempts by conservative Republicans to bamboozle us.

If you haven’t already mailed in your ballot, what are you waiting for? Vote for Inslee (and Obama, Cantwell, Ferguson, Drew, Goldmark, Kreidler, McCloud, et al.), seal it up, and drop it in the mail!

32 Responses to “Science matters”

1. MikeBoyScout spews:

seal it up, and drop it in the mail!

Or better yet, put it in a county election’s dept drop box.

King County ballot drop boxes –
http://www.kingcounty.gov/elections/voting/ballotdropboxes.aspx

Pierce County ballot drop boxes –
http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?msid=218414051477006825316.0004a41f0cb6813260044&msa=0

Snohomish County ballot drop boxes –
http://www1.co.snohomish.wa.us/Departments/Auditor/Divisions/Elections_Voting/Ballot_Drop_Box.htm

Thurston County ballot drop boxes –
http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/auditor/Elections/Dropsites/dropboxes.htm

2. Gman spews:

Who needs science, We have God! You know the guy everyone obeys…..no swearing, no stealing, no murders, no infidelity, etc….you know all the stuff that really matters.

3. Serial Conservative spews:

What’s the point? McKenna didn’t answer, Inslee answered largely with platitudes and didn’t answer the question asked in some of them. Virtually no specifics – the vaccination answer is an excellent example of what I’m talking about.

McKenna decides not to reply, Inslee gives half-ass answers, and it’s a reason to vote for Inslee?

A more reasoned assessment is that Inslee’s prone to give half-ass responses to questions.

4. Liberal Scientist is a Dirty Fucking Socialist Hippie spews:

Inslee gives half-ass answers

Straight up bullshit, again, Robert. He gave answers perfectly appropriate to such a questionnaire.

You’re just not trustworthy. It’s not that you present a right-wing answer that’s disagreeable, it’s that you lie relentlessly, and package the lies with unctuous self-congratulation.

5. Steve spews:

“Virtually no specifics” “half-ass”

Such a half-ass whine. Probably because you’re always fine with a virtually no specifics when it comes to your own half-assed candidates.

6. don spews:

When asked why he didn’t return the science questionnaire, McKenna replied “Get a job!”

7. Liberal Scientist is a Dirty Fucking Socialist Hippie spews:

@6
lol

8. Roger Rabbit spews:

@3 The best reason to vote for Inslee is he’s not a Republican. The GOP, in its zeal to pander to its crazy supporters, has gone so far downhill that the overriding imperative of American politics today is keeping Republicans out of public offices. Republicans are so dishonest, corrupt, incompetent, and irresponsible that the election of any Republican to any office anywhere is a public disaster.

9. Darryl spews:

Folks,

Of course McKenna didn’t answer. He is very busy trying to figure out how it is that light rail can work on a floating bridge—It goes completely against his scientific, engineering and religious education.

And in any case, you didn’t expect him to waste his time with organizations as shady as the National Academy of Sciences, the AAAS, American Geosciences Institute, American Institute of Physics, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and the IEEE, do you?

Get real!

10. Roger Rabbit spews:

@9 I can’t understand why McKenna doesn’t see it. Light rail walks on water.

11. Piltdown Man spews:

If you haven’t already mailed in your ballot, what are you waiting for? Vote for Inslee (and Obama, Cantwll, Ferguson, Drew, Goldmark, Kreidler, McCloud, et al.), seal it up, and drop it in the mail!

Shorter N(ut) in Seattle: be a partisan lemming and vote the party line!

12. Roger Rabbit spews:

@11 Said the pot to the kettle …

13. Roger Rabbit spews:

At this point, I want to remind everyone that it was the Republicans who dragged American politics into the gutter and turned it into tribal warfare.

14. N in Seattle spews:

@11:

If Piltdown Man wasn’t a hoax (as well as an HA troll), you might have noticed that a) Sheryl Gordon McCloud is running for Supreme Court, a nonpartisan position, and b) I didn’t mention a number of the statewide offices on the ballot.

As it happens, I did not vote for the Democratic candidate for every one of those offices. Yes, I voted for the ones I mentioned, but that’s not true for all of them.

Can you say the same of the ilk of Romney, Baumgartner, Dunn, Wyman, Didier, Adams, and Sanders? To say nothing of Finkbeiner, Hanek, and Watkins, along with the Republicans running in your Congressional and Legislative Districts … and of course Eyman’s clearly-unconstitutional initiative.

Which (Tea) party line candidates did you deny the favor of your slavish support?

15. Piltdown Man spews:

Which (Tea) party line candidates did you deny the favor of your slavish support?

I have not voted yet.

that was a real lame attempt N(ut) in Seattle.

fail.

16. N in Seattle spews:

@15:

Deflecting much, Mr. Hoax? Allow me to update my comment:

Which (Tea) party line candidates will you deny the favor of your slavish support?

Afraid to allow the HA public to know where you’re coming from? (As if we don’t already know … the only real question is which knee you jerk.)

17. Liberal Scientist is a Dirty Fucking Socialist Hippie spews:

@16

“Jerk” being the operative word when dealing with Piltdown.

18. Piltdown Man spews:

16. N in Seattle spews:
@15:

Deflecting much, Mr. Hoax? Allow me to update my comment:

Which (Tea) party line candidates will you deny the favor of your slavish support?

Afraid to allow the HA public to know where you’re coming from? (As if we don’t already know … the only real question is which knee you jerk.)

10/22/2012 AT 12:15 PM

ahh yes – I get it now. N(ut) in Seattle votes as a partisan lemming, and therefore assumes that everyone else does the same.

Who I vote for is my business you fucking retard – but just to show that I am a good sport, I will say that I am slightly(and ever so slightly) leaning towards Obama.

@17
you are one to talk, jackass. Dont you have something “scientify” to go do? or is it another day of “working on the house”?

19. e spews:

11. Piltdown Man spews:
Shorter N(ut) in Seattle: be a partisan lemming and vote the party line!

I use to vote qualified Republicans. Unfortunately qualified Republicans have become extremely rare.

20. Piltdown Man spews:

I use to vote qualified Republicans. Unfortunately qualified Republicans have become extremely rare.

10/22/2012 AT 1:47 PM

qualified politicians as a whole are a rare breed these days.

21. Darryl spews:

Piltdown Man @ 18,

“I get it now. N(ut) in Seattle votes as a partisan lemming, and therefore assumes that everyone else does the same.”

No…you don’t get it at all, Squirt.

You accused N in Seattle of voting party line (@ 11).

He pointed out that he didn’t…

“As it happens, I did not vote for the Democratic candidate for every one of those offices.”

..but posited that you will. You dodged answering his query directly, until:

“…just to show that I am a good sport, I will say that I am slightly(and ever so slightly) leaning towards Obama.”

Well, good on you, Squirt. But what we know is that when you said:

“N(ut) in Seattle votes as a partisan lemming”

…you were wrong.

And when N in Seattle said you were a partisan lemming, he has yet to be demonstrated wrong….

You fail.

22. Piltdown Man spews:

@21

N(ut) in Seattle has not demonstrated anything.

All the Nut said was that he voted for (1) non-partisan person.

Big Fucking Deal.

you lose, squirt.

go grade some papers and stop wasting tax payer money.

good day.

23. Darryl spews:

Piltdown Man @ 22,

“All the Nut said was that he voted for (1) non-partisan person.”

You’re fucken’ dumb as dirt, aren’t ya, Squirt!

What part of “As it happens, I did not vote for the Democratic candidate for every one of those offices” don’t you understand?

Please try to engage your brain before leaving a comment.

24. Liberal Scientist is a Dirty Fucking Socialist Hippie spews:

Please try to engage your brain before leaving a comment.

IIRC, Piltdown Man was all bone, no brain, and a phoney to boot!

25. Piltdown Man spews:

phoney to boot!

and a phoney that fooled all the scientists..heh.

26. Piltdown Man spews:

23. Darryl spews:
Piltdown Man @ 22,

“All the Nut said was that he voted for (1) non-partisan person.”

You’re fucken’ dumb as dirt, aren’t ya, Squirt!

What part of “As it happens, I did not vote for the Democratic candidate for every one of those offices” don’t you understand?

Please try to engage your brain before leaving a comment.

10/22/2012 AT 4:26 PM

then perhaps N(ut) in Seattle can tell us which Republicans he voted for.

or not, because I dont really give a shit. You all have proven what partisan lemmings and hacks you are – you just need to own up to it.

27. Roger Rabbit spews:

@25 The difference between you and them is they admit their errors.

28. YLB spews:

I will say that I am slightly(and ever so slightly) leaning towards Obama.

LOL! Translation: by the time this asshat puts pen to the ballot, it’s in the tank for the guy who’ll cut his taxes the most, make the rich the richest, the poor the poorest and start a new war for oil for him to watch on Faux News spilling gushers of blood from the guys with the funny last names..

Willard Romney.

29. Liberal Scientist is a Dirty Fucking Socialist Hippie spews:

I will say that I am slightly(and ever so slightly) leaning towards Obama.

I’m curious – what informs your thinking on this?

30. Piltdown Man spews:

28. YLB spews:
I will say that I am slightly(and ever so slightly) leaning towards Obama.

LOL! Translation: by the time this asshat puts pen to the ballot, it’s in the tank for the guy who’ll cut his taxes the most, make the rich the richest, the poor the poorest and start a new war for oil for him to watch on Faux News spilling gushers of blood from the guys with the funny last names..

Willard Romney.

10/22/2012 AT 5:45 PM

how funny…YLBloated talking about income taxes, when he doesnt pay ANY….

YLBloated, just another freeloading tool…

31. Liberal Scientist is a Dirty Fucking Socialist Hippie spews:

and a phoney that fooled all the scientists..heh.

From Wikipedia, on Piltdown man…

Almost from the outset, Woodward’s reconstruction of the Piltdown fragments was strongly challenged.

G.S. Miller, for example, observed in 1915 that “deliberate malice could hardly have been more successful than the hazards of deposition in so breaking the fossils as to give free scope to individual judgment in fitting the parts together.” In the decades prior to its exposure as a forgery in 1953, scientists increasingly regarded Piltdown as an enigmatic aberration inconsistent with the path of hominid evolution as demonstrated by fossils found elsewhere. Skeptical scientists only increased in number as more fossils were found.

However, over time the Piltdown man lost its validity, as other discoveries such as Taung Child and Peking Man were found. R.W. Ehrich and G.M. Henderson note, “To those who are not completely disillusioned by the work of their predecessors, the disqualification of the Piltdown skull changes little in the broad evolutionary pattern. The validity of the specimen has always been questioned.”[17] Eventually, during the 1940s and 1950s, more advanced dating technologies, such as the fluorine absorption test, proved scientifically that this skull was actually a fraud.

Science works. It’s naive in a way – the community generally believed the liar, though there were skeptics from the beginning. The progression of the field – through other, bona fide fossils that were subsequently found, and dating techniques improved. The lie was exposed and discarded.

32. YLB spews:

about income taxes

Oh wow, even an asshat can “evolve”. At one time it wasn’t ANY taxes..

how funny…

No this is funny:

I am slightly(and ever so slightly) leaning towards Obama.

as cited above and

I abhor the republicans ALMOST as much I do you degenerate, lazy ass progressives.

Funny in that it’s such fucking bullshit.