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Environment

Romm's Weekend Froth

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorMarch 1, 2010 11:19 AM

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Yeah, why would one prominent guy who writes about climate policy want to debate another prominent guy who also writes about climate policy? Here's Joe Romm, in a response to a reader, explaining why he has no interest in debating Roger Pielke, Jr:

The question is why waste any time on him at all? He isn't a climate scientist and doesn't dispute the science and asserted on this blog we must stabilize at 400 to 450 ppm CO2. So not much to debate there. And he certainly isn't an expert on climate solutions. He simply isn't relevant to the debate anymore.

So if he's not relevant to the debate, then why waste a precious Sunday writing over 4,000 words about him? How many posts have you done on Roger in the last year alone, Joe? How many tens of thousands of words have you wasted on someone who "simply isn't relevant to the debate" anymore? In that same response, here's a chestnut Romm pulls out everytime he tries to de-legitimize a voice in the climate debate:

The fact that he is so widely debunked should tell you that he puts out a lot of misinformation and disinformation. As I've said many times, it is a waste of my time to give him a platform to spread mis- and dis-information and then have to use all my time debunking it.

Joe, it is clearly not a waste of your time, or why would you keep at it? Oh, and as for that "widely debunked" assertion, has anybody informed William Connolley of this yet, because here's what he wrote last summer, in a post on another Rommian screed against Roger:

RP is pointing out, yet again, that evidence for increased cost of GW in disaster related losses is thin at the very best, and that people seem very happy to quote outdated reports if they support their pov. Unfortunately, this is a message that many people don't want to hear.

I happen to think Joe Romm is an important voice in the climate debate--both for better and worse. He has the ear of media elites. I just wish he thought his opinions weren't the only ones that mattered. UPDATE: Foreign Policy magazine has agreed to host a debate between Roger Pielke, Jr. and Joe Romm. Here's hoping that Romm accepts. UPDATE 2: Hilarious comment from a reader at Roger's blog:

My prediction is that he will say he will not dignify your ideas and your "legitimacy" by agreeing to a debate. Only he'll say it in 2000 words.

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