Bernie Sanders sounds a little bit like Bill Nye when he starts waxing eloquent on matters of science and technology. (Now that I stop to think about it, he even looks a little bit like Bill if you add on a few years and subtract some hair.) And Bernie seems to love talking science on the stump. That’s a great feature for an election, given how much importance we place on STEM education these days. But is he really a good authority on all the geek material?
Alex Berezow at Real Clear Science runs the numbers and finds that science isn’t Feeling the Bern. (Emphasis in original)
“Today, the scientific community is virtually unanimous: climate change is real, it is caused by human activity, and we have a moral responsibility to transform our energy system away from fossil fuel to energy efficiency and sustainable energy and leave this planet a habitable planet for our children and our grandchildren.” (Emphasis added.)
Actually, the scientific community does not believe that the habitabilty of the planet is in jeopardy. Not even the most extreme climate models predict that Earth will someday become uninhabitable to humans. It is this sort of careless, hyperbolic, and unscientific rhetoric — most often spouted by politicians — that has caused the climate science community a lot of heartburn.
Bernie is also not a fan of nuclear power, as Alex notes. He’s concerned over the fact that we don’t know what to do with the spent fuel rods after they reach the end of their useful life. Sadly… wrong again. Berzow offers the long known suggestion of sticking them in Yucca Mountain (which would work, but Harry Reid doesn’t care for the idea) but there are even more sciency ideas out there. We’ve actually gotten to the point where you can reprocess the spent rods and get the useful fuel out of them to create new rods. If you invest in the technology to do the processing when you build the plant you can do it on site. But don’t tell Dr. Bernie… it might get him angry. You wouldn’t like Bernie when he’s angry.
Sanders is also very suspicious of GMOs.
On GMOs, Mr. Sanders is yet again opposed to mainstream science policy. His endorsement of GMO food labels is in direct opposition to the policy stance of the American Medical Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Bernie wanders off the script on some other science questions but I’ll leave you to click through and catch up on them. But the frightening part of this report is that I’ve been assured for years now that the GOP is the party of anti-science. Could Bernie be a secret Republican? That might be the only thing that would get Hillary to actually attack him at the next debate.