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02/05/2013

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Oliver

The retards in those big-knob editorial offices (NYT, WSJ, etc) should reprint this crystal-clear posting word for word, right next to the usual mealy-mouthed 'farewell Dr Chu-Chu' article. He is not going back to academia because he particularly wants to grade student essays. He is bolting from public office before the import of the growth/warming contradiction strikes home and adversely affects his pension. I would bet my own pension on this - except that I ain't got one.

John D

Thank you Dave for stating the truth about this guy. I look at the MSM and other blogs and they're all fawning over him. He was a pro-growth corporate shill while he was in office; now he wants to warns us about the dangers that he kept silent about while he was Secretary of Energy.

John D. Wheeler

I can't believe the chart his agency produced: approximately steady BTU for oil, coal, and natural gas through 2040? What planet is he from?

I believe in renewable energy, not to save our consumer lifestyle, but as the only chance of not sliding all the way back into the Dark Ages. And I don't think it's quite fair to say that we have nothing to show for 35 years of research. We weren't really trying for most of them. To continue the baseball analogy, it's like we struck out in the first inning and decided to go for the walk for the next six. Finally we decided in the eighth to start swinging again and got some doubles, but it's now the ninth and we're still many runs behind. So in that sense it is too soon to tell, but it also may be too late to matter.

adam

I have become convinced that renewables can easily support a much lower energy, but still modern society. Maybe early 20th century levels of per-capita energy use. Unfortunately, I see no way for them to support the behemoth we've created - consumer culture, suburbs, etc. And socially, the government MUST support those things. Just listen to the hysteria that comes out when it's suggested that people live a bit more lightly.

I think John Wheeler's comment of "too soon to tell, but too late to matter" pretty much sums it up. It's like trying to get a morbidly obese smoker to quit smoking and get on health diet with exercise. They can't succeed unless they want to change. There is a good chance they will go back to their old ways, and even if they don't they may already have health problems that will continue anyways. But if they don't try, there's no chance they will see old age.

Our society is still binging on cheetos.

Mike Roberts

Thanks for posting an antidote to others' plaudits to Rev. Chu. I read a short such one on Climate Progress, by Joe Romm. Though he criticised Chu for not speaking out about climate change, he thought Chu was an excellent Energy Secretary and will be missed (for different reasons from your missing him). I couldn't see it and your post elucidated why. It is interesting that Chu sees success in ARPA-E as being raising funds, rather than doing anything notable.

The energy forecast chart you showed is typical of government agencies - if the current trend is flat or down, the future will always show rising trends (overall). That's how life is supposed to be and, therefore, it will be.

Jim

That chart is ALL anyone needs to know about the U.S. government's position on climate change and energy growth. Like him or not, Rev. Chu is as good as it can possibly get regarding an Energy Secretary that actually understands the seriousness of climate change. The United States, under the direction of Obama and Chu, are saying that we'll reduce oil and coal use by a few percent, increase natural gas use, and slightly increase renewables - by 2040.

If that's not an implicit acceptance that we aren't going to do anything about climate change, I don't know what is.

But there's another story there, too - on energy growth. There is a major disconnect there. The chart steadily rises to 2007 (except for the early 1980's recession), peaks, then plummets to now (really only being eased by added coal and NG use the past two years), then magically plateaus for 30 years. It's saying that energy consumption can't really grow (except natural gas and renewables by a few percent) for 30 years, but it's displaying complete wishful thinking that the likeliest outcome is stasis - defying all previous history, somehow we'll have a plateau period for 30+ years.

I think the U.S. government basically knows nothing really can be done about either climate change or peak oil. Extend and pretend. And I think Rev. Chu is cutting and running before the chart's direction really becomes clear.

Alexander Ač

Haha, this is funny!

"Conspiracist ideation in the blogosphere in response to
research on conspiracist ideation" published in FRONTIERS IN PERSONALITY SCIENCE AND INDIVIDUAL DIFFERENCES:

http://www.frontiersin.org/Personality_Science_and_Individual_Differences/10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00073/abstract

Alex

Alexander Ač

Dave,

In a small defence of S. Chu - The Rich might suffer "largest losses" (I guess he meant financial losses?), but the "suffering" (in terms of loss of life) might still be bigger in the poorer countries (they have not much material wealth to loose).

Ultimately, we all will suffer...

Alex

TinyEnergies

I saw this resignation as a covert admission by the Obama administration that the reign of nuclear energy has passed.

Stuart

Steven Chu is an extremely smart man who put forth a Herculean effort against a tremendous Republican headwind. You give him grief because renewable energy technologies haven't solved our problems in the "35 years" they've been around. We've been exploiting oil for how many years? Over 100, at least.

It's really easy to shit on the efforts of everyone to improve the world. Your increasing anger and ranting over the past number of months has gotten ridiculous and tiresome. I'm a doomer, myself, and an extremely well educated one with a background in science and a first-hand knowledge of photovoltaics and energy efficiency. I've had enough of your angry rants throwing mud on everyone.

Reply to this note, or not, I won't see it. I'm removing your blog from my Bookmark list. It's time to start working together towards solutions -- even us Doomers -- and stop throwing mud. In particular on extremely smart individuals who did what they could in extremely difficult circumstances.

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