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Candidates answer presidential science quiz

Image: August temperature trends
NASA’s figures on global temperatures show that last month was the warmest August in 136 years of record-keeping. This color-coded chart tracks the temperature anomalies. Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have sharp differences over policies to address climate change.(Credit: NASA)

If you think something absolutely has to be done about climate change and other environmental worries, Donald Trump isn’t the presidential candidate for you.

You probably knew that already, but the deeo differences in the presidential campaign come through loud and clear in three candidates’ responses to a 20-question policy quiz drawn up by Science Debate.

The questions address topics ranging from biodiversity to space exploration, and touch on hot-button issues such as vaccination and opioid abuse. Trump, the GOP candidate, provided statements addressing all the questions, as did Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Libertarian Gary Johnson hasn’t responded as of this week.

For the most part, the responses track what you’d expect from the candidates (or, more likely, from their campaigns): Clinton provided the longest answers, Trump gave one-paragraph replies, and Stein furnished point-by-point policy proposals.

Environmental issues revealed the most divergence.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributing editor at GeekWire, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. Check out "About Alan Boyle" for more fun facts.

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