A Free-Market Energy Blog

Petulant Joe Romm Tries to Expand His Climate/Energy Reach

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- July 17, 2019

The good news: Joe Romm has gone quiet (last post: June 26th) at ClimateProgress after a 14-year run as founder/chief blogger. The bad news: he has launched a new venture in the hopes of raising his profile and reach.

He has his work cut out for him. This irritable, emotional physicist-turned-journalist has long turned off conservatives, libertarians, and open-minded independents with his exaggerations (Wiki: ” Romm’s 2006 book Hell and High Water projects that humans have a window of opportunity of only about a decade to head off the most catastrophic effects of global warming”).

He has remained vitriolic and stubborn in the face of contrary evidence regarding dilute, intermittent energies, not to mention his notion of an unlivable climate. He will not engage in open debate with his critics–but likes to work behind the scenes to bully and discredit them.

Romm’s coauthored essay, Mideast Oil Forever, the cover story of Atlantic Monthly (April 1996) is a case study of for-the-moment argumentation that would be thoroughly refuted by events. His bold pronouncements of clean-and-green technologies relative to dense fossil fuels hang by the threat of government subsidies for wind power, (on-grid) solar power, and electric vehicles.

Romm’s criticisms of nuclear energy, where he morphs into free-market logic and cost concern, has been true to the mark. Ditto for his case against hydrogen cars and CO2 capture-and-storage.

Front Page Live

The purported goal of the new internet project Front Page Live is “to be an antidote to the Drudge Report,” begins Joe Romm, editor-in-chief. But then Joe goes Joe:

But whereas Drudge aggregates and viralizes right-wing content, which includes a lot of disinformation and climate science denial, we will aim to aggregate and viralize accurate news. We are “liberal” only in the sense that climate science has been labeled ‘liberal’ by climate science deniers.

And just to add flame to flame:

We are trying to be a place that will save people time because it’s simply way too hard for anyone to sip quality water from the open fire hydrant that is online news and social media — especially because there is so much sewage thrown in.

And he wonders why he is not reaching an incremental audience, far less those who challenge his black-and-white record of exaggeration and error. The climate alarmists/forced energy transformationists are losing in the energy policy world.

I’m sure Front Page Live is swimming in money and will pay well to get (former) conservatives to amplify its message. (Carl Cameron, formerly of Fox News, a principal along with Romm, is the latest turncoat that includes Jerry Taylor and Josiah Neeley in the public policy world.) The site will, according to The Hill, “reportedly be populated with audience-tested headlines.”

But more gloss to Angry Joe will not do much to persuade an incremental audience. Open-mindedness, climate optimism, and energy realism are what is needed to be successful in a polarized political world.


  1. Dennis J Feindel  

    Doesn’t he know that “Stress” the Nations silent killer is bad for one’s Health??


  2. rbradley  

    Romm is still writing occasional posts at ThinkProgess on energy/climate:

    July 19: Call it the Trump heat wave: The current scorcher is just a taste of what’s coming (https://thinkprogress.org/call-it-the-trump-heat-wave-the-current-scorcher-is-just-a-taste-of-whats-coming-8fa8f1ad6f0f/)

    July 11: The most important thing you can do right now to fight climate change, according to science https://thinkprogress.org/the-most-important-thing-you-can-do-right-now-to-fight-climate-change-according-to-science/


  3. Summer Air Conditioning: Stay Comfortable! (conservation calls enable bad policy) - Master Resource  

    […] Romm, still writing at ClimateProgress (despite his new responsibilities), labeled a recent post: “Call It the Trump Heat Wave.” Even if it is not the record […]


  4. JennyJoolz  

    This is probably the worst article I’ve ever read. You write like a child, but I suppose you don’t have much choice given that the logic involved in your argument requires a childlike naivete to swallow.

    Unfortunately, I doubt climate change will have much sympathy for your hurt-butt. Who am i to say, though? Maybe, just maybe, if you whinge about that hurt butt enough, Joe Romm, climate change, and the enemies of your precious free market will all disappear.

    Or maybe this website will continue to be just another denialist wank-rag.


  5. ClimateProgress Defunct (Joe Romm goes general) - Master Resource  

    […] as I postulated in Petulant Joe Romm Tries to Expand His Climate/Energy Reach, his for-the-moment exaggerations (“stunning” was his favorite adjective for what he […]


  6. Giordano Hernandez  

    According to NOAA, almost 300 billion dollars worth of damage was incurred for the year 2017 alone. That’s twice as much as the entire decade from 1980-1989.*

    Is that good for the economy?

    * https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/billions/events.pdf


    • rbradley  

      That begs the question of causality and weather versus climate change. Climate-related deaths are down very significantly as a more steady trend line.

      A future decade might reverse the damages, but the fact that so much more economic value is being put at risk on the shorelines (including by Obama in his new mansion) suggests that the damage figure might well rise.

      The real damage might come from climate POLICY that makes energy artificially expensive to build infrastructure to anticipate and adapt to weather extremes from any source, natural or anthropogenic.


  7. Roger Lambert  

    So Joe Romm is “Petulant” “irritable” “emotional””vitriolic” and “stubborn” ?


    He is also right.


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