Lichen Frittata

Geeks can speak sports, too

Posted in Uncategorized by lichenfrittata on July 6, 2009
Steven Chu, ice-cold.

Steven Chu, ice-cold.

Last week, Energy Secretary Steven Chu–a man with indisputable geek credentials–pulled off a very smooth and apt comparison for how climate policy ought to work:

Steven Chu:So this is an opportunity for the United States to say that’s where the puck is going to be — to quote Wayne Gretzky — 10 or 20 years from now this is where it’s going to be, so why don’t we meet in this new industrial revolution, meaning that we’re going to get energy, abundant energy, the clean energy. So we have the ability to lead. […]

President Obama: And I just want to point out my Secretary of Energy used a very cool Wayne Gretzky metaphor. (Laughter.)

Q. There still will be ice in the future is what you’re saying? (Laughter.)

Secretary Chu: You know, here’s this skinny kid who is arguably the greatest hockey player in the world. And they say how — and he says, I position myself on the ice. Well, how do you do it? I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it’s been. And so for decades we’ve been trying to figure out how to — you know, this is where we wanted it — do we want it back to 1950? Well, it isn’t going to be back to 1950. And so this bill begins to say to America this is where it’s going to be and so why don’t we take the industrial lead on this.

It’s nice to see the noble sports metaphor rescued from the painful prose of Sarah Palin, and in the service of something that doesn’t lend itself to popular parlance. Although from someone who taught himself to pole vault and learned tennis from a book, I should have expected nothing less.

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