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Secretary Chu On Global Boiling: ‘Wake Up’

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"Secretary Chu On Global Boiling: ‘Wake Up’"

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Steven ChuIn his first interview as Secretary of Energy, Steven Chu “offered some of the starkest comments yet on how seriously President Obama’s cabinet views the threat of climate change, along with a detailed assessment of the administration’s plans to combat it.” Secretary Chu told the Los Angeles Times that the nation is like “a family buying an old house and being told by an inspector that it must pay a hefty sum to rewire it or risk an electrical fire that could burn everything down”:

I’m hoping that the American people will wake up.

Chu also worried the nation doesn’t yet recognize how great a threat global warming represents:

I don’t think the American public has gripped in its gut what could happen.

One danger Chu highlighted in the interview was rising drought throughout the West, with major declines in the snowpack that waters California. In the worst case, Chu said:

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 described “public education as a key part of the administration’s strategy to fight global warming” — in addition to clean energy research, infrastructure, a national renewable electricity standard, and a greenhouse gas cap-and-trade system.

Perhaps proving his point that Americans have yet to “wake up,” right-wing climate-denial bloggers retort that the Nobel Prize-winning quantum physicist and energy expert can’t be believed because he “isn’t a climate scientist.”

Update

The DeSmog Project‘s Kevin Grandia highlights Sen. James Inhofe’s (R-OK) response:

I am hopeful Secretary Chu will take note of the real-world data, new studies and the growing chorus of international scientists that question his climate claims.

Grandia asks: “I’m interested in whether the American public is okay with their taxpayer money going into this claptrap.”

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