Unpolitical Science:

The LA Times reports on an interview with Energy Secretary Steven Chu, a Nobel-winning physicist, about the threat climate change poses to California.

Reporting from Washington -- California's farms and vineyards could vanish by the end of the century, and its major cities could be in jeopardy, if Americans do not act to slow the advance of global warming, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu said Tuesday. . . .

"I don't think the American public has gripped in its gut what could happen," he said. "We're looking at a scenario where there's no more agriculture in California." And, he added, "I don't actually see how they can keep their cities going" either.

These are fairly apocalyptic predictions. The problem, as Roger Pielke Jr. notes at Prometheus, is that Chu's claims are not supported by available climate science. There are plenty of studies identifying potential negative impacts in California from climate change, such as this one linked by Sean Hecht at Environmental & Law, yet I am not aware of any that could support the claim that climate change threatens to end all agriculture in California.

For years we've heard complaints about how the Bush Administration waged a "war on science" by, among other things, distorting or misrepresenting scientific findings in order to support its policy positions. If the LA Times accurately reported on Chu's remarks, it seems like Obama Administration officials are already doing the same thing (and even before John Holdren is confirmed).

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