Messier 82

Messier 82
Beautiful Hubble shot of a starburst galaxy, M82

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Steven Chu formally appointed to head Department of Energy

Nobel-prize-winning physicist Steven Chu was formally appointed today to head President-Elect Obama's Department of Energy. This is excellent news on the climate front. While I have to admit I haven't been entirely enthralled with the Pres. Elect's Cabinet picks so far, none of them have been truly terrible (we dodged the Larry Summers bullet) and I think this one choice makes up for the all-around blandness of many of the others.

If you're not familiar with Chu's stances on energy and climate, a few choice quotes are compiled here. Some of the best:

"Climate change, in particular, poses global risks and challenges that are perhaps unprecedented in their magnitude, complexity, and difficulty... aggressive support of energy science and technology, coupled with incentives that accelerate the concurrent development and deployment of innovative solutions, can transform the entire landscape of energy demand and supply."
"Regulation stimulates technology."

"Working on applied things doesn't destroy a kernel of genius -- it focuses the mind."

Chu exemplifies the "competence" that Obama said he was looking for in members of his administration. He's brilliant, capable, proven, and as far as I can tell completely without conflicts of interest. I look forward to a sensible, pro-science Department of Energy.

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