Science and Technology in the 2016 Election

We are now exactly one month from the Presidential election here in the USA and I’ve decided to make my one (hopefully) comment on this horrible, divisive and just plain ugly campaign season.

I want to talk about the issues of science and technology in this election but it seems that pretty much every issue has been obscured in this scandal filled race to the gutter. Nevertheless I will try to describe what little I have seen from the two candidates on the issues of science and technology. (Yes I know there are two other aspirants to the White House but let’s be honest, it’s either going to be Hillary or Donald)

Space:

Both Hillary and Donald have made a few statements to the effect that the US must lead the world in space but neither has given any detail to my knowledge.

Technology:

Hillary has on a number of occasions spoken about the need for our country to develop the high-tech jobs of the future, usually in the field of alternative energy. She does commit herself to increasing federal funding in that area and the area of infrastructure repair which will hopefully support development of high-tech, high paying jobs.

Donald has also spoken about infrastructure repair but he really seems much more committed to bringing back the manufacturing jobs of the 50s and 60s than trying to support development of the jobs that don’t exist anywhere yet. He really doesn’t seem to understand that, even if he forced Carrier Air Conditioners to return their plant to the US it would be a fully automated plant with few jobs for people with high school or less education. The problem in the next few decades isn’t going to be Mexico or China it’s going to be ROBOT! (see my post of September 2nd)

Climate Change:

This is the big one. The two candidates have strongly held and completely opposite stands on this issue.

Hillary accepts the evidence and science of climate change and accepts mankind’s responsibility in causing it as well as doing something about it. As I mentioned above Hillary’s interest in high-tech jobs centers around alternative energy as a means to combat climate change.

Donald, on the other hand regards the enormous amount of gathered data as just a hoax, maybe started by the Chinese. He plans on totally ignoring the danger posed by greenhouse gasses. Indeed he fully intends to increase emissions of CO2 in order to save the coal industry, returning America to the energy technology of the 50s or even earlier.

This is pretty much it when it comes to the candidates stands on issues of science, as least as far as I’ve seen and I’ve been paying a lot of attention this election. I suppose anyone reading what I’ve said above can guess at how I’ll be voting but I hope I haven’t been too partisan. I only hope I won’t have too write another post about politics for another four years.

 

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