Alarmism or Not? Joe Romm and the ‘Crying Wolf’ Dilemma

Joe Romm head explosion in 3..2..1

Guest post by Robert Bradley Jr. of Master Resource 

“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.

Here is his post from April 23 in response to the news that a famous scientist James Lovelock was backing away from climate alarmism, a shift that was noted across the blogosphere.

James Lovelock Finally Walks Back His Absurd Doomism, But He Still Doesn’t Follow Climate Science

By Joe Rommon Apr 23, 2012 at 7:10 pm

Famed scientist James Lovelock has always been in a category of one when it comes to global warming. See for instance my June 2009 post, “Lovelock still makes me look like Paula Abdul, warns climate war could kill nearly all of us, leaving survivors in the Stone Age.” That’s mostly because he doesn’t follow the scientific literature.

Now that he has dialed back his doomism — alarmism is a wholly inadequate word for Lovelock’s (former) brand of unjustified hopelessness — the media and the deniers are just so excited….

Doomism, Inc.: Lovins, Holdren, Ehrlich, etc.

Romm then takes Lovelock to task:

Memo to Lovelock: Gore never asserted billions would die or anything close to what you’ve been saying. And unlike you, he always believed — and still does — that it’s not too late. So if you finally admitted you were wrong, that’s awesome, but don’t try to claim you were just saying what others were. You weren’t. Not even close.

Well, those who have been following Dr. Romm for years can call this ‘the kettle calling the pot black’.

Romm’s many ‘stunner’ or ‘stunning‘ news posts talk about how anthropogenic climate-change was worse than thought. He has surrendered to a ”hellish vision” of the world under business-as-usual. He also admits to being too optimistic in the past–and that climate change is worse than he previously thought (which was pretty darn bad). And this Rommdoomism:

Warming of 7F is certainly not the worst-case in the scientific literature (see M.I.T. doubles its 2095 warming projection to 10°F “” with 866 ppm and Arctic warming of 20°F and “Our hellish future: Definitive NOAA-led report on U.S. climate impacts warns of scorching 9 to 11°F warming over most of inland U.S. by 2090 with Kansas above 90°F some 120 days a year “” and that isn’t the worst case, it’s business as usual!“).

Off camera, he seems worse. In one private email he called me a ‘sociopath’ for my labors questioning climate alarm and related activist energy policy. (James Hansen got a cc of the email as well, and Joe has never apologized to me for his resort to what the Left calls hate speech.)

Now if a new leaf has been turned over at Climate Progress, maybe Dr. Romm can evaluate these quotations from these heavyweights:

Amory Lovins (1975):

“Present energy policies however tacit and ill-constructed they may be, are quickly destroying the options that mankind, living and unborn, will need for millennia.”

John Holdren (1981):

“Too much fossil fuel means flirtation with a CO2-induced climate change potentially catastrophic for world food production.”

Paul Ehrlich on John Holdren (1986):

“As University of California physicist John Holdren has said, it is possible that carbon-dioxide climate-induced famines could kill as many as a billion people before the year 2020.”

There are many, many more quotations from Romm’s intellectual brethren–the Climate Hawks as he calls them–that could be called out just as Romm did to Lovelock.

Will it be done in the cause of consistency and a challenge culture?

I wish.

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42 thoughts on “Alarmism or Not? Joe Romm and the ‘Crying Wolf’ Dilemma

  1. Cognitive dissonance, it hits some people hard. Normally I’d be sympathetic, but in Romm’s case I’m enjoying the spectacle of him unravelling……

  2. Alarmism is the core of their beliefs. Without dire consequences, this crowd has nothing.

  3. The eyes-closed stubborness of the alarmists is a defining trait of the ideologist,
    in that an ideology is a system of intellectual blinders acting to block the sight of reality,
    while a philosophy is an intellectual system for engaging reality.

    Rarely do those blinders even get noticed by their wearers. Even rarer is blinders being cast off, so if there’s a grand minimum you can well expect slow-boat Joe to call it a ‘warming pause’ and blame it on CO2.

  4. As the doomed climate doomsterrats jump the sinking SS Climatanic, it’s fun to watch the remaining rats toss them anchors, all while backpedaling and spinning wildly in a futile effort to save themselves.

  5. There could be some suicides under the pressure of the present cooling (at least lack of warming for 1/6 of a century) among the the more hysterical zealots. Al Gore won’t be among them, he’ll probably turn on them for having misinformed him. Ehrlich is an old campaigner, he’ll just say, “See I told you the earth was going to freeze 30 yrs ago”.

  6. Of course, alarmists are all hunting around for the next doomsday cause, which I assume will be bio-diversity. Again, something we don’t have a good handle on, so they can establish a convenient ‘past’ record, and predict any future that will separate us from our resources and distribute them to socialists.

  7. Here’s Mitt Romneys’ take on Obamas’ “All of the above” energy policy:

    He also takes the opportunity to use David Axelrod’s own words against Obama.
    Oooh, that’s going to leave a mark!

  8. I saw a fellow like Romm at a carnival once, tried to sell me some kind of tonic that would fix everythng. I think things ended badly for him :)….

  9. Hellish indeed listening to alarmism, ad nauseum. Chicken little’s hell was of his own making. He was scared by his own prophesy .

  10. That’s a picture of Romm? What is it with these bald guys and their hawking of global warming alarmism? Do they all think AGW causes hair loss?

  11. To be fair, when I communicated directly with Joe Romm on the Gleick – Heartland incident, he was timely in responding and polite. I get the impression that he truly believes that we are at risk. A sense I do not get with a certain former-VP.

    If his recent comments are an indication that he may be rethinking some of his positions, then I see that as a good thing. If he has difficulty in admitting to those changes – i.e. that he was wrong – well, we all possess certain human frailties. Joe Romm won’t be the first guy unwilling to acknowledge being wrong.

  12. The cynicism here is impressive. But Romm has a point that Lovelock played a major role in generating the CAGW hysteria that we now face. A pox on both their houses.

  13. “Now, under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years.”

    THis is also patently misleading. PRIVATE production, over which he has no control, is up. Production on public land, which he does control, is at an all time low.

    Essentially, he’s lying.

  14. When Romm went after Sarah Palin for some dumb denialist statement she made, he referred to here being from “warmth-ravaged Alaska.” Now that, folks, is some world class hyperbole!

  15. I think Pascal Bruckner’s quote in his recent article was extremely apposite for a certain class of CAGWer.

    “catastrophe is not their fear but their joy”

  16. I worked in the same research group as Joe some 33 years ago when he was a Freshman at MIT. Everyone in the group found him to be insufferable, even by the standards of MIT Freshmen. As a result, he became the butt of many jokes.

    I guess in some ways he is consistent–

  17. “What is it with these bald guys…….Do they all think AGW causes hair loss?”
    No. Their sack clothing and hair shirts came with hoodies and it caused such an abrasive self-flagellation of the scalp that even the thickest head of hair was unable to remain intact.

  18. Obama says: “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. ”

    Another lie of omission. What he leaves out is that all this production is the culmination of efforts that started years go back in the Bush era.

  19. Well, male pattern baldness is associated with two things: high testosterone and low self-esteem. Take your pick.

  20. Bruce Cobb says:
    May 1, 2012 at 10:31 am

    As the doomed climate doomsterrats jump the sinking SS Climatanic, it’s fun to watch the remaining rats toss them anchors, all while backpedaling and spinning wildly in a futile effort to save themselves.
    _____________________
    That is for sure. I almost bust a gut laughing when William Connelly made a reply to me about Climate Alarmists never saying there would be “Run-away Global Warming”
    (If I cared enough I would look the quote up. ~ I think it was on the James Lovelock back-pedaling post)

  21. Tom in Florida said: “Obama says: “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.”
    Tom continued:
    “Another lie of omission. What he leaves out is that all this production is the culmination of efforts that started years go back in the Bush era.”

    It’s worse than that. All the production increases have come from the private sector. Production on federal lands has actually decreased. In short, the government had nothing to do with it. However, they are rushing to catch up by getting the EPA to ban frakking and we all know what Obama did to the Keystone Pipeline plans.

    Slick Chicago politicians will say anything because they know people who vote for them cannot or will not analyze it.

  22. Romm *poke*, Romm *poke*, Romm *poke*, Romm *poke*, Romm *poke*, Romm *poke*, Romm *poke*, Romm *poke*, Romm *poke*, Romm *poke*, Romm *poke*, Romm *poke*…….

  23. sycodon says:
    May 1, 2012 at 12:10 pm
    “Now, under my administration, America is producing more oil today than at any time in the last eight years.”
    This is also patently misleading. PRIVATE production, over which he has no control, is up. Production on public land, which he does control, is at an all time low.
    Essentially, he’s lying.

    Which is why I don’t understand why Romm criticized him for it…

  24. Romm on Lovelock:: “Lovelock still makes me look like Paula Abdul, warns climate war could kill nearly all of us, leaving survivors in the Stone Age.”
    ====================================================
    But I thought Romm was all about getting us back to the Stone Age.

  25. Seems that the Ehrlich quote would have been a welcome outcome to him, considering his “Population Bomb” background. Isn’t that basically what he was advocating with that book?

    Fear is the bludgeon that is used to keep people in line. When I was a kid it was the “Red Menace”, then “Nuclear Winter” and/or Global Cooling(the New Ice Age), then CFCs and the Ozone Hole, etc., etc., etc. And notice that, by and large, the source of the ‘fear’ has become more nebulous and less controllable as time goes on. But people keep buying it.

    If someone is pushing fear-based decisions, particularly of a public policy kind, be very wary; they’re trying to get your money, your rights, or your freedom, or all of the above. But they can’t unless we give it to them, by accepting the fear.

  26. enRomm Joe is always upset about something. Now that his blog is hidden under an additional layer, I never check it out. I do recall in Jan about 3 years ago, he prophesied that the east Coast would be warm and dry in the winder and droughts in the southwest were permanent.

    8 inches of rain in Oklahoma in the past 7 days.

  27. Popcorn, anybody …………. ?

  28. The thing about the catastrophists is not just that they’re wrong, it’s that they’re 180° wrong. The exact converse of everything they say is true, or close to true. Their private (and public) justification seems to be, “Yabbut, we only have to be right once!”

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