Straight-talkin’ Steve

New secretary of energy talks about global warming consequences

It appears Steven Chu isn’t one to mince words when it comes to talking about climate change.

During his first interview as the new U.S. secretary of energy, Chu told the Los Angeles Times that global warming is bound to have devastating effects in the West and upper Midwest. Especially vulnerable is California’s agriculture industry, which he warns could be wiped out by the end of the century.

The primary culprit in this scenario is a lack of water. A depleted Sierra snowpack (up to 90 percent) would eviscerate the state’s natural storage of water, the Nobel-winning physicist said.

Though he’s not a climate scientist, Chu’s views on the urgency of global warming have been echoed by recent prominent studies, including a UC Berkeley report that the state’s multi-trillion dollars’ worth of real estate are imperiled by climate change.