The AP reports on our Nobel prize-winning physicist Energy Secretary, Steven Chu:
The U.S. energy secretary says the debate about climate change reminds him of the old argument that smoking isn’t bad for you.
Steven Chu also urged greater investment in clean energy as he spoke Tuesday in Paris to an International Energy Agency meeting of energy ministers and industry leaders.
He says that because the evidence of climate change is growing more compelling and the price is oil is likely to rise, countries must turn to clean-energy production.
Chu criticized attempts to “muddy the waters” on climate change science.
He said the debate in the U.S. reminds him of what he “heard as a young person growing up about how cigarette smoking was not really bad for your health.”
This isn’t the first time Chu has made this argument. Last year he spelled it out in a little more detail that the AP does:
San Jose Mercury News: Are you worried that the political will to enact a national policy or somehow tax or price carbon emissions is gone now? If you look at recent polls, the number of Americans who believe that global warming is real and man-made is declining. The political trends are not in your favor.
Chu: Americans were believing because of sound bites, and now they’re disbelieving because of sound bites. One can honestly say that if we don’t do this, we will not be economically competitive. Ten and 20 years from now, the price of oil will likely be higher “” this is not a stretch of the imagination. The debate for whether smoking causes lung cancer and emphysema was actually in the first decade among scientists, but they muddied the waters for 2½ more decades. Climate change, on a global scale, is a much bigger deal, and people are trying to muddy the waters, particularly people who think they might lose. Unfortunately, it’s easier to propagate fear than seeing a vision of prosperity.
- Must-see Naomi Oreskes talk on Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming