The Associated Press had a panel of experts grade statements made about climate science by the many, many people currently running for president. The results will absolutely not surprise you, but this is fun all the same.
See, the statements were anonymized: each candidate’s name was replaced with a number. This way, the statements could be graded on their merits, unencumbered by the reputations of the candidates or the political leanings of the scientists.
The results say Hillary Clinton, Martin O’Malley, and Bernie Sanders scored well. Duh. These are people who do not deny science, and have no political reason to pretend to deny science. The Republican candidates all scored somewhere between “dunce” and “psychotic truther.” Again, duh.
The fun is in the details, and what those details say about American conservatives. The three leading Republican candidates in recent polls—Trump, Carson, and Rubio—all scored in the bottom four on climate science. The only person who scored lower (and is therefore presumably the safe bet to be the eventual Republican nominee) was Ted Cruz, who scored an appalling six out of a possible 100.
Here is an actual quote about Ted Cruz:
“This individual understands less about science (and climate change) than the average kindergartner,” Michael Mann, a Pennsylvania State University meteorology professor, wrote of Cruz’s statements. “That sort of ignorance would be dangerous in a doorman, let alone a president.”
Here are some quotes about Donald Trump:
McCarthy, a former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, called Trump’s comments “nonsense,” while Emmanuel Vincent, a climate scientist at the University of California, Merced, said, “the candidate does not appear to have any commitment to accuracy.”