Why the US must act now to be leader on environment, energy 

Editor’s note: An excerpt from recent interview U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu did with the Boston Globe

On the dangers of waiting to make the changes we need to become more energy efficient, fuel independent . . .

It will take half a century to fully modernize our grid – a third of a century at best. It took a third of a century to get a national highway system. . . . It takes time to change infrastructure. If you say lets wait 50 years and then we’ll have all the magic wands we need, number one, there’s no incentive to develop the magic wands. If you look at all the energy technologies around the world and ask, where are we the leader? Are we the leader in wind? No. Really, it’s Vestas [a turbine maker out of Denmark]. Nuclear? No, it’s France and Japan.

Europe and Asia are marching in this direction. They are not waiting for the miracle to happen. They’re saying this is part of their economic prosperity. So, if we say we’re not really sure because this is going to cost us money – no. It’s going to cost us a ton of money not to do anything because we will lose industrial leadership.Deny the planet is changing and we will choose to deny that other countries could take technological leadership away from us. Read more

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