No Baracknophobia Here

JLJBO.jpgBaracknophobia: The irrational fear of hope.

If you saw Senator Barack Obama's acceptance speech Thursday night (TIME Magazine granted it an A+) you'll likely agree that it's hard not to be excited.

Obama's worldview and oratory skills combined with his positions on almost every issue, including health care, corporate handouts, and a national energy policy, do indeed give reason for hope (and there has never been anything false about hope). Senator Obama also recently answered 14 questions crafted by the ScienceDebate2008 team. Here is his response to the question posed about the oceans:

Oceans are crucial to the earth's ecosystem and to all Americans because they drive global weather patterns, feed our people and are a major source of employment for fisheries and recreation. As president, I will commit my administration to develop the kind of strong, integrated, well-managed program of ocean stewardship that is essential to sustain a healthy marine environment.

Global climate change could have catastrophic effects on ocean ecologies. Protection of the oceans is one of the many reasons I have developed an ambitious plan to reduce U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases 80 percent below 1990 by 2050. We need to enhance our understanding of the effect of climate change on oceans and the effect of acidification on marine life through expanded research programs at NASA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). I will propel the U.S. into a leadership position in marine stewardship and climate change research. Stronger collaboration across U.S. scientific agencies and internationally is needed in basic research and for designing mitigation strategies to reverse or offset the damage being done to oceans and coastal areas.

The oceans are a global resource and a global responsibility for which the U.S. can and should take a more active role. I will work actively to ensure that the U.S. ratifies the Law of the Sea Convention - an agreement supported by more than 150 countries that will protect our economic and security interests while providing an important international collaboration to protect the oceans and its resources. My administration will also strengthen regional and bilateral research and oceans preservation efforts with other Gulf Coast nations.

Our coastal areas and beaches are American treasures and are among our favorite places to live and visit. I will work to reauthorize the Coastal Zone Management Act in ways that strengthen the collaboration between federal agencies and state and local organizations. The National Marine Sanctuaries and the Oceans and Human Health Acts provide essential protection for ocean resources and support the research needed to implement a comprehensive ocean policy. These programs will be strengthened and reauthorized.

Senator Obama also responded to a Greenpeace questionnaire that included questioning candidate's on their position in regards to marine sanctuaries and Japanese whaling:

As president, I will ensure that the U.S. provides leadership in enforcing international wildlife protection agreements, including strengthening the international moratorium on commercial whaling. Allowing Japan to continue commercial whaling is unacceptable.

As president, I also will work with my scientific advisors to develop a strategy to protect marine life and ensure that the mechanisms we choose to implement that strategy are effective. My administration will ensure that sound science -- not ideology or profits --guides federal environmental policy.

Enough said for now. But one last thing. If you're like me and live out of your state and/or outside of the U.S. altogether, don't forget to send in your absentee registration form. Here is a link to the Federal Voting Assistance Program for Overseas Citizens.


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I'm cautiously optimistic, definitely not excited. The man is, after all, a politician, and very likely got where he did by something akin to the usual machinations.

If you saw Senator Barack Obama's acceptance speech Thursday night (TIME Magazine granted it an A+) you'll likely agree that it's hard not to be excited.

Too bad when you look at his experience, it's hard to be excited.

Orac: It's true, and I have quibbles about the actual policy points he has. I think hoping he'll be the next FDR is probably stretching it. I do think that he'll be a significant improvement over McCain in policy, and Dubya in darn near everything.

Still, it'll be nice to have a president that inspires, rather than embarrasses when he opens his mouth.

"Allowing Japan to continue commercial whaling is unacceptable."

Unacceptable how? Like, how far is he willing to go to stop them? Threaten to end military protection? Economic sanctions? War?

Obama might be able to talk the talk, but can he walk the walk? Like, how much has he done as a senator to improve global ecology?

Science and politics mixing is almost as bad as either of the two mixing with religion.