Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Trump picks Perry for Energy

The NY Times reports:
President-elect Donald J. Trump plans to name Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas, to lead the Energy Department, ...

“Oops,” Mr. Perry said in 2011 as he racked his brain during a nationally televised Republican primary debate, trying to remember the three departments he wanted to dismantle. He mentioned the Commerce and Education Departments but could not recall the third: the Energy Department.
This makes Perry a funny choice, as Trump had to realize that Perry has been endlessly mocked for this gaffe.

Trump does not take orders from his enemies, and so the Left hates him.

I am wondering about this dopey explanation:
Despite its name, the department plays the leading role in designing nuclear weapons, thwarting their proliferation, and ensuring the safety and reliability of the nation’s aging nuclear arsenal through a constellation of laboratories considered the crown jewels of government science.
Why does the paper say "Despite its name"? Does it somehow think that energy and nuclear weapons are unrelated?

Nuclear weapons are the most dramatic releases of energy known to man. The whole subject is a study of energy.

This is like saying, "Despite its name, the Astronomy Department has a telescope for studying the night sky." Or "despite its name, the National Institute of Mental Health studies treatments for crazy people."

If Perry said something this stupid, then I would be worried about his competence.

Physicist and leftist science popularizer Lawrence M. Krauss has an op-ed attacking Perry in the same paper.
In terms of qualifications, Mr. Perry, a former governor of Texas, doesn’t come close to his immediate predecessors. He would follow President Obama’s two energy secretaries: first, Steven Chu, a Nobel laureate physicist, and then Ernest J. Moniz, a distinguished nuclear physicist from M.I.T. ...

I met Governor Perry once, at the World Economic Forum. He seemed like a genuinely nice guy. After finding out I was a physicist, he singled me out in the audience while he was onstage, saying, “As Professor Krauss knows, you can violate the laws of physics, but only for a while.” My answer was, “Well, actually you can’t,” which was followed by a bit of nervous laughter from the crowd. ...

In the present climate, when nuclear tensions are higher than they have been since the height of the Cold War, ...
Actually, Trump's election has dramatically lowered nuclear tensions. Hillary Clinton was the biggest warmonger presidential candidate we have seen in a long time, and was particularly hostile to Russia. So were some of the other Republican candidates. Trump stood out as someone who does not want a war with Russia. And now he has appointed a Secretary of State who believes in doing business with Russia.

Russia has the biggest nuclear arsenal outside the USA, by far, and now it is a lot less likely to use it. Russia should be our friend, not our enemy.

Krauss is entitled to his opinions, but Trump won the election, and he needs a cabinet consistent with his mandate. Are there any distinguished physicists who supported him? From what I can see, the physics establishment is dominated by leftist groupthink. A cabinet secretary is a political position, not a research position.

I am sure Krauss has a much higher IQ than Perry, but it does not show in his political opinions.

Update: Here is another Krauss rant against Trump.

1 comment:

  1. "Despite its name" was probably written because the writer assumed (correctly) that John Q. Public associates DOE with (if anything) things like electric power generation and transmission, gasoline, and energy efficiency ratings on consumer products. If it's nukes, OTOH, John Q.P. thinks DoD ...