When Energy Secretary Steven Chu was appointed, it was a bit of a policy worry. Yes, he has a Nobel prize in physics but being a scientist has never shown to be any great benefit for policy. Despite the myth that scientists are stoic and serious and unemotionally obeying the Scientific Method it isn't the case at all. Like all other people, they have irrational fixations, and Chu's was a belief that CO2 was the only driver in climate change, which meant we might have a bunch of expensive solutions that actually solve nothing in climate change.
$44 billion of wasted money for failed solar panel companies later, gas prices are through the roof and the president is scrambling to rationalize why he blocked a way to have cheaper fuel and add a lot of jobs - 400 miles of pipeline in Nebraska in addition to the 20,000 already there, which government scientists deemed safe, is a poor rationalization and not based on any science.
The pristine Ogallala Aquifer and its existing pipelines.
In 1968, when the Viet Nam War was starting to look like a quagmire, CBS News anchor Walter Cronkite openly declared his opposition. President Lyndon Johnson reportedly told an aide that when he lost Cronkite, he lost America. News is much different today; there are no trusted broadcasters. People instead trust comedians. So when Steven Chu lost Jimmy Fallon, he may be on the outs (though I predicted he would be on the outs after Solyndra and that has not happened).
Jimmy Fallon is in the 1%, and so quite rich, but he still doesn't think gas prices are anything to brag about - and a PhD in physics probably shouldn't look as out of touch as he does. Fallon commented, "Yesterday, Energy Secretary Steven Chu said that he would give himself an A for controlling the cost of gas. On behalf of Americans, I'd like to give him an F -- and a U. Five dollars a gallon for gas? You turkey!"
Chu responded to criticism during his Congressional hearing that electric cars were soooo much better now and that he deserves the credit but, really, the poorest people in America are impacted by this kind of government mismanagement and telling them to go out and buy an electric car seems like the kind of elitist patronization that has gotten his boss so much criticism.
President Obama may also be hanging him out to dry a little. He canceled Keystone XL after Chu said it should be approved, then said he would push forward to get approval for a section of Keystone that Transcanada has not even applied to build. Though maybe he still likes Chu. He said China is to blame for Solyndra failing, not the company itself or even the Energy Department for giving them more money after they were kaput. Why blame others? Because the Chinese subsidize low cost loans to manufacturers - just like American taxpayers did for Solyndra.
- PHYSICAL SCIENCES
- EARTH SCIENCES
- LIFE SCIENCES
- SOCIAL SCIENCES
Subscribe to the newsletter
Stay in touch with the scientific world!
Know Science And Want To Write?
- Sweet Irony: The Environmental Impacts Of GMO Sugar Science Denial
- Evidence Of Link Between Childhood Cancer And Phototherapy For Jaundice Examined
- How Does Obesity Cause Disease In Organs Distant From Those Where Fat Accumulates?
- Sexual Harassment in Science What Have We Learned (OP ED)
- Hacking Memory To Follow Through With Intentions
- Distinguished European Scientists Challenge Endocrine Pseudoscience
- Flu Vaccination Associated With Lower Dementia Risk In Patients With Heart Failure
- "No, I am not saying a lack of belief will result in research showing something does not work. There..."
- "I think the text is quite easy to comprehend considering the difficulty of the subject matter...."
- "If you find a food without chemicals, please let the world know. You will get the biggest Nobel..."
- "Hi Tommaso, I think that the explanation can be understood with a bit of effort. However I am pretty..."
- "Are you saying that because scientists don't believe in homeopathy then scientific trials won't..."
- New research confirms continued, unabated and large-scale amphibian declines
- Use of video decision aids increases advance care planning in Hilo, Hawaii
- Low- and high-birthweight babies appear at increased risk for cardiovascular disease
- Proteins key to unlocking cancer for National Cancer Moonshot
- A single enzyme with the power of three could offer shortcut to therapeutic target