Thursday, February 05, 2009

Chu to California: You're Toast.

Recently, I mused about the ability of the admittedly brillian scientist Steven Chu to handle the Beltway bureacracy, but now it appears Dr. Chu has a bigger challenge-- handling the media. The new Energy Secretary, it seems, has the bedside manner of an executioner!

Chu told the Los Angeles Times that global warming will potentially destroy the entire agricultural industry in California by the end of the century. Some would argue that this kind of alarmist, tough talk is what is required to make people step up and take notice of the urgency with which the climate change crisis must be dealt. Others would argue that this kind of indelicate language from a Cabinet secretary is reckless.

Here's a snippet:

"Speaking with the Los Angeles Times, Mr. Chu, a Nobel Prize-winning physicist who ran the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory before joining the Obama administration, said that warming temperatures could eliminate up to 90 percent of the Sierra snowpack, which provides water to many of the state’s 76,000 farms.

“I don’t think the American public has gripped in its gut what could happen,” he told the newspaper. “We’re looking at a scenario where there’s no more agriculture in California.”

Energy Secretary: Climate change could wipe out Calif. farming [Bright Green Blog, Christian Science Monitor]