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This article is from the In-Depth Report Science and the U.S. Election
60-Second Earth

Environmental Issues Divide Presidential Contenders

Where do the candidates stand on the environment and energy? David Biello reports

[Below is the original script. But a few changes may have been made during the recording of this audio podcast.]

The environment. Finally, it's an election issue. But the candidates' energy plans have some big drawbacks. Here they are:

Obama: The senator backs ethanol, maybe because Illinois has a lot of cornfields. But turning corn into fuel means less food to go around.

McCain: The senator from Arizona wants to build at least 45 more nuclear power plants. And the nuclear waste? Bury it in Nevada.

How about the VPs?

Biden: The senator from Delaware is a fan of clean coal, technologies to capture and permanently store pollution. He also wants to give it to China and India, too. Too bad we don't know if it works.

Palin: Drill, baby, drill, according to Alaska's Governor… from off the coast of Florida to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Caribou and corals be damned, we need oil!

That said, all the candidates except for maybe Palin believe global warming is man-made. And a problem. And all support renewable technologies, such as solar and wind power, that could cut carbon dioxide. That ought to be good for the planet, no matter whom you vote for.

—David Biello

60-Second Earth is a weekly podcast from Scientific American. Subscribe to this Podcast: RSS | iTunes

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