Obama and Romney take science quiz and rekindle climate controversy

By Alan Boyle

President Barack Obama and his GOP challenger, Mitt Romney, have sent in their answers to the political campaign’s highest-profile science quiz — the 14 questions on science and technology issuesposed by Science Debate 2012 — and Romney’s answer to the climate question is already stirring up some buzz.

The answers distill the candidates’ stands on topics ranging from ocean health, to the federal support for innovative research, to the process for developing science policy, to the proper way to plan for a potential pandemic. The territory covered by the questions has shifted somewhat since 2008: For example, stem cell research appears to have become a non-issue, while Internet policy gets its own question this time around.

But it’s Romney’s response to the question about climate change that has drawn the most attention.

For months, Romney has been criticized for going back and forth on the issue of what to do about global warming. He generally acknowledges that greenhouse-gas emissions have had an effect on climate, but he’s backed away from policy responses such as carbon cap-and-trade markets.

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