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Fisking Romm

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorMarch 3, 2010 10:01 PM


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Ted Nordhaus and Michael Shellenberger do a deep dive into the Romm/Pielke Jr. affair. Some trenchant observations made by the Breakthrough boys, such as this one:

Romm knows that a debate with a non-skeptical liberal like Pielke would disrupt the Manichean fairy tale that global warming is an epic struggle by scientists and climate realists against global warming deniers and ignorant reporters. That's because publicly debating Pielke will inevitably require Romm to acknowledge that Pielke is not a global warming skeptic nor an opponent of action to address global warming. By contrast, Romm relishes debating skeptics like Morano and relishes offering them a platform precisely because doing so reduces the climate debate to an argument between skeptics, who oppose carbon pollution limits of any kind, and advocates like Romm, who demand emissions reductions in the name of climate science.

Here's something else they write, which I wonder if establishment greens will take note of:

In the end, Romm's bullying does not serve efforts to effectively address global warming; it serves the political interests of the self-proclaimed progressive wing of the Democratic Party. As the chief spokesman for climate legislation in Washington and the pointman on climate for the Center for American Progress, Romm is no rogue actor. On the contrary. In framing global warming as apocalypse, polarizing the debate, attacking alternatives to cap and trade, and using character assassination against working journalists and academics, the green and liberal establishment in Washington has, in Romm, precisely the spokesperson it deserves.

It'll be interesting to see if Romm retains that position of authority going forward. He's been fierce about the Waxman/Markey bill and utterly scornful of alternative proposals on the table. If a new climate bill is introduced in Congress, especially one that eliminates cap and trade as the major policy mechanism, where does Romm go from there?

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