Wednesday, June 2, 2010

The Invisible Dr. Chu

By Alan Caruba

While we all are now familiar with Secretary of the Interior, Ken Salazar’s remark about keeping the government’s boot on the neck of BP, one of the most remarkable aspects of the oil spill drama has been the near absence of Dr. Steven Chu, the Secretary of Energy.

Other than an appearance MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow Show, the Nobel Prize laureate for physics has not been the designated spokesman for the Obama administration. That job has fallen to Carol Browner, the energy and environment advisor to the president. One might think the man overseeing the Department of Energy might logically also be addressing the oil spill, but no.

Perhaps the answer can be found in the fact that Secretary Chu has been double-dipped in all the environmental lies about global warming and no one has told him that the Earth has been cooling for the past decade or that a huge batch of leaked emails is evidence of massive data tampering to support the global warming hoax.

Well, he has a lot on his plate. It’s hard to be Secretary of Energy when you pretty much hate most hydrocarbons, coal, oil and natural gas, blaming them and the six billion people on Earth for generating the greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. That carbon dioxide has nothing to do with the Earth’s average mean temperature is one of those details he’s overlooked.

As Secretary Chu was saying back in September 2008, “Coal is my worst nightmare.” Well, if your resume sported the fact that you headed up the “Helios Project” (named for the Sun) when you were working at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, focusing on biofuels, you too might take a dim view of the other sources that represent the energies everybody uses.

Before the BP oil spill accident, Secretary Chu was unhappy that the United States was dependent on oil (like every other nation on Earth.) The Secretary said that “most proven reserves…are now off-shore. It will cost more to extract from tar sands and (there would be) more CO2 emissions.” Earth to Dr. Chu! There’s millions of barrels of oil in Alaska, but it is off limits for fear a caribou might be harmed.

The Secretary of Energy is no big fan of nuclear power either. He cites waste problems, but apparently is unaware that the huge billion-dollar depository, Yucca Mountain in Nevada, was abandoned by the Obama administration despite having been built specifically for storing nuclear waste.

It’s more like wasting money than nuclear waste, but the United States Recovery Act, the ill-famed stimulus act, allocated $80 billion to research and use of “clean” energy such as wind and solar, and to “efficiency.” The problem is that, without a dependable supply of electricity, all the efficiency in the world will not make much difference if the lights go out.

Perhaps it’s not a good idea to send out Secretary Chu to discuss the oil spill. As reported in the May 27, 2009 edition of The Times (UK), at the opening of the St. James’s Palace Nobel Laureate Symposium, he suggested that painting the world’s roofs, roads and pavements white would be a great way to cut carbon emissions. They would “reflect up to 80% of the sunlight that falls on them.” He added that “a global initiative” would be a way to save us from global warming.

Only there is no global warming, carbon dioxide has nothing to do with the climate, and one rig out of more than three hundred in the Gulf has sprung a leak. Ironically, years ago when he was an academic at University of California-Berkeley, he received a winning bid for a $500 million grant funded by BP to study something or other.

Too many years ago than I want to recall, I was the publications director for a major northeastern institute of technology. It was filled with engineers who actually know how to make things work, build bridges, fix oil leaks and such. There were also some brilliant physicists on the faculty. The latter had trouble parking their cars between the yellow lines and other mundane tasks.

© Alan Caruba, 2010


commoncents said...

THANK YOU for posting this! I really like your blog - keep up the excellent work!

Common Cents

ps. Link Exchange??

Alan Caruba said...

You're welcome.

As to a link exchange, I tend to restrict this to sites that post my commentaries as part of their content.

TonyfromOz said...

something along the same lines is happening here in Australia also.
Our Climate Change Minister is Penny Wong.
Since the election that saw them come to power in 2007, hers has been one of the most vocal voices, continually barraging us about the 'horrific' threat of man made Global Warming, now morphed into Climate Change.
The Rudd Labor Government, which is similar in every respect to your Democrats even called it the greatest moral challenge of our time.
However, since the abject failure of Copenhagen, Minister Wong has been virtually invisible in Australia, and the Government has dropped their proposed legislation for Cap and Trade, changed the subject, and moved onto something else.
Greatest moral challenge of our time indeed.

Alan Caruba said...

Tony, that is soooo spooky. Oz and the US are mirrowing each other as to the way global warming is taking a massive nose dive in public opinion.

What took so long? I have followed this issue and written about since the 1980s.

Alan Caruba said...


You really must stop trying to comment on my posts. I recently felt sorry for you and allowed one or two to slip through, but you have an uncanny ability to totally MIS-UNDERSTAND everything I write.

Don't comment anymore.

Desertrat said...

Brauner. :-)

Nuthin' like hatin' oil and coal, I allus say. Trouble is, most folks like having electric lights and refrigerators, and some sort of tranportation for the food supply which stems from farm equipment that uses motor fuel.

Warm in winter is nice, too.

There is a true late-1700s story of an Indian woman who escaped from a tribe and travelled several hundred miles with only a knife and knowledge for survival on the trek.

I doubt that the Chus and Brauners could replicate that feat. I might, maybe; maybe not. But the Chus and Brauners would die dead without oil and coal.