Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Debates by proxy on science and energy plus other election news from Overnight News Digest

Time for the last compilation of pre-election news from campuses on the campaign trail collected in Overnight News Digest on Daily Kos.

I'll begin with this pair of articles from Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (2012 Nobel Prizes edition) about the two major party candidates' planks on energy, environment, and space. I was planning on making these a centerpiece of a response to Kunstler's kvetching on his blog about how the major party candidates were ignoring the real problems of the country. Instead, I used the minor party debate as a reply that someone, if not Obama and Romney, was attempting to do what Kunstler wanted.

Firist, Arizona State University asks Whose science and tech platform is better?
October 6, 2012
As the election nears, much focus is dedicated to the presidential campaign platforms on the economy and the federal budget. Both candidates publicly champion the advancement of science and technology, and recognize scientific progress as a cornerstone of the American economy and way of life. However, minimal attention is given to the specifics of the science and tech platforms.

ASU physicist and author Lawrence Krauss is helping to draw attention to these specifics via a two-part series on Future Tense at Slate magazine.

The first article, Bombing the Test, touches on climate change and the environment, with the majority focused on the current state of the United States' nuclear weapon arsenal and missile defense.
In a second piece, Krauss asks, “Whose Space Exploration Policy Is Better—Obama’s or Romney’s?"
As a scientist, environmentalist, and space enthusiast, the answers to these questions are quite important to me, although if the GOP were serious about any of them, they'd have nominated either Huntsman or Gingrich, who has a clear, consistent, but wrong platform on energy, an interest in science, and a love of space exploration. Even so, he would still have made it easy for me to vote for Obama.

The energy debate, which was hidden inside Slate's explanation of the dueling positions of the major parties, became more explicit in this piece from the University of Colorado, Denver: Students speak their mind in energy policy debate
Natural gas production also a hot topic at third annual Energy Moving Forward forum
By Chris Casey
October 12, 2012
DENVER -- Just hours before the vice presidential candidates sparred in a lively debate on Thursday night, barely touching on energy policy, an equally spirited discussion struck on that very topic, courtesy of the third annual Energy Moving Forward forum.

A panel exchanged partisan blows in "The Future We Want: Student Perspectives on Energy Policy and its Ramifications," part of the half-day conference held in the Terrace Room at the University of Colorado Denver. About 200 business professionals attended.
The Republican side criticized President Obama's "all-of-the-above" energy policy, saying it obstructs oil and gas production with unnecessary regulations and squanders largess on the renewables sector. The Democrats argued that renewables are the energy of the future and that leaving energy regulation to individual states muddles accountability and imperils the environment.
That last paragraph pretty much sums up the debate. I'm on the Democrats' side on this one, while I think the Republicans are being a bunch of fossil fools. Just the same it's worth reading the rest of the report to see the talking points and supporting details of both sides.

Follow over the jump for two more stories from Overnight News Digest: Science Saturday (Sandy's aftermath edition), including press releases about a book describing the psychology of extremism and a hotline for people who think they've been denied the right or opportunity to vote.

Arizona State University: As election nears professor discusses 'Radical Distortion'
October 31, 2012
John W. Reich, an ASU emeritus professor of psychology, recently published his second book, “Radical Distortion: How Emotions Warp What We Hear,” which focuses on research surrounding the decision-making processes of those who endorse extreme beliefs. The book seeks to make “a crucial first step toward creating a more civil society in which the value of a wide spectrum of views can be considered and appreciated.”

In a recent email interview, Reich discusses his background, the subject of his new book, and how Americans might benefit from this research.
University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill: UNC law faculty, students to field questions Election Day on Election Protection Hotline
November 01, 2012
A toll-free, nonpartisan hotline is available to voters statewide with questions or concerns on Election Day, Nov. 6, as part of Election Protection, a national voter advocacy effort. Answering the hotline’s phones will be students and faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Law, along with other community volunteers.

Voters anywhere in the state can call 1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683) or 1-888-VE-Y VOTA (888-839-8682) with questions about their rights and the voting process. The hotline is open now for early voting (call from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. to reach a North Carolina volunteer) and will be open 6:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. on Election Day.

During the 2000 elections, an estimated 4 to 6 million Americans were denied the right to vote, and 1 million votes were not counted, according to the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights, a national organization that sponsors Election Protection. In 2004, more than 200,000 people called the hotline for assistance, resulting in legal action in Florida, Louisiana and Ohio. In 2008, the North Carolina call center fielded more than 1,000 calls from voters.
Everyone who is registered, go vote and be vigilant about protecting your right to do so.

No comments:

Post a Comment