Global environmental challenges
Anyone familiar with Harry Potter knows as least two things: 1) this is the U.S. opening weekend for the final movie in the blockbuster series about the boy wizard and 2) ultimate villain Voldemort uses horcruxes to hold bits of his soul and extend his life.
Leave it to U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu to riff on horcruxes to explain energy storage.
“While I confess I haven’t yet seen all of the Harry Potter movies including the “Deathly Hallows Part 2,” a staff member (who might be a bigger nerd than I am) was telling me about Lord Voldemort’s “horcruxes” — objects he used to store his life energy. Without them, he lost his power and couldn’t survive,” Chu said on his Facebook page.
“In the ‘muggle’ world, energy storage is crucial to our future as well, but for more positive reasons. It is the key to greatly expanding the use of renewable energy sources that are intermittent like wind and solar power. Better batteries will mean longer range, lower cost electric vehicles, and will make our entire electricity generation and distribution system more efficient by smoothing out fluctuations in demand.”
from Tales from the Trail:
You sort of have to like a U.S. cabinet secretary and Nobel Prize winner who knows how to have a little fun while getting out a message.
That would be Steven Chu, who posted a picture of himself as a green-faced, blood-dripping zombie on his Facebook page. Just in time for Washington's scrupulously-observed Halloween weekend, Chu used his own zombification as a platform to point out power-sucking appliances -- energy vampires, he called them.
Was that a dig at outgoing President George W. Bush? President-elect Barack Obama introduced his new environmental team and insisted his administration would focus on “the facts” as it put together policy.
“We understand the facts demand bold action,” he said.
In case listeners didn’t get the point that the new administration thinks it’s different from that of outgoing President Bush, Veep-to-be Joe Biden gave it a try.