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Obama Selects Steven Chu for Secretary of Energy

Washington Post. President-elect Obama has selected Nobelist Dr. Steven Chu, currently Director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, to be his Secretary of Energy. Chu, then at Stanford, shared the 1997 Nobel Prize in Physics with Claude Cohen-Tannoudji and William D. Phillips for development of methods to cool and trap atoms with laser light.

Chu left Stanford to focus on energy issues, and won the top job at Berkeley Lab in 2004.

In 2007, Chu was one of the 17 leading scientists from different disciplines to sign the “Ilulissat Statement”, which called for an international effort to advance synthetic biology that would not only propel research, but do so while developing protective measures against accidents and abuses of synthetic biology. (Earlier post.)

Obama also reportedly plans to name Carol M. Browner, Environmental Protection Agency administrator for eight years under President Bill Clinton, to fill a new White House post overseeing energy, environmental and climate policies. Lisa P. Jackson, recently appointed chief of staff to New Jersey Gov. Jon S. Corzine (D) and former head of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, is to head the EPA. Nancy Sutley, a deputy mayor of Los Angeles for energy and environment, will chair the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

The appointments suggest that Obama plans to make a strong push for measures to combat global warming and programs to support energy innovation. “I think it’s a great team,” said Daniel A. Lashof, director of the Climate Center at the Natural Resources Defense Council. “On policy, it’s a dramatic contrast based on what I know about the policy direction that all these folks will be bringing to these positions.”



Buckle up--change is coming to energy policy in the USA!


I doubt it will happen!


Interesting this team is announced a few days after Obama meet with Al Gore. It would only be logical that Obama consulted Al Gore on how to pick this team and their strategy. If you care to go to Obama’s web http://www.barackobama.com/index.php and watch some of his speeches regarding the environment it shows he is much more concerned about it than the current Bush administration.

One of the key instruments to get going to fight global warming is to use the Environmental Protection Agency to finally regulate emissions of greenhouse gases. Forget about mpg regulation. The EPA could issue national regulation limiting greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles to buildings to any kind of industrial processes out there. This will be effective and profound. Each year you could decrease the permitted emissions from thousands of known sources and thereby gradually force the most polluting technologies out of existence from coal power plants to gas guzzlers.

Many of the posts in Obama cabinet will be occupied by people from previous Clinton administration.
If we assume Obama will be in White house next 8 years, then from 1980 (Bush senior became vice-president) until 2016 (consecutive 36 years) will look like two dynasties (or two clans) were replacing one another in White house.

Stephanie Wong-Ortiz

This is truly an honor for me, as a contract employee at LBNL, to have Director Steven Chu chosen as our Energy Secretary. No doubt, he has a passion for this area and will work enthusiastically and diligently to provide his professional and intellectual abilities to assist President Elect Barack Obama's Administration exceed expectations in this economic torn crisis we face. Congratulations! Director Chu, history has been made in the USA with astounding duplicity. Stephanie Wong-Ortiz

Richard Boren

Finally, a real scientist in a government post. Let's hope that he reads the research that shows that CO2 is not a pollutant and that global warming fears are unfounded. See www.osim.org/pproject

Will S

Steven Chu is a great choice, as he is aware of energy resource constraints, is an excellent scientist in his own right, and has demonstrated management skills.


Wonder if President Elect Obama could send a few of those highly qualified people to Canada, to help Prime Minister Harper to change his mind and shift his policies from current US Administration to match the new US Administration?

Shouldn't Canada be capable of administering their own country? Or do they want to be an American puppet?


That would make him the first Nobel prize winner in any US presidential administration.


Chu will be able to fund useful researches, and stop these useless ones DOE are running these days on behalf of oil companies.


“Global Warming as a Response to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation” by Dr. Roy Spencer of the University of Alabama-Huntsville. (in advance) December 15, 2008

“The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assumes that there are no long-term natural sources of energy imbalances in the Earth’s radiative budget that would cause natural periods of global warming or global cooling. But recent satellite evidence suggests that the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) does indeed change the Earth’s energy balance. When that PDO-related forcing is put into a simple climate model, along with the 100-year history of the PDO, a global temperature history results which is very similar to that observed, including 75% of the centennial temperature trend. This suggests that the IPCC’s claim of high confidence in global warming being manmade is misplaced.”

Dr. Spencer is the U.S. Science Team Leader for the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer (AMSR-E) on NASA’s Aqua satellite. Dr. Spencer is the recipient of NASA’s Medal for Exceptional Scientific Achievement and the American Meteorological Society’s Special Award for his satellite-based temperature monitoring work. He is the author of numerous scientific articles that have appeared in Science, Nature, Journal of Climate, Monthly Weather Review, Journal of Atmospheric and Oceanic Technology, Journal of Climate and Applied
Meteorology, Remote Sensing Reviews, Advances in Space Research, and Climatic Change. Dr. Spencer received his Ph.D. in Meteorology from the University of Wisconsin in 1981.

Randall Taylor

Dr.Chu, I have an innovative new engine design that will transform any of todays engines, making them capable of propelling any vehicle unlimited miles without fuel or outside service. My technology can also turn large turbines with drastically reduced fuel and turn windmills when the wind is insufficient and shut off when it is. Short term we can just change a few parts on the engine but long term my new propulsion idea for vehicles won't need an engine, transmission, fuel tank, exhaust. My technology will reduce foreign oil and global warming.
Thank You
Randall Taylor
201 Private Drive 2265
South Point, Ohio 45680


Sorry Randall Taylor, Steven Chu has a PhD in physics. He's won a nobel prize. Your "invention" may have been capable of fooling the current administration, but certainly not this administration. I am ecstatic to see an intelligent, respected scientist selected for this position. Maybe we can finally abandon the decisions made for political purposes in favor of practical decisions based on sound science.


That's good. I like Obama for making good decisions. I think he's not selfish. He is starting well.


That's good. I like Obama for making good decisions. I think he's not selfish. He is starting well.

That's good. I like Obama for making good decisions. I think he's not selfish. He is starting well.

LAMIRI Mustapha

With the help!!!! Our planet is in the furnace

The environmental problems become more and more among the most pressing concerns of our time. What calls an immediate and constant action on behalf of all.

All started with the industrial revolution of 1750 which gave beginning with the capitalist system. In two centuries and half, the countries called “developed” consumed most of fossil fuels created in five million centuries.
Today, our planet is sick. Since the beginning from the 21ème century, we lived the years MORE HEATS of last the miles years. The reheating of planet causes abrupt changes in the climate among which it y a: the retreat of the glaciers, the increase in the sea level and the flood of coastal territories in the neighbourhoods of which 60% of the world population saw where some nations are condemned to disappear, the increase in the processes of turning into a desert and the reduction of sources of fresh water, the greatest frequency of natural disasters, the extinction of animal and vegetable species and the propagation of diseases in zones which were before free for these last….etc
The competition and the thirst for unbounded profit of the capitalist system destroy planet. For capitalism we are not human but consuming beings. For capitalism there is not the mother ground but the raw materials. Capitalism is the source of asymmetries and imbalances in the world. It produces the luxury, ostentation and the wasting for some while million dies of hunger in the world. In the hands of capitalism all is transformed into goods: water, ground, the human genome, ancestral cultures, justice, ethics, the death… life itself. All, all, are sold absolutely and it is bought by capitalism.
The “climatic changes” placed all humanity towards a great dilemma: to continue on the way of capitalism and the catastrophes, or to undertake the way of the harmony with nature and the respect with life.
In the Protocol of Kyoto of 1997, the developed countries and economies of transition were committed reducing their gas emissions of effect tightens at least of 5% since the 1990, with implementation of various instruments between which the mechanisms of market prevail. As for the mechanisms of market applied in the developing countries did not obtain a significant reduction in the gas emissions of effect tightens. Until the 2006, the gases for purpose of greenhouse (persons in charge for the climatic changes and in particular the carbon dioxide), which is far from being reduced, were on the other hand increased by 9,1% compared to the levels of 1990, by showing this manner the non-accomplishment of the compromises of the countries developed.
The market is unable to regulate the system financial and productive world, It is also not able to regulate the gas emissions of effect tightens. The health of our planet is much more important than the purses of Wall Street and the benefit of the multinationals.
The logical capitalist promises the paradox whose sectors which more contributed to deteriorate the environment are those which profit more of the programs related to the climatic changes. In the same way, the technology transfer and the financing for a clean and bearable development for the countries of the south always remain in speech.
To rectify this situation, it is necessary hasttaquer causes structural of the changes climatic. As long as we will not change the capitalist system by a system based on the complementarity, solidarity and the harmony between the people and nature, measurements that we adopt will be palliative which will be limited and precarious. For us, which missed, it is the model of “better living”, the unlimited development, industrialization without borders, the modernity which scorns the history, of increasing accumulation at the price of the other and nature. This is why we must recommend “To live Well”, harmonizes some with all human beings and our Ground.
The developed countries need to control their owners of consumption - luxury and wasting, especially the excessive fossil fuel consumption. For example, the subsidies with the fossil fuels which rise with the top of 150 billions dollars must gradually be eliminated. It is fundamental to develop alternative energies like solar energy, which are geothermic, the wind power and all that is hydro-electric ET to prevent what is agrocombustibles because it is proven that they are not an alternative because that led to another problem is that of food of people or that of the cars. The agrocombustibles ones extend the agricultural border by destroying the forests and the biodiversity, produce monocultures, promote the concentration of the ground, deteriorate the grounds, exhaust the sources of water, contribute to the rise in the price of food and, in much of case, consume more energy of which they produce.
In recognition with the historical debt ecological which has with planet, the developed countries must create an Integral Financial Mechanism to support the developing countries in the implementation of plans and programs to the adaptation and the mitigation of the climatic changes, in the innovation, development and technology transfer, in the conservation and the improvement of tanks, in the actions of response to the serious natural disasters caused by the climatic changes and in the execution of bearable and convivial plans of development with nature.
The financing should not concentrate only with the some developed countries but must give the priority to the countries which contributed less to the gas emissions of effect tightens, those which preserve nature and/or which suffers more the impacts of the climatic changes.

In conclusion, the climatic changes can constitute to a certain extent an opportunity for the world by offering the occasion to him to gather to forge a collective response to this crisis which is likely to slow down progress and to support poverty. Indeed, humanity is able to save planet if it recovers the principles of solidarity, the complementarity and the harmony with nature, in the contraposition with the empire of competition, the profit and the consumption of the natural resources. It is the favourable moment so that the will of the International Community is stronger and more credible to control and even sanction certain multinationals which pollute too much with premeditation.

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