Climate Schlock: Joe Romm goes for the Herb Tarleck pitch

herb-tarlek[1]Being a broadcaster, one of my favorite TV shows ever was WKRP in Cincinnati. Readers may recall some of the highest forms of stereotypical comedy that came from the sales manager, Herb Tarleck, seen at right, who had the schtick of a used car salesman down pat.

So, when I saw this latest headline sales pitch from Joe Romm over at Climate Progress, with the key words “act now” and “super cheap”  I couldn’t help but think of Joe Romm channeling Herb Tarleck.

Here’s the pitch (with my embellishment added):


Problem is, Joe is pushing a product few people seem interested in. The latest sales figures show a significant decline.

Pretty soon, Joe won’t even be able to give it away.

As Paul H notes in comments (with apologies to WKRP’s “Big Guy”):

“As God is my witness, I thought CAGW could fly.”




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April 13, 2014 9:49 am

Yes, but if you throw it from a helicopter.. will it fly?

April 13, 2014 9:51 am

“As God is my witness, I thought CAGW could fly.”

April 13, 2014 10:14 am

Romm could get more click if he updated to more modern internet tactics like “Save the Earth with this one weird trick!” The accompanying thumbnail could feature a beautiful model or perhaps some bizarre-looking food.

R. Shearer
April 13, 2014 10:16 am

But wait, there’s more…

Alan Robertson
April 13, 2014 10:26 am

In case some readers don’t get the references made in the first 3 comments…

Michael Jankowski
April 13, 2014 10:30 am

Throw in some Joe Isuzu for good measure

April 13, 2014 10:43 am

Fire sale…

April 13, 2014 10:45 am

Which English town is it which is alleged to have been inundated by “sea level rise”? If he’s referring to somewhere in Somerset then the failure of government is to blame in abandoning river dredging, resulting in floods caused by rain (from above, you know) not the sea (lower down, big wet thing). Just wanted to make the point. Conclusion – he’s an idiot. Thank you.

April 13, 2014 10:55 am

Not available in stores!

April 13, 2014 11:00 am

Gotta love the “only 0.06%” of annual growth. By 2100, that’s “only” about 5% of the global economy. Didn’t WGII say that the high end of negative impacts was only in the range of 2%?

Mickey Reno
April 13, 2014 11:01 am

I’d love to save the world, but I’m too busy buying a Sham-WOW.

Paul Coppin
April 13, 2014 11:07 am

“And for a limited time, if you act right away, you can save the planet TWICE!. That’s right – we are including a second opportunity to save the planet AT NO EXTRA CHARGE! Just pay separate shipping and handling.
Offer void where prohibited. Only 97% of respondents will receive this DOUBLE OFFER, so act now!”

April 13, 2014 11:08 am

I had a crush on Bailey Quarters.

Gail Combs
April 13, 2014 11:11 am

As the used car salesmen climate scientists wind-up to a fevered pitch trying to save their cushy jobs, Al Gore has cashed in and left ‘Greentown’ to join in financing the natural gas pipelines. (I wonder if his kiddies protesting Keystone know that.)
Al Gore Walks Away From Green Energy

April 13, 2014 11:16 am

l like it

Gail Combs
April 13, 2014 11:21 am

As the used care salesmen climate scientists disparately try to save their jobs. Al Gore has already abandoned Green Energy for natural gas pipelines. I wonder if his keystone-kiddies know that.

Gail Combs
April 13, 2014 11:22 am

(sorry for the double comment, first did not show for about 10 min.)

Paul Coppin
April 13, 2014 11:22 am

and two cats, me too…:)

April 13, 2014 11:31 am

Lonnie Anderson got the headlines, but Bailey Quarters was HAWT. She (Jan Smithers) ended up marrying James Brolin.
some guys have all the luck.

Bruce Cobb
April 13, 2014 11:31 am

One would expect their economic analysis of the cost of avoiding “climate catastrophe” to be every bit as honest and rigorous as the “science” underpinning said catastrophe. The gambit is to vastly understate the true costs in order to sucker in the “mark”, and then use the bogus idea that what we are buying, for such a “paltry” sum is “climate insurance”, whose price will only go up tomorrow, and each day thereafter. In other words, we can buy now, or fry later. Our choice.

John M
April 13, 2014 11:43 am


She (Jan Smithers) ended up marrying James Brolin.

That must have been when he when he was more discerning.

April 13, 2014 11:45 am

50% off on all Hockey Sticks and Climate Models.
Lost Our Hold On Public Opinion. Everything must go.
Science NOT Settled. Going out of Business Sale!

Crispin in Waterloo
April 13, 2014 11:51 am

Given that the forecast of a rise, following the only information available to date, means that the warming will be entirely in winter. This reality, derived from the temperature data available, seems to more than slightly undermine the claimed disaster which boils down to roasting summers. There is no trend upwards we can count on to predict warmer summers. I find that at least slightly inconvenient when I don my CAGW-testing hat.
“Act now to prevent warming in winter.” Gee – that is going to be easy to sell in Minnesota.

April 13, 2014 11:56 am

Well at least it’s out in the open now.
I’ve been saying for some time in comments that all this “we must act now” crap is just basic sales technique: create urgency.
It’s even more urgent because the longer pause continues and the more the models diverge from reality the less credible the whole game becomes.
So thanks to Joe Romm for making it even clearer what a bunch used car salesmen they all are.

Leon Brozyna
April 13, 2014 12:00 pm

The schlock stays while class leaves (John Coleman retires from TV).

April 13, 2014 12:01 pm

So then. Who plays Les Nessman doing the Climate Report?

April 13, 2014 12:02 pm

Which English town was flooded? In the 1830s, the town of Dunwich in Suffolk had been inundated by rising sea levels to the extent there were only about 40 inhabitants left. They still, had an MP however. It was known at the time as a Rotten Burrough. This clearly was an early example of man-made global warming aided by excessive horse farting! The latter being a worthy response to the above item.

April 13, 2014 12:03 pm

Careful of trashing Herb Tarleck! He is almost single-handedly responsible for adding “No Problemo” into the American vernacular…

April 13, 2014 12:04 pm

Burrough should, of course read ‘borough’.

April 13, 2014 12:08 pm

Those buyers who bought in early to the act now on this limited time urgent ‘save the earth’ offer advertised in the ‘exaggerationist’ CAGW assessments of the IPCC now have some buyer’s remorse.
The early urgent buyer’s remorse is possibly worse than they might think.
/sarc on
Sorry, early urgent buyers of the IPCC CAGW promotional get no refunds and all guarantees are void except if you have the pen ultimately highest level of elite greenie status. (If you aren’t on the short list of drinking buddies with people like Holdren or Stern then you aren’t on the special greenie list for refunds and guarantees.)
The IPCC will not be responsible for any legal fees of any early urgent buyers resulting from people suing such buyers for: property confiscation / redistribution; developing nation fatal impoverishment; and developed nation energy poverty deaths.
But WAIT!!! There is good news too. See our next special very urgent limited time offer. That’s right; please look for the IPCC’s next recursive sensationalist promotion coming soon to formally respected science journals near you. Look for Global Cooling (redux & deja vu all over again)
{sorry Yogi}
/sarc off
Well, maybe not all of it is sarcasm.

Oscar Bajner
April 13, 2014 12:38 pm

Let it Flood, by J.R.
And when the night is cloudy,
There is still a Watt that shines on me,
Radiate on until tomorrow, let it flood.
I wake up to the sound of mumbo
Mother Jones comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it flood.
Let it flood, let it flood.
(apologies to the animals, erm, crickets)
Cast out your nine’s
and bring out your dead
mighty J. R.’s
gone fracked in the Op-Ed.

April 13, 2014 12:51 pm

The issue with Sandy in New York and Katrina in New Orleans were not that they were unexpectedly large. They were within the realm of climate events that were to be expected and should have been prepared for. The disasters experienced were caused by short term thinking and the refusal to take responsibility.
Much of CAGW alarm is pure hype and can be discounted. On the other hand, the refusal to make the necessary public investments to deal with completely expectable climatic events is unacceptable.

April 13, 2014 1:07 pm

I was the Chief Engineer for WTAO around 1973. That show was so true to life it was scary.

Harry Passfield
April 13, 2014 1:14 pm

I was struck by the screen-cap showing the ‘hybrid electric trains’ – which I take it refers to some fantastically modern facility that will allow trains to run in a more environmentally-friendly way.
Hmmm….In the 1960s we called them diesel-electrics. Delta or Deltic class, if (UK) memory serves.

Ron C.
April 13, 2014 1:25 pm

As the used car salesman said:
“Let’s get one thing straight. I don’t want your money, I want your respect.”

Dodgy Geezer
April 13, 2014 2:00 pm

…Being a broadcaster, one of my favorite TV shows ever was “WKRP in Cincinnati”. ..
Didn’t you ever get “Drop the Dead Donkey” over in USA-land? Or was that too English?

April 13, 2014 2:04 pm

Herb!!!! LOL!
Planet’s got a fever … call Dr. Fever now! 😛

Steve from Rockwood
April 13, 2014 2:10 pm

This is a limited time offer… (probably because the world hasn’t warmed in 17 years)

John F. Hultquist
April 13, 2014 2:43 pm

I appreciate the screen capture as you have done above. I always hate to have to go to a site and puff up the traffic count when someone mentions an alarmist site.
Among many, one of the WKRP episodes I remember is when the “big guy” (Gordon Jump) gave over-the phone instructions to a young girl while tornadoes were in the area. The story is based on the outbreak in early April of 1974, I think.
A friend’s house disintegrated in that event.

April 13, 2014 2:49 pm

But wait, there’s more!! Buy a carbon credit now and get one free!!

Dave N
April 13, 2014 3:49 pm

Is it around $60 a bottle and promoted on Dr Oz?

Chuck Nolan
April 13, 2014 4:06 pm

Yes it’s BOGO on Carbon Credits.
Don’t wait!
Get yours today.

April 13, 2014 4:12 pm

Act now……and you will receive a free set of steak knives.

Evan Jones
April 13, 2014 4:13 pm

So then. Who plays Les Nessman doing the Climate Report?
That’s my favorite one of the whole series.

April 13, 2014 5:03 pm

It would appear that Joe Romm is suffering from end stage climate alarmism: A deterioration in cognitive skills.

April 13, 2014 5:09 pm

Joe Romm also played a role in the Showtime series “Years of Living Dangerously.” I watched the first episode. Essentially it builds on a few actual facts, e.g., droughts in East Texas and Northern Syria, forest destruction in Sumatra, but repeatedly overstates, misstates and omits facts, For example, a quick look at GISSTemp data for small towns near Lubbock do not indicate any warming. Grain production around the world is going up, regardless of what the NASA “expert” tells Harrison Ford. What struck me was the close tracking of the movie script with the SPM WGII narrative. Coincidence?

April 13, 2014 5:17 pm

It’s our 20th Annual Act Now Or We Will All Die Tomorrow Sale! Special Discounts for Mayans!

April 13, 2014 5:25 pm

Harry Passfield says:

I was struck by the screen-cap showing the ‘hybrid electric trains’ – which I take it refers to some fantastically modern facility that will allow trains to run in a more environmentally-friendly way.
Hmmm….In the 1960s we called them diesel-electrics. Delta or Deltic class, if (UK) memory serves.

Agree the ref to ‘hybrid electric trains’ was confused. Re diesel-electrics: almost every “diesel” you ever see on a modern railway is actually a diesel-electric: the diesel engine generates power that drives electric motors on the locomotive’s axles. Alternatives such as diesel-hydraulic or diesel-mechanical have almost fallen into history due to their inefficiency or impracticality. I think you are remembering something called an “electro-diesel”, which was a standard electric loco with a diesel backup for when it had to run without the electric wires. They were rare (locos E6001-E6006 were AFAIK the only ones running in Britain in 1964). Deltic wasn’t one of them, it was a first-generation ordinary diesel-electric. But the “Westerns” were a prominent diesel-hydraulic.

April 13, 2014 5:36 pm

I too was intrigued by the hybrid-train teaser, so I made the mistake of reading the story. As usual the lead was not only buried, it was the last line of penultimate graf:
“but trains are not always full, so the emissions per passenger can quickly rise. And most calculations don’t include the emission costs of actually constructing rail lines.”
Trains are never full, and any calculation that doesn’t include such “emission costs” have no application to the real world. In other words, another incredibly inefficient use of taxpayer dollars brought to you by CAGW hysteria.

April 13, 2014 5:36 pm

Thanks for the +1, Anthony. 🙂 It’s funny, I can remember lines from TV shows I watched in the 1970’s, and yet sometimes I have trouble remembering what day it is. A mystery, to be sure.

April 13, 2014 5:48 pm

It turns a sandwich into a banquet!!
Free shipping!!
The first 100 callers also receive carbon credits!!
Fun for the whole family!!
Call now!!!!

April 13, 2014 6:49 pm

WKRP — More music and Les Nesmann.

George McFly......I'm your density
April 13, 2014 7:03 pm

Phone within the next ten minutes for your Sham-O-Matic and get two for the price of three!
Have your credit card handy!

April 13, 2014 7:16 pm

As for car salesmen I was hooked from the very moment my car salesman on very first meeting him said, without artifice, that I should look at all the other dealerships in town before buying a car from him……Honest, he really did say this….He also had no idea whatsoever that I was able to buy any car he had in the showroom. I was dressed like a down and out at the time but he treated me like I could have bought anything he had.
A most potent sales technique in my view…”Go to the opposition before deciding”….
I’ve only just bought my fourth new car from him. My wife has also bought a new car from him.
Also a friend with another pending for one of his higher range models…..
Sorry to be defending car salesmen but some of them are actually decent human beings…..
Ah well…..

April 13, 2014 7:18 pm

You bring up WKRP and all you think about is Herb Tarlick? I watched the show for one reason – Jennifer! (for the young ones, google Loni Anderson). 🙂

James Rollins Jr
April 13, 2014 8:27 pm

That’s the funniest thing I have heard or seen since January 1st this year and I’m a news hound.
” Even after they told me and reminded me repeatedly, James Hansen’s green house gas warming models, didn’t have the atmosphere obey Ideal Gas Law, falsely weighting temperature according to composition of gas mix.
And even after I realized all of Aeronautics, Meteorology, and N.A.S.A. had always, treated the atmosphere as an Ideal Gas mix in every single science predating their modern capability, back to World War II and before,
And even when I saw and heard recordings of James Hansen being predicted to be found a criminal by his fellow employees over this very issue,
And even after I saw them try to float that ridiculously out of balance Kiehl-Trenberth cartoon,
battle flag of the “hotter vs colder” challenged,
And even after I saw Michael Mann close associate of Hansen, caught in computer modeling fake research,
And even after I saw all their names – Hansen, Trenberth, Jones, Mann, – on the now famous “Its a Travesty” Email
where Trenberth exclaimed how amid their combined expertise, “we don’t have the slightest clue what the climatic thermostat is doing,”
I thought it would fly! I thought the basic science, was sound!! I did! I really did!
I thought it was real, science weighting the atmosphere’s temperature according to a minute couple percent of volume, was real gas thermodynamics!
Honest I did!
And all those honest men
who I
lied about,
and ridiculed,
they can’t hold it against me!
Because I believed!
I thought it would fly!
Like an eagle!”
Yeah: well, the eagle, has landed.
The cowbird of fake science, says thanks for raising it’s young,
into full adulthood.
Couldn’t have done it without their help.
PaulH says:
April 13, 2014 at 9:51 am
“As God is my witness, I thought CAGW could fly.”

Alan Robertson
April 13, 2014 9:25 pm

Friends once introduced me to their visiting guest, an attractive lady from Cincinnatti. I couldn’t resist jokingly asking her if she listened to Dr. Johnny Fever on WKRP. She glared at me as if I had two heads and huffily informed me that the show was TV fiction. She really.did.
That was that. The gulf was too wide between us. I saw her on other occasions, but we never again spoke.

April 13, 2014 9:46 pm

Les Nessman = Bill Nye

Mike H
April 13, 2014 10:34 pm

Maybe one day, Joe Romm will have walls and are green cops the new phone cops?

April 13, 2014 10:57 pm

Joe Romm:
“What’s it going to take to get you into this Climate Change, TODAY?”

Colorado Wellington
April 13, 2014 11:27 pm

“If you’re in the climate change game and you don’t know who the mark is … you’re the mark.”
(With apologies to David Mamet)

Mr Green Genes
April 14, 2014 2:10 am

Ron House says:
April 13, 2014 at 5:25 pm
A rail bore writes:-
Yes, you’re referring to the British Rail classes 73 and 74 which were designed to operate on the Southern Region’s 750v DC third-rail system, or elsewhere using the 600 hp (the cl. 74 was slightly more powerful at 650 hp) diesel engine. The cl. 74 was withdrawn and scrapped in the 1970s and early 80s; afaik there are still a few cl. 73s running about (well, actually parked up as they are generally only used as rescue locos if/when the power goes off).
Mr Romm’s “hybrid” trains seem just like normal locomotives to me.
Meanwhile, the UK government is investing billions of pounds in a new generation of trains, some of which are to be known as “bi-mode” which will, strictly speaking, be an uprated version of the good old cl. 73. This one will be designed to operate under the 25kV AC system. THe reason for this slightly bizarre policy is that it is claimed that inventing a snazzy new train like this will be cheaper than electrifying the whole of the ‘Inter-City’ network. It runs electrically to (say) Plymouth and then drops its pantographs and uses the diesel to get to Penzance and back. Time will tell whether or not this is actually sensible; the trouble is that if it proves to be a turkey, that’s a lot of money down the drain.
Still, as Henry Hazlitt once said:-

“The proposal is frequently made that the government ought to assume the risks that are ‘too great for private industry’. This means that bureaucrats should be permitted to take risks with the taxpayers’ money that no-one is willing to take with his own.”

Whatever the end result, those responsible will take their massively generous government (i.e. taxpayer) funded pensions and go off, whistling, into the sunset, probably with a knighthood or similar to prove how ‘useful’ they were.

April 14, 2014 2:31 am

I think Herb dresses a little nicer than Joe Romm, but that’s just my opinion. (Herb also has better hair, but we won’t mention that.)

April 14, 2014 4:46 am

I look forward to the day the theory of CAGW will be like Herb’s suits; “only available at a pro shop in Kentucky”. Oh, and put me down as a Bailey Quarters fan too.

Jason Calley
April 14, 2014 7:03 am

@ James Rollins Jr
“The cowbird of fake science, says thanks for raising it’s young,
into full adulthood.”
Ha! If I were drinking coffee, yes, I would have soaked my keyboard! Funniest line I have seen in a while!

April 14, 2014 7:13 am

Arthur Carlson was the Big Guy.

Gunga Din
April 14, 2014 7:37 am

Why does Joe Romm selling climate models bring the jingle “Red Wrigglers, Red Wrigglers, the Cadillac of worms” to mind?

April 14, 2014 10:19 am

PT Barnum would be proud of these boys…

April 14, 2014 11:16 am

That Thanksgiving episode has to be one of the best of the series.

April 14, 2014 5:20 pm

The reason the scream about acting now is because they are fully aware that decades long cooling would end the gravy train.

April 16, 2014 4:59 am

What a deal! I’m going to buy in as soon as I get the money that’s coming to me from Nigeria …

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