Category — Romm, Joseph (Climate Progress)
At Climate Progress, Joe Romm is ever eager to find that bad things are inevitable in our climate future because of fossil fuels. So it really makes his day when a prominent scientist gives him doomster material. Bad news is good news in RommWorld where so many facts and uncertainties contradict his neo-Malthusian worldview.
Romm hones in and hyperventilates over those chosen scientists promoting climate alarm–and swats away with derision that the same have things wrong. In many cases, Romm gets tangled up in the science with partisanship and confusion.
Romm has a long track record of this type of behavior. And perhaps the most recent case involves Romm’s unwavering dedication to NASA’s James Hansen (outlier) view of the coming climate and human’s influence on it. Hansen has a lot of bad stuff to say, which is good for Joe Romm. But the problem is that Hansen is not usually right.
Dust Bowl Debate: Hoerling Gets Rommed
A recent subject of Romm’s scorn has been Dr. Martin Hoerling, who has on a least two occasions over the past 6 two 8 months, explained why Hansen’s climate alarmism—on display in prominent op-eds, and hyped by Romm—just doesn’t square with the science. [Read more →]
December 13, 2012 1 Comment
“We need to defeat climate deniers like Ann Marie Buerkle and Dan Benishek to restore the place of science on Capitol Hill.”
- Gene Karpinski, president, League of Conservation Voters, quoted in Jennifer Yachnin, “Enviros Target Climate Deniers in Latest Ad Campaign” (sub. req.) Greenwire, July 24, 2012.
All but the most impartial and inflammatory participants in the climate-change debate disdain the term “denier” to characterize so-called climate-change skeptics. Climatologist Judith Curry, chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology, for example, has complained:
Somebody needs to research the sociology and psychology of people that insist that anyone that does not accept [anthropogenic global warming] as a rationale for massive CO2 mitigation efforts is a “denier.” The complexity of skepticism (ranging from multiple aspects of the science, to the impacts that can be attributable to AGW and whether or not they are “dangerous” to the policies proposed for CO2 mitigation) seems to be completely missed by all of the “scholars” writing articles about ‘deniers’.
Yet the League of Conservation Voters (LCV) this week launched a $1.5 million ad campaign against five House lawmakers who are skeptical of climate alarmism (as are most Americans), and who as lawmakers know that “fighting” climate change is all pain and no gain. ( Think higher energy prices and more bureaucrats.) The key term of the campaign? Deniers. [Read more →]
July 26, 2012 5 Comments
“This notion that the environmental movement — or any other major play in the media landscape — is pushing non-stop apocalyptic messages like a broken record is one I debunked ….”
- Joe Romm, April 29, 2012
“CONCLUSION: Unrestricted emissions of greenhouse gases threaten multiple catastrophes, any one of which justifies action. Together, they represent the gravest threat to humanity imaginable.”
- Joe Romm, November 15, 2010
“Now that [James Lovelock] has dialed back his doomism — alarmism is a wholly inadequate word for Lovelock’s (former) brand of unjustified hopelessness.”
- Joe Romm, April 23, 2012
“… the alarmists have ‘won the day’ scientifically.”
- Joe Romm, January 11, 2012
Confused? Even dizzy? It is not your fault.
The alarmists’ alarmist Joe Romm is trying to soften a bit to have it both ways. But if Obama is a new oilman, just about anything is possible in this election season where the Hard Left is running to the middle on climate alarmism and energy policy.
Obama’s Energy Surprise
President Obama became an ‘oil man’ in Cushing, Oklahoma on March 22, 2012–and an all-of-the-above energy man too. Remember this?
I’ve come to Cushing, an oil town — (applause) — because producing more oil and gas here at home has been, and will continue to be, a critical part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy. (Applause)
Now, under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years. (Applause.) That’s important to know. Over the last three years, I’ve directed my administration to open up millions of acres for gas and oil exploration across 23 different states. We’re opening up more than 75 percent of our potential oil resources offshore. We’ve quadrupled the number of operating rigs to a record high. We’ve added enough new oil and gas pipeline to encircle the Earth and then some.
So we are drilling all over the place — right now….”
It was Obama’s Worst Speech Ever, fussed Romm at Climate Progress.
Romm on Lovelock
But now it is Joe Romm, already having been scaled back at Climate Progress, who is trying to nuance himself as … the the non-catastrophic catastrophist.
May 1, 2012 22 Comments
It is a common refrain in headlines at Joe Romm’s Climate Progress:
- “Koch-Fueled Americans for Prosperity Takes Credit for Bullying GOP Lawmakers Into Climate Denial” (Emilee Piece: December 8, 2011);
- “Koch-Fueled Denial Backfires: Independents, Other Republicans Split With Tea-Party Extremists on Global Warming” (Romm: December 2, 2012); and
- “Koch-Fueled Americans for Prosperity Spends $2.4 Million on Solyndra Attack Ad (VIDEO)” (Stephen Lacey: November 28, 2011).
Smearing and innuendo is hardly fair play. But in this case, Joe Romm has something embarrassing to hide. Just as Koch Industries might be his least favorite company, Enron was his darling company.
Specifically, Romm was not only a cheerleader of Enron (Enron is “a company I greatly respect,” Romm would say). He was also an unpaid consultant and collaborator with the infamously fraudulent division, Enron Energy Services (EES), purveyor of energy efficiency service in (gamed) long-term contracts.
It is timely to reestablish the linkage between Joe Romm and once-mighty Enron Corporation, a company which went bankrupt ten years ago this month. Perhaps this history will help the combustible Romm to deal with the arguments more and funding links less. (Besides, would he like for his critics to bring in the funding link between George Soros and Center for American Progress?)
Some Romm Enron Quotations
“I hope there is something in [my book] Cool Companies Mr. Lay can refer to. I’m sorry Enron isn’t in it, but if you have any good case studies, I would love to use them as I talk to the media and Fortune 500 companies. Feel free to use my personal email.”
- Email communication from Romm to Enron, June 6, 1999. [Read more →]
December 19, 2011 11 Comments
“It is clear that solar and wind are competitive in many situations right now.”
- Joe Romm, Climate Progress, April 21, 2011.
“If it wasn’t clear before it is crystal clear now that the people pushing a massive government spending program for clean energy are living on ‘Another Earth’.”
- Joe Romm, Climate Progress, July 28, 2011
In April, Joe Romm at Climate Progress reiterated his claim that politically correct renewable energies are well on their way to competitive viability–if not there already. Now, with business-as-usual federal subsidies for wind and solar at risk, there is fear and loathing at Climate Progress (Romm’s bully blog at the Center for American Progress).
Mad Joe Romm is extra mad at Obama and the WHOLE budget debate–as if record, unsustainable budget deficits were not reality. The idea of government running out of other people’s money is a foreign concept for him and others who see a sovereign nation as creating its own fiscal reality. After all, a political junta would not allow this to happen, right?
In America’s welfare state, it is now energy entitlements versus human-need entitlements. Energy is now in the same boat with all of the other chronically ill welfare programs.
‘Debt of a Salesman’: Romm vs. ‘Obama Democrats’
Here is what Romm is saying in his post: Debt of a Salesman: Obama, Democrats Poised to Embrace Deal that May Slash Energy, Enviro Spending for Many, Many Years:
In one of the biggest strategic blunders of his presidency, Obama has bought into the erroneous Republican frame that the biggest problem facing this country is our national debt. Worse, he has chosen to be a salesman for a centrist agenda of austerity, not the progressive one of investment…. [Read more →]
August 1, 2011 23 Comments
“There has to be a lot of shrillness taken out of our language,” Environmental Defense Fund chief Fred Krupp said in a moment of candor last month. “In the environmental community, we have to be more humble. We can’t take the attitude that we have all the answers.”(1)
Fred Krupp–please call Joe Romm, the incendiary editor of the (‘Lack of’?) Climate Progress blog of the Center for American Progress. Romm is as shrill as ever, and except to his apocalyptic apostles, people are turned off. What is wine for his hard core is whine to the open-minded, which is the large majority of us. Making jokes about global-warming exaggeration has turned into pretty good sport, as Krupp must know.
The latest from Dr. Doom (what’s new?) is that we are living on borrowed time. Under the blog title Worst Ever Carbon Emissions Leave Climate On the Brink, Romm warns:
Greenhouse gas emissions increased by a record amount last year, to the highest carbon output in history, putting hopes of holding global warming to safe levels all but out of reach, according to unpublished estimates from the International Energy Agency.
If Romm et al. really think it is getting too late, then perhaps another strategy should be advocated as their Plan B. Let’s use affordable, reliable energy to help strengthen society for the unknown future. And let’s get serious about free-market capitalism, aka the incredible bread machine.
Such policy is far better than squandering wealth on dilute energies in an attempt to shave hundredths of a degree off of a hypothetically estimated future temperature average. And such avoids central government control of energy and the environment at the expense of private property rights and voluntary exchange between consenting adults. [Read more →]
June 3, 2011 7 Comments
Joe Romm: “It is clear that solar and wind are competitive in many situations right now” (Where have we heard this before?)
“It is clear that solar and wind are competitive in many situations right now — see Wind now on even playing field with gas and Solar costs may already rival coal. And continued aggressive deployment along with continued R&D will keep driving the price down (see Energy Sec. Chu sees “wind and solar being cost-competitive without subsidy with new fossil fuel” by 2020.”
- Joe Romm, “Fred Hiatt Back to running Climate and Energy Disinformation from the Likes of Bjorn Lomborg,” April 21, 2011.
Are wind and solar really “competitive in many situations right now”? For decades, we have heard that this is the case. But the reality is that dilute energy flows do not compete on either a price or a reliability basis with the stock of energy that is oil, gas, and coal.
Why would anyone buy a product that is more expensive and of poorer quality than a ready rival? Would you pay extra for a car with a trick motor–an engine that went on and off at any time? Of course not! And this is why wind and solar as grid electricity must be taxpayer-gifted to the hilt and in some states (Texas being foremost) have a mandated market share.
If Joe Romm thinks that politically correct renewable energies “are competitive in many situations right now,” then let him 1) define those situations and 2) recommend that preferential subsidies/mandates be removed. Let’s see what consumers want in terms of price and reliability. (And sure, we can end all government energy subsidies while we are at it.)
Romm circa 2011 continues a multi-decade siren song of wind and solar becoming affordable, prime time, industrial energies. Yet the litany of exaggerations and disproven claims should give pause to current claims–and increase understanding about the density problem with wind and solar. The diluteness of wind and solar as on-grid electricity is not the result of a lack of inventive effort (a breakdown of human ingenuity), insufficient taxpayers subsidies, or a conspiracy by rival energies. It is basic physics.
In 1983, s study by Booz, Allen & Hamilton for the Solar Energy Industries Association, American Wind Energy Association, and Renewable Energy Institute concluded:
The private sector can be expected to develop improved solar and wind technologies which will begin to become competitive and self-supporting on a national level by the end of the decade if assisted by tax credits and augmented by federally sponsored R&D.” (1) [Read more →]
April 27, 2011 7 Comments
Harvard Business Review Article: BP as Environmental Role Model (Part III on global warming as the great environmental distraction)
“Such [progressive] leadership [on climate change] may give BP Amoco better access to government-controlled oil deposits and more operating flexibility.”
- Kimberly O’Neill Packard and Forest Reinhardt, “What Every Executive Needs to Know About Global Warming,” Harvard Business Review, July/August 2000.
The Worldwatch Institute sang the praises of BP’s it’s-a-problem, we-can-solve-it approach to climate change. Far Left environmentalist Joe Romm featured John Browne/BP in his book Cool Companies as a leading example of corporations going green for profits and virtue.
Both Worldwatch and Romm were wrong–dead wrong–about BP, just as they were also wrong about climate-alarmist Enron and Ken Lay.
It turns out that a lot of political profit-making and greenwashing was going on at both rogue companies. Remember what Jeff Skilling told one of Enron’s coal executives who complained that the company’s greenwashing was hurting his division:
“We are a green company, but the green stands for money.” [Read more →]
July 1, 2010 7 Comments
Building on the misconception that renewable energy is cheap, some legislators and activists propose mandating that minimum fractions of our electric supply come from designated renewables. Wind and solar are at the top of this list. Al Gore wants 100 percent renewables in less than a decade; others propose less ambitious targets.
The problem is that renewables are expensive, not to mention unreliable and environmentally questionable. Mandates would only force consumers to pay ever higher electric rates as this minimum in an renewable electricity standard (RES) grows year by year.
The Center for Data Analysis at the Heritage Foundation recently analyzed the economic impact of an RES, such as proposed in federal legislation. We found that starting with a 3 percent mandate in 2012, and ramping it up by 1.5 percent each year, will by 2035:
- Reduce national income (GDP) by over $5 trillion even after adjusting for inflation, which translates to an average annual loss of $2,400 for a family of four.
- Destroy a million jobs.
- Raise electric rates by 35 to 60 percent (after adjusting for inflation).
These impacts are driven by the fact that the cheapest renewable electricity source costs twice as much per megawatt-hour as the most economical conventional sources. [Read more →]
May 15, 2010 13 Comments
In a post on his blog and then again on the Huffington Post, Joe Romm challenged me to a wager on oil prices, claiming prescience concerning the price rise in the past decade compared to my 1996 forecast of low prices for two decades. He seems to be implying that that I have refused to wager him, having closed the webpage to any further comments.
I find myself taken aback, as my experience with the blogosphere is somewhat limited. My experience is primarily as an academic, writing articles for refereed journals and books, as well as working papers, with an intention to make them carefully sourced and referenced. A blog can consist of nothing more than a rant, and the comments appended to them often worse (and usually anonymous). I will not however yield to the temptation to follow suit (even if our illustrious moderator would permit it, which he won’t).
Having put up approximately 20 posts on the subject of peak oil, it might be thought that Romm is an expert on the subject. But so far as I know, he has a grand total of one article on oil, his famed, “Mideast Oil Forever” Atlantic Monthly piece (co-authored with Charles Curtis), which is the source of his pride on the subject.
A careful reading of “Mideast Oil Forever” shows that his argument was not so much that prices would soar, but that global dependence on Middle East oil would soar, which has not happened. My argument was that the forecast of rising Middle East market share was likely to be incorrect, and it was (see Figure), so that economic fundamentals would not imply ever rising prices.
Forecasts of OPEC Market Share from 1996/97
Which is a far cry from saying my forecast was wrong and Joe’s correct. In my testimony, I specifically stated,
“The reality is that prices may go up in the future. And Persian Gulf oil production and exports will rise. However, the most likely scenario, given what we know about oil supply and demand and what we have learned about forecasting in the last 10 to 15 years, is that OPEC is going to be under continued pressure for at least the next 10 years, possibly for much longer, that they will be fighting with each other for market share. And, it’s going to require some very substantial changes in the world to see prices rising.” (See my opening statement on pp. 127-128.)
Arguably, the price collapse leading to the rise of Hugo Chavez, the September 11 terrorist attacks and the Bush Administration’s decision to invade Iraq, are those ‘substantial changes’. Certainly, not the soaring Middle East market share predicted by Romm. (Since he downloaded the transcript of the hearing, it’s not clear how he missed this.) [Read more →]
March 5, 2010 1 Comment