The Guardian has a fascinating article on Steve Chu, the Nobel laureate physicist appointed as the Secretary for Energy under the Obama administration. Chu has been a long time advocate for alternative energy sources and nuclear power, and is a member of the Copenhagen Climate Council, established to help promote global awareness of the upcoming UN climate summit in Copenhagen later this year. Listen to the audio discussion below by Suzanne Goldberg, or click below the jump for the full article.

Steve Chu’s warning the clearest sign to date of the greening of America’s political class under Obama:

Unless there is timely action on climate change, California’s agricultural bounty could be reduced to a dust bowl and its cities disappear, Barack Obama’s energy secretary said yesterday.

The apocalyptic scenario sketched out by Steven Chu, the Nobel laureate appointed as energy secretary, was the clearest sign to date of the greening of America’s political class under the new president.

In blunt language, Chu said Americans had yet to fully understand the urgency of dealing with climate change. “I don’t think the American public has gripped in its gut what could happen,” he told the Los Angeles Times in his first interview since taking the post. “We’re looking at a scenario where there’s no more agriculture in California. I don’t actually see how they can keep their cities going.”

Chu’s doomsday descriptions were seen yesterday as further evidence that, after eight years of denial under George Bush, the Obama White House recognises the severity of climate change. (Read more)

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3 Responses to Obama's energy secretary outlines dire climate change scenario – The Guardian

  1. Angela says:

    Better late than never.

  2. Ken Fabos says:

    It’s positive to see this shift at the highest levels of the US government and I suppose better late than never. I really hope it’s better late than never, that we will see concerted action to bring about a low carbon future. My gut feeling is that the shift is too large to be achieved in the shortening time frame available and that denial of the problem is going to remain firmly entrenched. The next strong el-nino might break down some of that but will coral reefs survive it? I think the best we’ll get is belated attempts to limit the damage. I don’t see real willingness of our own governments to act – buiding infrastructure for increased coal exports in the face of the dire consequences for Australia from climate change. I suspect the US, for all the power and influence of US presidents, will likewise put shorter term economics first.

    Australian Story was riveting, the world needs scientists like you Ove.

    I haven’t followed the Bolt debate; I’ve read his opinion pieces in the past and his refusal to acknowledge any scientific basis for climate change is well known, is unlikely to change, even after the next strong el-nino, an ice free summer arctic and the loss of vast areas of coral reef. You’ll never get a debate about science from him, his arguments are entirely for the ignorant and if he gets more attention from this he’ll be assured of more opportunity to publish his unsubstanttiated opinions.

  3. [...] news isn’t helped by reports that Steven Chu, the US Secretary for Energy (who I blogged on back in February) has done a complete backflip on statement that coal as ‘his worst nightmare‘, and is [...]

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