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Hey, Boss, You're Just Like My Teenage Kids:

From the Wall Street Journal Environmental Capital blog:

Speaking on the sidelines of a smart grid conference in Washington, [Secretary of Energy Steven] Chu said he didn't think average folks had the know-how or will to to change their behavior enough to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions.

"The American public ... just like your teenage kids, aren't acting in a way that they should act," Dr. Chu said. "The American public has to really understand in their core how important this issue is."

It may well be that your bosses act like teenage kids, but if you say it, chances are that you've forgotten that they are your bosses. Possibly indirectly relevant line (for "I," read the teenage kids), from one of my favorite short stories, Rudyard Kipling's The Elephant's Child: "Pooh. I don't think you peoples know anything about spanking; but I do, and I'll show you."

Thanks to InstaPundit for the pointer.

ruuffles (mail) (www):
An update: Energy Department spokesman Dan Leistikow added: "Secretary Chu was not comparing the public to teenagers. He was saying that we need to educate teenagers about ways to save energy. He also recognized the need to educate the broader public about how important clean energy industries are to our competitive position in the global economy. He believes public officials do have an obligation to make their case to the American people on major legislation, and that's what he's doing."
9.22.2009 3:57pm
Nunzio:
When are we going to build more nuclear power plants, Dr. Chu?
9.22.2009 4:04pm
Hannibal Lector:
Energy Department spokesman Dan Leistikow added: "Secretary Chu was not comparing the public to teenagers.
Below is the direct quote from the WSJ site. I think VC readers can figure out the truth of the matter.
"The American public…just like your teenage kids, aren't acting in a way that they should act," Dr. Chu said. "The American public has to really understand in their core how important this issue is."
And I'd also be willing to bet that Chu is a hypocritical, elitist, snob who burns a lot more energy on average than the readers of this blog.
9.22.2009 4:06pm
ruuffles (mail) (www):

And I'd also be willing to bet that Chu is a hypocritical, elitist, snob who burns a lot more energy on average than the readers of this blog.

He bikes to work.
9.22.2009 4:08pm
gullyborg (mail) (www):
Reminds me of when Peter Jennings described the American electorate as a bunch of children... in response to 1994.
9.22.2009 4:09pm
Mark N. (www):

He bikes to work.

Yeah, but does that offset all that energy his lasers take? ;-)
9.22.2009 4:12pm
Gadfly John:
Dr. Chu bikes to work. Does he fly? How often and how far?
9.22.2009 4:12pm
ShelbyC:

He bikes to work.


So therefore he's not a hypocritical, elitist, snob who burns a lot more energy on average than the readers of this blog?
9.22.2009 4:14pm
ruuffles (mail) (www):

Yeah, but does that offset all that energy his lasers take? ;-)

Ha. Yeah, was just about to add that.

Q: Is it true you don't drive a car?
A: My wife does, but I no longer own a car. Let me just say that in most of my jobs, I mostly rode my bicycle.
Q: And now?
A: My security detail didn't want me to be riding my bicycle or even taking the Metro. I have a security detail that drives me.
Q: How do you feel about adding carbon emissions to the air?
A: I don't feel good about it.

[...]

Q: I guess the President wants to keep you alive.
A: My wife is in favor of that as well.
9.22.2009 4:14pm
JAL (mail):
Where does he live? Where is his outside DC home? Does his wife dry her clothes outside? What color is his house roof? (If the light / heat is reflected of the whitewash, doesn't that put the heat back into the atmosphere?)Is it airconditioned?

I am so tired of this administration thinking we are idiots.

We will NEVER be energy independent using solar and windmills.

Process the shale oil. Build nuclear power plants. Drill offshore in the gulf and Alaska to buy us time to trasition without killing the economy.
9.22.2009 4:14pm
ruuffles (mail) (www):

So therefore he's not a hypocritical, elitist, snob who burns a lot more energy on average than the readers of this blog?

I've provided more evidence that he's not, than others have that he is. Please try harder and don't just scream "elitist" like its 2008.
9.22.2009 4:16pm
Steve:
Below is the direct quote from the WSJ site. I think VC readers can figure out the truth of the matter.

The direct quote has an ellipsis? Did Dr. Chu make little dots in the air when he got to that part of his statement, like Victor Borge?
9.22.2009 4:20pm
DangerMouse:
[Insulting rant against "libs" deleted. Folks, if you feel the need to talk about "libs" or "wingnuts" or some such in your argument, that's a good sign that the argument isn't going to be terribly careful or helpful. Please keep it substantive, polite, and thoughtful. -EV]
9.22.2009 4:20pm
Joe The Plumber (mail):
He bikes to work.

Um, and then what?

This proves _________ exactly?
9.22.2009 4:21pm
Joe The Plumber (mail):
I've provided more evidence that he's not

Actually, you haven't.

You made a claim he bikes to work when he does not.

He's driven in an SUV.
9.22.2009 4:22pm
ruuffles (mail) (www):

You made a claim he bikes to work when he does not.

He's driven in an SUV.

**FACE PALM**
Read my follow up.

Q: Is it true you don't drive a car?
A: My wife does, but I no longer own a car. Let me just say that in most of my jobs, I mostly rode my bicycle.
Q: And now?
A: My security detail didn't want me to be riding my bicycle or even taking the Metro. I have a security detail that drives me.

Give me a break.
9.22.2009 4:24pm
Joe The Plumber (mail):
"The American public ... just like your teenage kids, aren't acting in a way that they should act,"

And this is how the modern "progressive" movement views America.

Thankfully there are people like ruuffles cheering them on.
9.22.2009 4:24pm
Officious Intermeddler:
I don't know whether Chu's a hypocrite. I do know that this is a spectacular Kinsleyan gaffe, illustrating perfectly the paternalist habit of mind endemic on both the left and the right.

Hypocrite? Dunno. Arrogant, self-righteous asshat? Absolutely.
9.22.2009 4:24pm
egd:

Energy Department spokesman Dan Leistikow added: "Secretary Chu was not comparing the public to teenagers. He was saying that we need to educate teenagers about ways to save energy. He also recognized the need to educate the broader public about how important clean energy industries are to our competitive position in the global economy. He believes public officials do have an obligation to make their case to the American people on major legislation, and that's what he's doing."

I assume that if a head of a government agency referred to the American people as "A**holes", pretty soon there would be a spokesman out there claiming that "Secretary __ was not saying the American people are a**holes, but comparing them to the important function that the a**hole plays in the overall operation of the human body. Without the a**hole providing a check on political excess, it wouldn't take long for the body politic to become full of s**t."
9.22.2009 4:25pm
Joe The Plumber (mail):
Read my follow up.

Um, that doesn't mean you didn't post an actual lie.

As I said: he's driven in an SUV.

Clown.
9.22.2009 4:26pm
ruuffles (mail) (www):

I assume that if a head of a government agency referred to the American people as "A**holes"

Van Jones resigned, what, two weeks ago?
9.22.2009 4:26pm
ruuffles (mail) (www):

As I said: he's driven in an SUV.

Clown.

No. Please act more mature. Thanks. :-)
9.22.2009 4:27pm
Joe The Plumber (mail):
Give me a break.

You're here deliberately posting false information and trying to obfuscate.

So, no, I won't give you a break.
9.22.2009 4:27pm
ruuffles (mail) (www):

You're here deliberately posting false information and trying to obfuscate.

So, no, I won't give you a break.

Thanks, but I posted exact quotes. Oh gimme a break!
9.22.2009 4:28pm
Joe The Plumber (mail):
An update: Energy Department spokesman Dan Leistikow added:

Laugh out loud funny.

This is on par with Obama when he says "Let me make clear..."
9.22.2009 4:28pm
Joe The Plumber (mail):
but I posted exact quotes

Hysterical.

Mind you, from the author of:

He bikes to work


Some "direct quote" there...
9.22.2009 4:29pm
egd:
ruuffles:

Van Jones resigned, what, two weeks ago?

Yes, and Dr. Chu should be held to the same standard for insulting, not just half of the American populace, but the entirety of it.
9.22.2009 4:35pm
Malthus:
We should all know by now that the solution to global warming, deforestation, peak oil, acid rain, devastation of fish stocks and coral reefs is to STOP PROCREATING!

In particular, the pro-natalist policies of the USSA are responsible for contributing to all these, and many more, problems, including warfare over lebensraum.

Does anyone but me wonder why an Obamacare policy for a single person will cost some $8000 and for a family some $20,000?

If the idea is to spread the risk and combat "global warming" et. al., every person should be assessed the SAME Obamacare premium, right?

Of course Obamacare has nothing to do with health or common sense: it is a mere transfer of wealth from the single to the married, from the child-free to the breeder, and from the poor to the rich, the black to the white.

Except that it is also a tool to increase the control of the Feds over our lives. Stalin couldn't have done better. It should be recognized that the breeding Amerikan woman doubles her already extreme carbon load on the planet!
9.22.2009 4:36pm
Randy R. (mail):
I really don't understand what the problem is here. IF we want to reduce greenhouse emissions in a way that will stop or reverse climate change, then we have to do certain things to do that.

Now one can argue (as I'm sure many will do), that climate change isn't happening, that carbon emission are not the problem, etc. However, that doesn't change Chu's argument - if you want to accomplish something, then you have to do something to actually accomplish it.

For instance, if you want to save up enough money to buy a house, then you actually have to save money. If you go around spending money on cars and jewelry, that might be fine, but it isn't getting you to your goal of buying a house. It would be, dare I say it, childish (at possibly teenagerish) to say, well, I blow my money on cars and jewelry and not have to worry about buying a house.
9.22.2009 4:36pm
Edward Lunny (mail):
" An update: Energy Department spokesman Dan Leistikow added: "Secretary Chu was not comparing the public to teenagers. "...Lying coward, that is exactly what he said.

Let me fix the last sentance for you........
"He believes public officials do have right to force the American people to abide by our major legislation, and that's what he's doing."

When the purveyors of the bovine scatology known as AGW begin to live their lives in the way that they are trying to force the rest of us. When the Gore's, Hansen's, moore's et al walk the walk and don't just talk the talk, I'll be more open to their veiwpoints. Until then it i all just so much rubbish.
9.22.2009 4:36pm
DangerMouse:
Oh come on Eugene. The topic was whether he was a hypocrite. I posted saying that he was. Surely that's germane?
9.22.2009 4:36pm
Randy R. (mail):
Maltus: "Of course Obamacare has nothing to do with health or common sense: it is a mere transfer of wealth from the single to the married, from the child-free to the breeder, and from the poor to the rich, the black to the white.:

Me, I'm counting on wealth transfer from the straight to the gay. When that happens, I'm singing up. whoo hoo!
9.22.2009 4:38pm
Fat Man (mail):
My considered adolescent response on my 62nd birthday:

Chu on this, jerk face.
9.22.2009 4:39pm
JakeCollins:
Millions will die from AGW in the third world over the coming decades, and the commentators at VC are acting like spoiled children whose parents suggested they stop picking their nose.

Conservatives really are children.
9.22.2009 4:40pm
Borris (mail):


He bikes to work.



So therefore he's not a hypocritical, elitist, snob who burns a lot more energy on average than the readers of this blog?

As someone from Portland, OR, riding a bike to work proves that he is at least an elitist and a snob. The hypocritical part is TBD.

Although, I should point out that in Phoenix, AZ riding your bike to work proved only that you were a mountain biking fanatic.

So, we have to take into account WHERE he predominantly rides his bike. For example, DC or where-ever his previous place of employment was.
9.22.2009 4:42pm
Careless:

An update: Energy Department spokesman Dan Leistikow added: "Secretary Chu was not comparing the public to teenagers. He was saying that we need to educate teenagers about ways to save energy. He also recognized the need to educate the broader public about how important clean energy industries are to our competitive position in the global economy. He believes public officials do have an obligation to make their case to the American people on major legislation, and that's what he's doing."

You know, I actually thought Ruufles was joking when he posted that
9.22.2009 4:42pm
DennisN (mail):
I have just one comment for Secretary Chu, and it would have been made regardless of which side of the aisle he occupies.

You work for us.
9.22.2009 4:44pm
Harry Schell (mail):
Chu is another reason one has to be careful how many eggheads one hires onto the staff. There have to be some doers with the thinkers, to keep thinkers from doing stupid things and talking about them.

Chu's carbon footprint is bigger than mine, I drive my Subaru WRX by myself. No security detail, no SUV. Well, that's not quite true, I have a 1999 GMC Yukon as well as a Sub. It's good for hauling groups of people and stuff places.

Chu meant what he said in his analogy, of what he knows or thinks he knows about clingy non-MMGW believers. Makes him a bigoted egghead with more hat than cattle. To try to spin it another way...English must be his second language or he is compounding the exposure of his attitude toward those he thinks need his enlightened management.
9.22.2009 4:44pm
extractor:
Eugene, in what way is American public Chu's bosses? Cabinet secretaries are not elected and do not answer to the public. They work for the President. That the President is elected is a second question.
9.22.2009 4:44pm
Joe The Plumber (mail):
Millions will die from AGW in the third world over the coming decades,

Too funny.

Do you have a crystal ball or something?
9.22.2009 4:46pm
Nikki Thomas (mail) (www):
It's our govt. and people like Chu who are acting like teenage kids who don't know the effects of global warming, because they're the ones not doing anything about global warming.

-Nikki-
9.22.2009 4:46pm
Joe The Plumber (mail):
Now one can argue (as I'm sure many will do), that climate change isn't happening

Um, the climate has been changing for billions of years.
That is the nature of the climate.

that carbon emission are not the problem,

Huh?

You can provide no evidence that "carbon emissions" are "the problem" for anything.
9.22.2009 4:47pm
Joe The Plumber (mail):
Millions will die from AGW in the third world over the coming decades

And yet you're typing silly comments via computer plugged into an outlet sucking energy created by fossil fuels.

Again, hypocrisy is a virtue for the modern left.
9.22.2009 4:48pm
Bleh:

Libs don't care about the people. All they care about are looking good towards other elites, and directing the masses with their self-anointed vision of progress.


You're my hero. I wish I could make completely inane and idiotic claims and still be able to look at myself in the mirror, just like you.


As for what he said. Give me a break, like none of you have ever thought the same exact thing about people on the other side of an argument. I always try to see things from the "other sides'" perspective, but even then I'm sometimes left shaking my head and saying, "really, that's what you think?"

Was it a paternalistic statement? Yeah, I think so. Does that make it incorrect?

Say, purely for the purpose of discussion, we blow the global warming threat way out of proportion and say that if we don't seriously reduce carbon emissions (to 10% of current levels) in the next 50 years, the world will end. And we know this for a fact. Would the government in that case have no cause steer the people in the right direction? Or should the people be allowed to do their own thing knowing that some people could care less about the state of the world 50 years from now?

Obviously that's not the case in reality. But we're pretty sure that if we don't make some changes in the near future, things (climate, sea levels, etc) are going to change for the worse. There are plenty of people out there, like me, who know that they should change their behavior, but don't because they don't see the point if no one else is going to, and because we're (I'm) lazy. Is that hypocritical? Yep, sure is. Does it change the reality of the situation? No. So yeah, I personally would welcome some paternalism on this issue to make me do what's good for myself (but it's not really about that, it's about what's good for the collective).

Oh no. I said collective, I'm a commie now.
9.22.2009 4:49pm
Bleh:
Oh and before anyone says it, I do indeed welcome our new (communist/liberal/insect) overlords. /sarcasm
9.22.2009 4:52pm
one of many:
Hmm, Chu's real speaking problem seems to be that he confuses the specific with the general with the whole. If he could only get into the habit of using "some", "most" and "many" his words wouldn't be so outrageous. A simple trick which completely changes the tone. Much like his comment about white roofs (people like me who live in Northern climates and don't use air conditioning would use more energy with a white roof), this is a case of inappropriate generalization. People are not photons Dr. Chu, and unlike photons they get upset when you don't recognize that they are individuals.
9.22.2009 4:53pm
Joe The Plumber (mail):
I love watching you leftists in action.
Right from the playbook:

Part 1 - shout "your side does it too" (without evidence of course)
like none of you have ever thought the same exact thing about people on the other side of an argument.

Part 2, make unsupportable statements:
But we're pretty sure that if we don't make some changes in the near future, things (climate, sea levels, etc) are going to change for the worse

Part 3: Go off the rails crazy:
I personally would welcome some paternalism on this issue to make me do what's good for myself

-Note: to take this absurd "good for myself" to the extreme, you would be euthenized as you are a drain on planetary resources.

You're for that, right?
9.22.2009 4:54pm
Constantin:

When the purveyors of the bovine scatology known as AGW begin to live their lives in the way that they are trying to force the rest of us. When the Gore's, Hansen's, moore's et al walk the walk and don't just talk the talk, I'll be more open to their veiwpoints. Until then it i all just so much rubbish.


Alinsky Rule #4--"Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules."
9.22.2009 4:56pm
Nifonged:
"Eugene, in what way is American public Chu's bosses? Cabinet secretaries are not elected and do not answer to the public. They work for the President. "

Does the President pay his salary?

Tom Brady might answer to Bill Belichick, but let's be honest, Bob Kraft is his boss.
9.22.2009 4:57pm
Snoopeter:
Badly worded but partly true. Sad: the wording will obscure the utility of the message.
9.22.2009 4:57pm
Bleh:
Joe The Plumber,

Guess we just think differently, my friend.

To me, it seems that some people's argument against most things is that if you take it to the extreme, it's bad. You won't hear me arguing there.

I would continue to argue with you... but I seem to have misplaced my playbook.
9.22.2009 5:01pm
ChrisTS (mail):
Good grief. Is there some substance to any of this?

Isn't he correct: people will not take action to change their lives unless they really understand that it is important.

As parent to an adolescent, I can attest that all the 'You really need to do this..' exhortation in the world will have no effect. It is only when the need is internalized that change results.
9.22.2009 5:06pm
BGates:
I personally would welcome some paternalism on this issue to make me do what's good for myself

You turn off that internet browser right now, mister. As of right now, the computer is for business and school only. I'm grounding you for the next two weeks.
9.22.2009 5:07pm
BGates:
I actually thought Ruufles was joking

Sometimes joking, always a joke.

Van Jones resigned, what, two weeks ago?

Says the guy who's been taking shots at Robert Bork for the past eight.
9.22.2009 5:09pm
Curious Passerby (mail):
AGW is a scam to get control of the economy. The people aren't buying it and the elites obviously don't believe it either.

Drill offshore like Norway, build more nuclear plants like France.
9.22.2009 5:09pm
DiversityHire (mail):
Baghdad Bob's defense aside, Chu's comments are egregiously bad politics: nobody wants to be compared to their teenaged children. The hypocrisy isn't novel—politicians don't eat their own dogfood—but that's some seriously egregious arrogance. Chu sounds like an aggrieved teenager complaining about parents being stupid and out of it—if only he'd mentioned how unfair everything is :)

Its refreshing to hear some honest condescension from our "elite betters", keeps us on our toes. I'm sure he'll get a little bit of re-education in mochi-wrapping his messages.
9.22.2009 5:10pm
Cornet of Horse:
Joe the Plumber,

"I love watching you leftists in action."

If you're using superfluous second-person pronouns, you're probably a bigot...

There are plenty of people who believe that AGW is a real-life problem and have restructured their lives accordingly. If they are mistaken, how do attacks on the hypocrisy of others do anything to convince them of that fact?

Stun me with a serious answer.
9.22.2009 5:12pm
AJK:
Regardless of what you think of Chu's comments, surely everyone agrees that Leistikow's follow-up is an outright lie.

Right?
9.22.2009 5:14pm
Bleh:

mochi-wrapping


... You know he's of Chinese descent, not Japanese right? And that he was born in Missouri? ...
9.22.2009 5:16pm
john w. (mail):

An update: Energy Department spokesman Dan Leistikow added: "Secretary Chu was not comparing the public to teenagers. He was saying that we need to educate teenagers about ways to save energy. ..."

In other News: Marie Antoinette's press secretary explained today that Ms. Antoinette had no intention of mocking the poor people of Paris; she was merely suggesting that Bakeries need to find ways of producing cake more cheaply than bread.
9.22.2009 5:17pm
PlugInMonster:
Is Obama trying to elect a GOP Congress in 2010? I can't believe the stuff coming out of this administration on a daily basis. It's like they're LEMMINGS!
9.22.2009 5:17pm
egd:
Bleh:

But we're pretty sure that if we don't make some changes in the near future, things (climate, sea levels, etc) are going to change for the worse.


This argument sounds familiar. Do you, per chance, believe in God, despite atheistic tendencies?
9.22.2009 5:18pm
PlugInMonster:

In other News: Marie Antoinette's press secretary explained today that Ms. Antoinette had no intention of mocking the poor people of Paris; she was merely suggesting that Bakeries need to find ways of producing cake more cheaply than bread.


If Obama is smart, he'll heed the lessons of the French Monarchy circa 1790.
9.22.2009 5:20pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
ChrisTS... yes, change will only come when most people agree ("internalize") that change is needed. The problem, however, is that unlike teenager rebelling against a curfew, there are plenty of very good reasons for Americans to (a) doubt that global warming is primarily due to human causes and (b) believe that the changes which Secretary Chu seeks to mandate will cause great economic upheaval without doing anything to reduce any global warming.

Had Secretary Chu said: "People won't change until they understand and accept the need for change, and my job is to convince them that the global warming crowd is right on this issue," I wouldn't have a problem with that. But of course he didn't say that. He said that we were like teenager who don't understand that broccoli is good for them. That shows a contempt for the American public. His message was not "those of us promoting the cause of stopping global warming have not done a good enough job proving our case," it was "the American people are too stupid and recalcitrant to accept what us folks who really know accepted long ago." See the difference? One acknowledges reasonable grounds for debate. The other forecloses any possibility of real debate, by declaring the other side to be nothing more than uneducated children.
9.22.2009 5:22pm
MadHatChemist:

And I'd also be willing to bet that Chu is a hypocritical, elitist, snob who burns a lot more energy on average than the readers of this blog.

He bikes to work


Wouldn't the exercise result in his exhaling even more CO2?
9.22.2009 5:24pm
DiversityHire (mail):
@Bleh
I don't care if he's a Walloon. I'll swallow anything wrapped in mochi—even an arrogant, self-aggrandizing AGW dingleberry.
9.22.2009 5:26pm
Steve:
I suspect the time for this sort of faux populist outrage has long since expired, but some people never get tired of trying to relive the same old classic scenes. Hey Doctor Chu, We're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America!!!
9.22.2009 5:26pm
MadHatChemist:

I assume that if a head of a government agency referred to the American people as "A**holes", pretty soon there would be a spokesman out there claiming that "Secretary __ was not saying the American people are a**holes, but comparing them to the important function that the a**hole plays in the overall operation of the human body. Without the a**hole providing a check on political excess, it wouldn't take long for the body politic to become full of s**t."


Isn't that the take home message from "Team America: World Police"???
9.22.2009 5:27pm
Ben P:

I love watching you leftists in action.
Right from the playbook:

Part 1 - shout "your side does it too" (without evidence of course)
Part 2, make unsupportable statements:
Part 3: Go off the rails crazy:


wow.....I'm am absolutely floored by the irony here. Did you actually write this with a straight face or is the best trolling I've seen this year?
9.22.2009 5:33pm
alkali (mail):
I thought there could be nothing that could make me more angry than the fact that we were wrecking the earth with carbon emissions despite the warnings of all our scientists. I was wrong. This somewhat disrespectful analogy proves that Secretary Chu is indeed history's greatest monster.
9.22.2009 5:39pm
Penn1L:
What I'm waiting to see is some discussion about whether the American public is actually deserving of the "teenage" label.

In fact, that's exactly what I'd expect on an academic blog. Instead, the comment section is filled with speculative bullshit about Steven Chu as a person, which in turn leads to nonsensical and mind-numbing baiting from conservative commentators.
9.22.2009 5:42pm
dr:

@Joe The Plumber

An update: Energy Department spokesman Dan Leistikow added:



Laugh out loud funny.



Oh cool, The Ace is back. Welcome back, The Ace. Your particular brand of belligerence has been so dearly missed!

How did you get around the banning? New IP address?
9.22.2009 5:43pm
Joseph Somsel (mail):
Let's keep our eye on the donut here folks.

Chu was at a "smart grid" conference. The stimulus throws about $30 billion of taxpayer moneys to implement controls on customer usage of electricity. Part of the functionality would support real-time pricing for residential and commercial customers but a lot will involve collecting detailed usage data and implement explict remote controls on consumption.

Remember California's attempt to install remote control thermostats in homes and businesses back in early 2008? That, my friends, is the smart grid and that is what Secretary Chu means when we're unruly teenagers. The smart grid is just more nanny statism applied to electric use.

Sec. Chu should do what public servants are supposed to do - support the citizens' needs and not control them with new technology.
9.22.2009 5:49pm
traveler496:
PatHMV,
I tentatively disagree w/ you on the substantive issue but would like to acknowledge yours as one of the few quality comments on this otherwise relatively disappointing thread.
9.22.2009 5:51pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):
Regardless of what you think of Chu's comments, surely everyone agrees that Leistikow's follow-up is an outright lie.


Right?


Pretty much, the more charitable explanation is that Leistikow issued the follow-up denying what Chu said without first verifying what Chu actually said, which IMO means he was at best negligent rather than being willfully dishonest.
9.22.2009 5:53pm
DennisN (mail):
Thorley Winston :

the more charitable explanation is that Leistikow issued the follow-up denying what Chu said without first verifying what Chu actually said, which IMO means he was at best negligent rather than being willfully dishonest.


I think a more accurate description is that he acted with depraved indifference to the truth. Just say something, anything, to refute the charge.
9.22.2009 5:56pm
egd:
Penn1L:

What I'm waiting to see is some discussion about whether the American public is actually deserving of the "teenage" label.

Why should we discuss that? The administration has officially distanced itself from the comment. Do you disagree with the Obama administration that people are not acting like belligerent teenagers? Why do you disagree with a political malcontent such as Dr. Chu, whose statements don't adequately represent the views of the administration? More importantly, why do you hate America?

By the way, PatHMV made an excellent point about comparing Americans to teenagers, maybe you should read his post. Dr. Chu either said we're refusing to accede to AGW theories out of sheer stubbornness (his first statement) or out of ignorance (his second). In neither case does the administration recognize that there is a defensible position that AGW is wrong.

In either case, the administration is saying "sit down and eat your broccoli, it's good for you."
9.22.2009 6:02pm
Thorley Winston (mail) (www):

I think a more accurate description is that he acted with depraved indifference to the truth. Just say something, anything, to refute the charge.


I think yours is probably closer to the truth than my "charitable explanation." I was just trying to find the best possible explanation for the disconnect between what Chu actually said and what his spokesperson claimed he said.
9.22.2009 6:03pm
Joe The Plumber (mail):
wow.....I'm am absolutely floored by the irony here. Did you actually write this with a straight face or is the best trolling I've seen this year?

Note you didn't address a single point I made.

Want to take a guess as to why that is?
9.22.2009 6:07pm
Joe The Plumber (mail):
There are plenty of people who believe that AGW is a real-life problem and have restructured their lives accordingly

And,

There are plenty of people who believe that AGW God's word is a real-life problem guide and have restructured their lives accordingly

If they are mistaken, how do attacks on the hypocrisy of others do anything to convince them of that fact?

Well,
If they are mistaken, how do attacks on the hypocrisy of others [Like Sen Vitter?] do anything to convince them of that fact?

I'll leave it to you to figure out the parallel...
9.22.2009 6:10pm
Joe The Plumber (mail):
What I'm waiting to see is some discussion about whether the American public is actually deserving of the "teenage" label.

Hysterical.

Modern "liberals" are unserious people saying unserious things.

Keep looking for this "discussion" though!
9.22.2009 6:11pm
dr:

Joe The Plumber (mail):
wow.....I'm am absolutely floored by the irony here. Did you actually write this with a straight face or is the best trolling I've seen this year?


Note you didn't address a single point I made.

Want to take a guess as to why that is?





I'm betting that it's because The Ace was banned exactly one year ago today, so maybe Ben's just confused as to how it is that you're back...
9.22.2009 6:13pm
Joe The Plumber (mail):
To me, it seems that some people's argument against most things is that if you take it to the extreme, it's bad.

Um, not really.

Otherwise, you do understand with this AGW issue that the side you're on favors population control and reducing emissions.

So therefore killing humans is "what is good for you"
9.22.2009 6:15pm
ChrisTS (mail):
dr:

Thanks for those links.
9.22.2009 6:20pm
dr:

dr:

Thanks for those links.


Sure thing.

There are more examples, of course. But I think the fingerprints are pretty pristine.
9.22.2009 6:31pm
ChrisTS (mail):
PatHMV

Ok, let's say the man messed up in articulating the problem as he sees it. However, we need to recognize that he thinks the human contribution to rapid climte change is well-evidenced. Most climate scientists [if not all] agree.

I think we non-science folks are often too quick to take offense when a scientist shows confidence with respect to scientific matters. (Compare the whole evolution v. 'creationism' stuff.) But, from Chu's perspective, the view of some/many Americans that rapid climate change is not due [largely] to human behavior is just as mistaken as the view that evolution is 'just a theory.' Imagine how much more frustrating it is to these people to repeatedly hear jokes about polar bears and so on.

Science advisors are not politicians - thank whatever. Jumping all over Chu is silly. Trying to use him to jump all over the current Administration is fallacious.
9.22.2009 6:33pm
NickM (mail) (www):
Steven Chu is Secretary of Energy. He's in the Presidential line of succession.
Go right ahead and try to convince people that doesn't count as a politician.

Meanwhile, it's nice to know that Energy Dempartment press statements should be regarded with the same degree of trust as Hollywood PR statements.

Nick
9.22.2009 6:54pm
ericmess (mail):
When you win the Nobel Prize in Physics, I think you're entitled to be a least a little elitist, right?
9.22.2009 7:03pm
PatHMV (mail) (www):
Well, ChrisTS, certainly not all. Far from all, and more are abandoning the "consensus" every month, I think. More to the point, the IPCC has very deep flaws, so any "consensus" is irrelevant, as the science does not actually support what the policy people like Al Gore and Secretary Chu are saying. Many more posts from me and my co-bloggers here.

And Secretary Chu is no longer functioning as a scientist. He is now a policy maker. That's the job he has. He has been appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate of the United States of America. That makes him a part of the current Administration, whether he (or the President) like it or not.

I don't have a problem with a scientist having confidence with respect to scientific matters. I do have a problem with scientists telling me how I must live my life, and with scientists comparing dissent to the viewpoint of some scientists to the ignorance of teenagers. Speaking of polar bears, imagine how those of us who actually read things other than AGW propaganda are that the Secretary refuses to even debate the substantive issue, preferring to try to insult us into silence.

But it's part and parcel of President Obama's administration so far. Whenever possible, they address only the most obnoxious loud-mouth critics, rather than the substantive criticisms underlying all that political hyperbole, pretending as if the only criticisms come from the loud-mouths and the cranks.
9.22.2009 7:04pm
gab:

Remember California's attempt to install remote control thermostats in homes and businesses back in early 2008?


I don't recall that at all. Was that southern California?
9.22.2009 7:04pm
Joseph Somsel (mail):
As to the efforts of the California Energy Commission to mandate remote control thermostats for homes and businesses, look here:


Original article

and here:

New York Times coverage


The proposal was withdrawn by the commission following a public outcry.

The implications of the push for "smart grids" I'll leave to your research. The efforts to control personal energy consumption continue and Sec. Chu's statement reflects the philosophy behind that thrust.
9.22.2009 7:23pm
ginsocal (mail):
As a refugee from Mexifornia, I can attest that, yes, the morons in Sacramento were proposing just such a plan.

This is, of course, the same group that wants to ban dark-colored cars...
9.22.2009 7:32pm
Joe The Plumber (mail):
However, we need to recognize that he thinks the human contribution to rapid climte change is well-evidenced. Most climate scientists [if not all] agree.

1. Chu is not a "climate scientist"

2. Nowhere near "all" agree. Not even close.
("I am of the opinion that this is one of the greatest hoaxes ever perpetrated on the American people,)
9.22.2009 7:55pm
Joe The Plumber (mail):
When you win the Nobel Prize in Physics, I think you're entitled to be a least a little elitist, right?

I suppose if he were making some point about actual physics, or engaged in a debate on the matter.

However, he insulted the entire adult populace of America.

Of course hubris is another virtue for the modern left...
9.22.2009 7:57pm
Splunge:
Steve Chu is one hell of a laser jock, but he is no more qualified to opine on the veracity of AGW than any random moderately intelligent citizen. His background -- low temperature quantum electronics, roughly -- tells him very little that is useful for evaluating climate modeling and the extrapolations from measurement that are part of the AGW theory. He's a smart man, to be sure, but there's nothing in his scientific background that gives him any greater authority to speak on this subject.

And, yes, as a person he is a bit arrogant. That certainly explains his comment to me.

But I also agree with those who point out that whether his comment is arrogant or not is far less relevant than whether it is true. Are the American public like unruly teenagers who wilfully disregard the ominous statistics, and refuse to wear the seat belt while driving drunk and simultaneously texting a break-up message to someone with whom they had unsafe sex?

Well, no, speaking as a scientist myself, I wouldn't say so. Not because AGW is not a plausible theory. It is. But unfortunately if there's one lesson empirical science teaches us, it's that plausible theories are far more common than factually true theories, and, alas, scientists are no less prone than nonscientists to fall in love with their theories and mistake their plausibility for their factual veracity.

Skepticism is, therefore, a reasonable public response. Hell, it's the appropriate scientific response, and I'm a little saddened to see so many in the academy respond with such low levels of skepticism.

Going ape-shit to try to "save the planet" from AGW, at enormous and unknown cost, might well be an advisable course of action if the forseeable consequences of AGW if it turned out to be 100% true were draconian, e.g. the extinction of life on the planet. But they're not. Without doubt, a few degree rise in the average temperature of the Earth would have spectacular consequences, and reshape the globe. Countries would rise and fall, agriculture would shift hugely, species would go extinct, and it could be (as someone said above) millions in the Third World would die.

Yeah, well, color me very unimpressed. This is not the KT extinction event, folks. If millions of people die over the next century from AGW, will that clearly stand out from the hundreds of millions that will die from heart disease, cancer, malaria, malnutrition, childbirth, diseased water supplies, wars and governmental malfeasance? I would suspect not. Would even the worst-case disruption caused by AGW cause as much misery and destruction as the drastic action required to avert it? That is not clear, not at all.

One thing I find contemptible about the discussion is when folks talk about the huge costs associated with mitigation of anthropogenic CO2 emission as "just" money. They forget that money -- wealth -- is what, and only what, brings health, long life, and safety to people the world over. It's wealth -- money from, e.g. selling products and services to the United States -- that lets poor folks in Indonesia buy better wells, vaccines, AZT to prevent mothers passing AIDS to their babies, or even to prevent AIDS spread in the first place. When you imagine a world that is economically far poorer -- but magically just as safe and healthy -- you are fantasizing. If the world becomes much poorer, it will revert to being less safe, less healthy, and far more miserable. These real human costs must be set against the human costs of any putative climate change.
9.22.2009 8:12pm
ShelbyC:

draconian, e.g. the extinction of life on the planet. But they're not. Without doubt, a few degree rise in the average temperature of the Earth would have spectacular consequences, and reshape the globe. Countries would rise and fall, agriculture would shift hugely, species would go extinct, and it could be (as someone said above) millions in the Third World would die.


Heck, I don't even know if it's that bad. It's just the ice in Greenland that will cause the sea levels to rise, correct?
9.22.2009 8:22pm
dr:

Of course hubris is another virtue for the modern left...


And apparently, reincarnation is a virtue of the modern right.
9.22.2009 8:27pm
Perseus (mail):
Most climate scientists [if not all] agree.

The majority must be right because scientific discovery works just like a democracy!

I think we non-science folks are often too quick to take offense when a scientist shows confidence with respect to scientific matters.

As a political scientist, I take offense when scientists behave like Hippodamus.
9.22.2009 8:34pm
Cornet of Horse:
Splunge,

Thank you.

Joe the Plumbob,

You could go cut a $10,000 check to ACORN-SEIU and do less damage to your "side" than you've done in this thread. As for your comparison to charges of hypocrisy bringing the church to its knees, I've somehow missed the mass waves of atheism that have resulted from that approach. Americans don't cotton much to self-righteous bullies.

When one's aim gets as bad as yours has, its time to holster the gun.
9.22.2009 8:40pm
Dunbar (mail):
JakeCollins,

Millions will die from AGW in the third world over the coming decades, and the commentators at VC are acting like spoiled children whose parents suggested they stop picking their nose.

Conservatives really are children.

Unless we revisit the DDT issue, malaria will kill more people in the Third World than AGW in the coming decades. And we don't even need to prognosticate to know the harmful effects of malaria -- it's happening as we speak.

I don't think you care about the Third World one iota though. It's just a nice little sweetener to hide the otherwise repugnant taste of your political agenda.
9.22.2009 8:42pm
Steve:
Ah, the myth of the DDT ban yet again. Prof. Adler's threads are so predictable.
9.22.2009 8:51pm
ShelbyC:

Ah, the myth of the DDT ban yet again


Well the guy at my home depot buys into the myth too. He won't sell me any for my yard.
9.22.2009 8:56pm
Dunbar (mail):
Simply for the sake of argument --

Regardless of the effects of the DDT ban, you would at least concede the awful consequences of malaria in the Third World.

If you are indeed so concerned about the Third World (which, I would venture, you are not), you'd be much better served working to eliminate malaria.
9.22.2009 9:07pm
Steve:
Please let us know what you are doing to eliminate malaria, Dunbar, since I presume you care about the Third World (unlike most everyone here).
9.22.2009 9:35pm
Erich Schwarz (mail):
It sounds as if Chu and his many left-wing defenders would agree with Bertolt Brecht:

Some party hack decreed that the people
had lost the government's confidence
and could only regain it with redoubled effort.
If that is the case, would it not be be simpler,
If the government simply dissolved the people
And elected another?
9.22.2009 9:49pm
ArthurKirkland:
Most Americans seem too dense, too selfish or too ignorant to recognize that their wasteful use of oil is a reason many young Americans are at risk abroad (as they patrol waterways, or fight on the ground in the Middle East), several obnoxious governments have substantial influence and the means to afflict populations, the environment is harmed, and the planet and people confront other problems.

If they don't like being informed of these points, that reflects even more poorly on their (lack of) character.
9.22.2009 10:02pm
A. Zarkov (mail):
The Obama administration canceled the Yucca Mountain Project for nuclear waster storage. This leaves the US with no waste storage other than letting it pile at the reactor sites. If we were sensible, then we would reprocess our wastes like France and Japan. But Jimmie Carter put a stop to reprocessing. Did Chu try to influence Obama to finish the Yucca Mountain Project? I doubt it.

Chu says his "worst nightmare is coal." But without reactors how will we generate electricity if we don't use coal or I guess natural gas. After all natural gas is a fossil fuel. Does anyone really think that we can replace coal-fired power plants and gas fired-power plants with wind and solar energy? Even if we could, the cost would increase from 4 cents a Kwhr to at least 16 cents a Kwh. Chu does not seem to understand that most of the costs in electricity generation are capital costs and not feedstock costs. Wind and solar are capital intensive approaches. Moreover they will require a massive investment in a new grid to distribute the energy.

What we need to do is buy small off-the-shelf reactors from France. France has proven that reactors are both a reliable and economic way to generate electricity.

Finally Chu is really an advocate of bio-fuels, perhaps the worst approach of them all.

In any case Chu now sounds more like T.D. Lysenko than a rational scientist open to debate. Call people "teenagers" is contemptible.
9.22.2009 10:03pm
glangston (mail):
Chu is not nearly as entertaining an elitist as Prince Charles.

The Prince, who has two Jaguars, two Audis, a Range Rover and still drives an Aston Martin given to him by the Queen on his 21st birthday, said developers had a duty to put public transport and the pedestrian at the heart of their housing schemes.
9.22.2009 10:10pm
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9.22.2009 10:13pm
jukeboxgrad (mail):
dr already did a great job of nailing down the DNA comparison, but there's no reason for the fun to stop. Upthread, Joe The Plumber said this:

Want to take a guess as to why that is?


Through the miracle of google, we can discover that this string of words has appeared at this site only twice before. On 7/28/08, The Ace said this:

Want to take a guess as to why that is?


And on 6/29/09, Joe the Plumber said this:

You want to take a guess as to why that is?


What's even more amusing is what we learn when we unlimit the search, and try to find the phrase anywhere on the internet. Then at another blog we discover this, posted by Jay:

Want to take a guess as to why that is?


Read the rest of Jay's comment, and the overall congruence is obvious ("Your ignorance knows no bounds … Dumbass").

That other blog happens to be Ace of Spades HQ. So The Ace has a blog called Ace of Spades HQ, and he likes to post as Jay at his own blog. And he used to post here as The Ace, until he was banned. And now he has reincarnated himself as Joe the Plumber.

And there's also this, at reason.com, 7/17/09:

Want to take a guess as to why that is?


Who signed that comment? The Ace.

The best part is that the unlimited search comes up with only one instance, in the whole internet, of someone other than Ace/Jay/Joe using that sentence.

Ace, you should really sue that guy. What makes him think he can use your signature sentence?

========================
cornet:

Joe the Plumbob,

You could go cut a $10,000 check to ACORN-SEIU and do less damage to your "side" than you've done in this thread


Ace/Jay/Joe, if you have any regard at all for my entertainment needs, you will pay no attention to what cornet said. Want to take a guess as to why that is? It's because this place is not the same without you. I miss the days when you were here using words like "imbecile" and "idiot" on a regular basis (example, example, example, example, example, example). I'm counting on you to keep doing what you do so well. Please don't let me down.
9.22.2009 10:22pm
DiversityHire (mail):
"…the planet and people confront other problems."

AGW, regardless of the science, gets way too much attention. Politically, it's swelled to an all encompassing weltanschauung saddling adherents and critics with identity issues that reduce the possibility of resolving other less-sweeping issues. The example you mentioned—the costs of securing access to oil—could be more effectively addressed if the AGW framework were emphasized less.
9.22.2009 10:27pm
EPluribusMoney (mail):
Wow, jukeboxgrad you are soooo clever. I don't know Joe but he makes some good points and as I was also once banned by the excitable OK (as was everyone else in my building at the time) I'm glad to come to his aid.

Want to take a guess as to why that is?

Want to take a guess as to why that is?

Want to take a guess as to why that is?

I will post that here, everywhere and as an invisible metatag on m web site and I hope others spread it around as well.

We will not cower to followers of The One.
9.22.2009 11:13pm
zefal (mail):
I guess he's referring to people like al gore.
9.22.2009 11:15pm
Dunbar (mail):
Steve,

Please let us know what you are doing to eliminate malaria, Dunbar, since I presume you care about the Third World (unlike most everyone here).

That's easy! I'm promoting DDT awareness and refuting the lies of the DDT-deniers. You already referred to DDT as a myth in this thread, despite abundant scientific evidence that DDT kills mosquitoes. To paraphrase JakeCollins, millions of people in the Third World are dying, and the only solution is adopting my political agenda.
9.22.2009 11:17pm
traveler496:
Splunge,

Thanks for making several good points. I want to take issue with one of them, and add a couple more.

Re: "Steve Chu is one hell of a laser jock, but he is no more qualified to opine on the veracity of AGW than any random moderately intelligent citizen. His background -- low temperature quantum electronics, roughly -- tells him very little that is useful for evaluating climate modeling and the extrapolations from measurement that are part of the AGW theory."

I disagree. Chu's training as a physicist has likely given him substantial relevant domain knowledge (e.g. thermodynamics, fluid mechanics), and relevant skills (e.g. math modeling, complex problem solving, statistical analysis, general quantitative reasoning). Other things equal, these would render him much more capable than a typical intelligent citizen at evaluating a physics-intensive hypothesis such as AGW.

(You may well ask whether other things, such as Chu's objectivity, open-mindedness, and incentives, are equal; but that's a separate question.)

Here are two additional considerations that seem important (and which, interestingly, appear to push the conclusion in opposite directions:

1) The risk of runaway warming. If this is something with non-neglible probability, its expected costs could dwarf the other things you discuss.

2) The fact that in the coming decades, barring catastrophe, our knowledge and our capabilities will each be much greater than now.
9.23.2009 1:24am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
epluribusmoney:

I was also once banned by the excitable OK (as was everyone else in my building at the time)


You were once in a building that not only contained no one but VC commenters, but also contained no one but VC commenters banned by Orin Kerr? That's so mysterious I hope you'll explain more. You're not going to leave us hanging, are you?

Want to take a guess as to why that is?


Saying that three times in the same comment is a great idea. But I don't know why you're holding back. In my comment here I managed five. Also, if you want to sound like Ace/Jay/Joe you're going to have to toss in some 'idiots' and 'imbeciles.'

I'm glad to come to his aid.


And I'm glad that you and I can find this common ground, that we are both glad he is here and we're hoping that he stays longer this time.
9.23.2009 1:54am
PlugInMonster:
ArthurKirkland:

Most Americans seem too dense, too selfish or too ignorant to recognize that their wasteful use of oil is a reason many young Americans are at risk abroad (as they patrol waterways, or fight on the ground in the Middle East), several obnoxious governments have substantial influence and the means to afflict populations, the environment is harmed, and the planet and people confront other problems.

If they don't like being informed of these points, that reflects even more poorly on their (lack of) character.


Wow, what breathtaking self-righteousness.
9.23.2009 3:26am
Toby:
Whatever the accuracy of AGW, whever policies on travel of high officials are put in place by treasury department, whehter or not he has the casual arrogance of the scientific academic...Chu us a true believer.

Unlike Gore or Pelosi, he obsesses on his home systems, spending entire weekends obsessively searching for ways to limit the smallest energy issues in his home.

Now arguments about attitiude, tone, or vision are all reasonable.

I do find it facinating, though, how so many can make up so much on both sides. He did indeed arrive at the conference in an SUV with a secret service detail. He did indeed talk about riding his bike to work in DC--in some detail. He has long been known for his biking in all weather to LBNL, a formidable hill. THose claiming what they know he must have said, in between the ellipses, have discredited the arguments they make here for some time.

I am now waiting for JBG or someone else to explain that I do not know what he said, because a reporter somewhere wrote it down differently. He should I believe after all, the MSM or my lying ears...
9.23.2009 6:44am
Fen (mail):


Overpopulation and scarce resources. If we must thin our numbers, we should start with those who do not adapt. Those who prefer stagnat or static solutions prove an inability to adapt. We must evolve out of our problems.
9.23.2009 6:58am
jukeboxgrad (mail):
toby:

THose claiming what they know he must have said, in between the ellipses, have discredited the arguments they make here for some time.


I agree. Can anyone find a source that tells us what words were replaced by the ellipsis? I can't.

I am now waiting for JBG or someone else to explain that I do not know what he said


I'm confused by this remark. You seem to be contradicting yourself. As far as I know, it's true that you "do not know what he said."

He should I believe after all, the MSM or my lying ears...


I think you are implying that your "ears" actually heard his full remark. Really?
9.23.2009 8:58am
Cornet of Horse:
PiM,

"Wow, what breathtaking self-righteousness."

Well, that's Kirkland. Luckily, the annoyingly self-righteous on both "sides" tend to cancel each other out, leaving the field to more interesting perspectives.
9.23.2009 10:16am
vmark1:
What was the topic? A political hack who is out of touch w/the masses? Arrogant? Bends the truth? Wow. Dog bites man...details at 11...

OK...back to Gadhafi...he seems to want universal health care, free prescription drug coverage (Is there an AARP connection?) hot looking security detail, tearing up UN charter, setting up a tent at Trumps crib...I gotta quit drinkin' so early...carry on
9.23.2009 1:06pm
extractor:

Most Americans seem too dense, too selfish or too ignorant to recognize that their wasteful use of oil is a reason many young Americans are at risk abroad (as they patrol waterways, or fight on the ground in the Middle East)

Here's a way to pull them out of risk (not completely, but gradually) and give them a good job at home - drill for oil here. We will never solve dependency on foreign oil by conservation if we refuse to produce at home.
9.23.2009 1:23pm
Fen (mail):
Most Americans seem too dense, too selfish or too ignorant to recognize that their wasteful use of oil is a reason many young Americans are at risk abroad

[waves] Yah, I guess when I volunteered to save starving Somolis from Islamic Warlords, I was just being "dense, selfish, and ignorant". Who knew it was just about oil.

Besides, its all about American consumption. And if we stop "wasting" oil, its not like the oil barons have better markets in India or China. Naw.
9.23.2009 3:02pm
Vader:
Splurge,

[applause]
9.23.2009 3:16pm
Joseph Somsel (mail):
Bring up oil is a bit outside the conversation. This was at a Smart Grid conference, ie electricity.

Today, only 1% of our electricity comes from petroleum, down from 18% in 1973 per the EIA over a doubling of production. This reduction came about in large part by our building nuclear power plants which now make about 20% of all US electricity.

I'll grant that the security implications of imported petroleum is an issue and a cost. We should be thinking ahead at how to avoid future dependence on imported liquiefied natural gas, especially here in California where the Russians will be our next provider.

For transportation fuel from uranium, look at this guy's article:

Nuclear Gasoline
9.23.2009 4:09pm
ChrisatOffice (mail):
traveler496:
two additional considerations that seem important (and which, interestingly, appear to push the conclusion in opposite directions:

They do seem to point in different directions, but I suppose the concern is that if climate change is 'runaway,' we cannot presume that our new knoweldge will be at hand in time to stop it.
9.23.2009 4:22pm
ChrisatOffice (mail):
PatHMV:

Actually, I try to read widely. I admit that I do not follow your blog, nor would I think an article by someone on staff for a partisan think tank is the best place to point someone for unbiased views.

As far as I can tell, the majority of climate scientists believe we are seeing rapid climate change and that we should try to do something to slow it down, at least. I have no opinion on questions such as how fast is it happening or exactly which changes would be most helpful.

Perseus wrote: The majority must be right because scientific discovery works just like a democracy!

I do not think this is true. I do think that if most of the people who study something share a view based on the data they have, then I as someone who is not an expert might give their views more credence than my own less-informed opinions or the politically-laden opinions of a few folks who dispute that shared view. There is such a thing as a reasonable appeal to good authority.

Of course, my original comment addressed not the 'facts' of climate change but why Dr. Chu might be frustrated.
9.23.2009 4:33pm
Joseph Somsel (mail):
ChrisAtOffice:

I've done a good bit of research on global chimate change issues. As a nuclear engineer, it would be to my personal advantage to endorse the movement but alas, I can't in good faith do so.

There are just too many unknowns and too many variables to make this a reputable theory, much less one that supports the handover of so much control to governments.
9.23.2009 6:08pm
ChrisTS (mail):
Joseph Somsel :

Thank you for a calm and reasonable response. I appreciate that there are sensible, informed folks who worry about the cost/benefit [including political power] trade-offs.

I wonder if you think there is anything to the claims of [scary and preventable] climate change worries? I also wonder if you think that, at the least, having individuals change their use of energy resources and reduce the production of wastes of various kinds is pointless?

Again, thanks for your willingness to discuss this in a non-partisan, non-screed way. I should note, again, that I have no very determined views on the many proposed 'solutions.' I do think most of us could be far, far, less wasteful and that would be a good thing for all.
9.23.2009 9:02pm
Joseph Somsel (mail):
I read the UN scientific report from 2001 and have tried to keep up with the literature although I claim no expertise - just an informed citizen.

The UN report identified a dozen or more "forcing functions" to climate and gave ranges of sensitivities. Man-made green house gases was one but it was swamped by the others. Plus, the interactions and feedback loops were admittedly not even estimated.

I think the root issue is bounding the problem. The Sun has a much bigger role than the climate guys want to admit or try to calculate.

Some astronomers, on the other hand, have models that produce much better fit to the historical data. One in particular correlated the orbits of the major planets with historical climate data going back centuries. They suggest that tidal mixing within the sun was the link. I find this very plausible.

As to conservation, of course! But let the price set your efforts since one can waste resources by overdoing conservation. Again, the boundary problem.
9.24.2009 7:13pm
Soronel Haetir (mail):
It only tackles a small slice of the AGW pie, but I enjoy the work done at climateaudit. If you actually want the science to improve that is the direction that work needs to go.

As long as the people doing the research aren't honest about what they have done, how they did it and the limitations of their work you aren't going to convince many people that economy crippling action is actually needed now. Perhaps that is the point, if the action were taken there would likely be no more need for the current sorts of research and those grants would dry up.
9.25.2009 2:23am

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