"Energy Secretary Steven Chu: ‘It Saddens Me’ That Political Leaders Don’t Understand Climate Science"
In order to be a viable Republican presidential candidate in 2012, denying the science of climate change is a must. With all the leading candidates attacking basic science in varying degrees, it’s not a surprise that our Nobel-Prize-winning Energy Secretary, Steven Chu, believes science education should be one of the nation’s top priorities.
In a speech this morning at the National Clean Energy Summit, Chu outlined three major policy needs to “move aggressively” to develop clean energy — with science and energy education being on the top of his wish list.
Although climate change did not actually come up in his speech, Chu spoke to Climate Progress afterward and lamented the manufactured political “debate” over climate change, saying that “it saddens me. And I think as a scientist you have to re-double your efforts.”
Steering clear of anything political when asked whether the GOP’s anti-science platform scared him, Chu simply used the opportunity to explain the basic physics of climate change, adding “it’s not rocket science.”
America, Chu says, is the only place in the world where there’s an actual “debate” over climate science. He blamed the confused political situation largely on the fossil fuel industry, which, he says, has been effective in sowing doubt and “who have an interest in seeing that action isn’t taken. This reminds me exactly of what we saw in the tobacco industry.”
His remarks came from separate audio and video interviews at the National Clean Energy Summit.
It doesn’t take an accomplished physicist and Nobel Prize winner to notice that something is wrong. But at a time when uttering the word “climate” in Washington is anathema, it’s a good thing we have someone leading the Energy Department who isn’t afraid to talk about the issue.