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The Climate Torquemada – Joe Romm at the Climate Inquisition

Two years ago, in Scenes from the Climate Inquisition, my colleague Steve Hayward and I observed that climate alarmists were growing ever more incendiary in their criticism of people who disagree with them. And these disagreements were not simply about the science, but about the favored policy choices of leftist environmentalists, many of whom had no training in public policy or economics.  As we wrote:

Anyone who does not sign up 100 percent behind the catastrophic scenario is deemed a “climate change denier.” Distinguished climatologist Ellen Goodman spelled out the implication in her widely syndicated newspaper column last week: “Let’s just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers.” One environmental writer suggested last fall that there should someday be Nuremberg Trials–or at the very least a South African-style Truth and Reconciliation Commission–for climate skeptics who have blocked the planet’s salvation.

Former Vice President Al Gore has proposed that the media stop covering climate skeptics, and Britain’s environment minister said that, just as the media should give no platform to terrorists, so they should exclude climate change skeptics from the airwaves and the news pages. Heidi Cullen, star of the Weather Channel, made headlines with a recent call for weather-broadcasters with impure climate opinions to be “decertified” by the American Meteorological Society. Just this week politicians in Oregon and Delaware stepped up calls for the dismissal of their state’s official climatologists, George Taylor and David Legates, solely on the grounds of their public dissent from climate orthodoxy. And as we were completing this article, a letter arrived from senators Bernard Sanders, Pat Leahy, Dianne Feinstein, and John Kerry expressing “very serious concerns” about our alleged “attempt to undermine science.” Show-trial hearing to follow? Stay tuned.

Desperation is the chief cause for this campaign of intimidation. The Kyoto accords are failing to curtail greenhouse gas emissions in a serious way, and although it is convenient to blame Bush, anyone who follows the Kyoto evasions of the Europeans knows better. The Chinese will soon eclipse the United States as world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, depriving the gas-rationers of one of their favorite sticks for beating up Americans.”

At the time, we naively hoped that there would be a moderation of such language, as some saner voices were beginning to push back against the whole slander-denier complex.

Alas, the venom-spitting of the the climatistas is increasing in direct proportion to the probability of failure in enacting their world-girdling eco-theocracy. And the leader of the pack, Joseph Romm of Climate Progress (Center for American Progress), turns out to be one of the least civil human beings to tread the planet.

Romm in tabloid reporting style attacked me when I accidently posted an early draft of a speech that had a typo indicating that the present cooling went back to 1978 levels (instead of 1998). The premature post was pulled and was not what I ended up delivering extemporaneously, which only fuels Romm’s conspiracy-theory mentality.

He’s also gone after the top-gun at Master Resource, Rob Bradley, publicly and in private. Publicly, Romm has smeared Bradley to smear his nonprofit, the Institute for Energy Research, which Bradley founded in 1989 as a way to protest Enron’s “green” energy strategy (see his Enron discussion here). Despite repeated rebuttals, Romm has continued to state his falsehoods about Bradley.

And in a private email (shared with me), Romm repeatedly calls Bradley a “sociopath” for his views that the climate alarm is exaggerated and that policy activism is unwarranted.  “You are a denier and your actions will destroy the world your children will inherit,” Romm emailed Bradley. “Shame on you!,” he screams. “If you sleep well it is the sleep of a sociopath.”

Now, Romm is after Professor/Blogger Roger Pielke Jr., a professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder. In a pre-emptive smear (Pielke’s got a book coming out,) Romm spent 3,500 words trying to sully his reputation. But the liberal Breakthrough Institute, at which Roger is a Senior Fellow, fired back:

The character assassination, the bullying, the psychological projection — it all adds up to Climate McCarthyism, and Joe Romm is Climate McCarthyite-in-chief. Joe Romm’s “Global Warming Deniers and Delayers” play the same role as Joe McCarthy’s “Communists and Communist sympathizers.” While Romm built a loyal liberal and environmentalist following for attacking right-wing “global warming deniers” — a designation meant to invoke “Holocaust denier” — he spends much of his time attacking well-meaning journalists (e.g. herehere, and here), academics (here and here) and activists (herehere and here) who take the issue of global warming seriously, accept climate science, and support immediate action to address it. His aim is to intimidate and prevent increasing numbers of people from questioning climate policy orthodoxy, and especially Democratic efforts to pass cap and trade climate legislation.

Romm, as with Paul Krugman of the New York Times, are treading on dangerous ground. What they are essentially peddling is hate speech, and incitement to violence. One day, some unhinged environmentalist, worked into a frenzy reading the alarmist claptrap peddled by people like Krugman and Romm is going to engage in violence against whichever leading climate skeptic gets his attention. And when that happens, Romm and Krugman will be like the lunatics who hand explosive vests to unhinged, would-be martyrs.

11 comments

1 bill allen { 11.09.09 at 8:36 am }

Ken,
The tide has turned. It may be a while before we reach high tide and the whole world knows the truth, but its on the way.

2 mlewis { 11.09.09 at 9:38 am }

True and timely, Ken. Robert Kennedy, Jr. is another case study in climate McCarthyism, as I explain in “Ignorance Is Strength, Dissent Is Treason: Robert Kennedy Goes Orwell,” available at: http://article.nationalreview.com/?q=ZjY3ZGI0OGRiMjYxNWZmZDQ2NjkzNWZjMWQzNGE1MGU=

3 Robert Bradley Jr. { 11.09.09 at 10:38 am }

I sent this to different distribution lists today and wanted to add it as a comment here:
————————–

A widely read “Left” blog by the Breakthrough Institute has censored Joe Romm for bullying, McCarthyite behavior in the climate change debate.

Climate McCarthyism, Part I: Joe Romm’s Intimidation Campaign: http://thebreakthrough.org/blog/2009/11/climate_mccarthyism_part_i_joe.shtml.

At MasterResource today, Ken Green of the American Enterprise Institute weighs in on Romm in his post: “The Climate Torquemada: Joe Romm Leads the Climate Inquisition: http://www.masterresource.org/2009/11/the-climate-torquemada-joe-romm-leads-the-climate-inquisition/.

Joe Romm has repeatedly called me a “sociopath” in private emails and has purposefully/repeatedly deceived his readers about me personally, even going so far as to quote from a private email where he leaves off a sentence to change my meaning completely. Such is not just error–it is the work of an emotionally unstable person viciously defending a shaky intellectual position of rabid climate alarmism. As reality works against him, he becomes more and more shrill.

Here is the good news: such inexcusable behavior is being exposed as unacceptable on both the Left and the Right. Many on the Left feel that Romm had become a liability. As one person commented (http://thebreakthrough.org/blog/2009/11/climate_mccarthyism_part_i_joe.shtml):

“Note to Center for American Progress: As a long-time follower and supporter of your organization, please listen to me when I say that Joe Romm is becoming a serious liability that is increasingly damaging CAP’s reputation. I respect much of your work and believe in CAP’s potential, but Romm’s behavior is inexcusable and should not be tolerated by any organization claiming to represent and promote the progressive movement. I’ve repeatedly expressed this to Romm in my comments at Climate Progress only to be censored or personally insulted.

If CAP’s leadership is interested in preserving its long-term reputation, it must establish higher standards for Climate Progress and seek to restrain Romm’s behavior. I understand the difficulty of swallowing your pride, and I understand Romm’s aggressive nature. But please — for the sake of your long-term goals, for the sake of progressive values, and for the sake of basic human decency — please stop this madness.”
(Posted by: William J.B. at November 4, 2009 11:50 PM)

4 Robert Bradley Jr. { 11.09.09 at 10:43 am }

I sent Ken Green’s post to my distribution lists today with this comment:
—————–

A widely read “Left” blog by the Breakthrough Institute has censored Joe Romm for bullying, McCarthyite behavior in the climate change debate.

Climate McCarthyism, Part I: Joe Romm’s Intimidation Campaign: http://thebreakthrough.org/blog/2009/11/climate_mccarthyism_part_i_joe.shtml.

At MasterResource today, Ken Green of the American Enterprise Institute weighs in on Romm in his post: “The Climate Torquemada: Joe Romm Leads the Climate Inquisition”.

Joe Romm has repeatedly called me a “sociopath” in private emails and has purposefully/repeatedly deceived his readers about me personally, even going so far as to quote from a private email where he leaves off a sentence to change my meaning completely. Such is not just error–it is the work of an emotionally unstable person viciously defending a shaky intellectual position of rabid climate alarmism. As reality works against him, he becomes more and more shrill.

Here is the good news: such inexcusable behavior is being exposed as unacceptable on both the Left and the Right. Many on the Left feel that Romm had become a liability. As one person commented:
(http://thebreakthrough.org/blog/2009/11/climate_mccarthyism_part_i_joe.shtml):

Note to Center for American Progress: As a long-time follower and supporter of your organization, please listen to me when I say that Joe Romm is becoming a serious liability that is increasingly damaging CAP’s reputation. I respect much of your work and believe in CAP’s potential, but Romm’s behavior is inexcusable and should not be tolerated by any organization claiming to represent and promote the progressive movement. I’ve repeatedly expressed this to Romm in my comments at Climate Progress only to be censored or personally insulted.

If CAP’s leadership is interested in preserving its long-term reputation, it must establish higher standards for Climate Progress and seek to restrain Romm’s behavior. I understand the difficulty of swallowing your pride, and I understand Romm’s aggressive nature. But please — for the sake of your long-term goals, for the sake of progressive values, and for the sake of basic human decency — please stop this madness.”

(Posted by: William J.B. at November 4, 2009 11:50 PM)

5 Tom J. Arnold. { 11.09.09 at 11:25 am }

So Joe knows some big words, he reminds me of Moonbat of the Grauniad newsrag in the UK.
They can huff and puff and all they’ll succeed in doing is blowing their own house down.
Alarmists are (bonkers) like this because science is against them and always was. Pure science will out all ‘pseudo-experts’, which is what true science is all about.
Joe should go back to railing against Reagen and Bush or whoever else but should leave AGW well alone, the world knows AGW is a political UN induced scam – why can’t he see it?
There’s none so blind as those who cannot see.

6 dkemp { 11.09.09 at 1:16 pm }

What kind of home does Mr. Romm live in? When he travels does he stay the night in a “green hotel”, does conduct meeting from the comfort of his home or office chair, or does he travel by air to such meetings? In other words, is Al Gore his role model? I suspect Mr. Romm lives quite well. What would be most illuminating would be if Romm’s of the world could be shown to be either hipocrites or frauds. Why such people get to push the “easy button” through life is most frustrating!

7 Noblesse Oblige { 11.09.09 at 3:29 pm }

We can expect yet more shrill and bizarre claims, predictions, and attacks on dissenters as time goes on. It is classic cognitive dissonance: the more evidence accumulates in opposition to their closely held beliefs, the louder they will scream. Let them scream.

8 Robert Bradley Jr. { 11.10.09 at 9:54 am }

There are other Joe Romms in the blogosphere as I found out today when I wrote an email to Mr. Adam Fogle who wrote a very misleading and inaccurate blog at his website, The Palmetto Scoop
http://www.palmettoscoop.com/2009/11/09/whos-behind-attacks-on-lindsey-graham/.

Here is the exchange:

From: “Robert Bradley”
Date: Tue, 10 Nov 2009 08:01:54 -0600
To:
Subject: For Adam Fogle

Dear Mr. Fogle:

Please review my history and consider writing a follow-up piece to your “WHO’S BEHIND ATTACKS ON LINDSEY GRAHAM?”

See this: http://www.politicalcapitalism.org/enron/ and the other links I just provided (comment #37?).

Also, AEA is not the group from the 1990s–that name went dormant and we picked it up with a wholly new C4. IER/AEA is a principled free-market, pro-consumer organization fighting against political energy and political capitalism. Enron is Exhibit A against cap-and-trade, something I invite you to explore.

I hope you have the integrity to share the full story with your readers.

- Rob Bradley

From: Adam Fogle [mailto:editor@palmettoscoop.com]
Sent: Tuesday, November 10, 2009 8:10 AM
To: Robert Bradley
Subject: Re: For Adam Fogle

Ha! That’s hilarious.

Y’all have zero ground whatsoever to demand integrity from anyone. You blatently lie and distort Senator Graham’s position for your own profit. It’s pathetic and unfortunate.

Thankfully most people know you’re little more than a shill for big oil.

Have a nice day.
- A.F.

So you are a Joe Romm, are you.

I write to you in good faith and this is what I get in response?
- Rob

I only speak the truth.
- A.F.

What is your phone number? Can I speak to you?
- RB

Sorry man. I have no time for idealogues.
- A.F.

9 Kojiro Vance { 11.10.09 at 6:06 pm }

So Adam Fogle probably isn’t interested in who is behind the “Republicans for the Environment” ads running in South Carolina. Would that be real Republicans? Ah . . . no.

http://www.fitsnews.com/2009/11/05/more-on-lindsey-grahams-left-leaning-bedfellows/

10 Robert Bradley Jr. { 11.10.09 at 6:16 pm }

Looks like Mr. Fogle blocked my comment on his article telling his readers the truth about AEA’s origins and my history at Enron. This is what Joe Romm does too to avoid checks and checkmates.

11 Kev { 11.11.09 at 6:46 pm }

Reverting to Mr Green’s penultimate paragraph.

If anything, it is probably the triumph of the lack of means that there has not been violent outbursts of eco-terrorism already.

Recall that there is relatively recent precedent following the student unrest of the late 1960s. Violent urban terrorist groups such as the Red Brigades, Baader-Meinhof and Weathermen were spawned as the trenchant student revolutionaries sought the overthrow of a system they opposed.

And whilst it was the lightning rod issue for the Permanently Outraged of the day, what they were fighting was simply a system of social and political organisation they didn’t like.

Now, the current generation of Permanently Outraged and New Class are being told repeatedly that we have “…only months/weeks/days to save the Planet !”

The Cause Celebre is the whole planet for goodness sake !

In Australia we have already seen threats against power company executives levelled by some obscure group called Earth Liberation Front. No definite action – as yet.

And that is probably because no one has as yet placed the means to launch terrorism into their hands – guns, bombs or, a step back, the money and contacts to acquire weapons.

Probably there are as yet no State level or powerful individual actors with a rationale to arm the latent eco-terrorists, as there was doubtless State-level support for Leftist activists in the Cold War.

Put it is possibly only a matter of time before some well-off True Believer ( and we have plenty of millionaire greenies here ) decides that the political process is not delivering the results and it is time to gear up the agents of violent process.

So while the likes of Romm, Suzuki, Monbiot and Hamilton may envisage themselves as presiding at Climate Nuremburg Trials – their actual effect at the moment is probably more like that of revolutionary theorists like Che Guevara – pouring fuel on the fires of the extremists.

The fuse is lit -it is most likely only a matter of time.

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