Leading Climate Skeptic Dr. Steve Koonin on The Joe Rogan Experience

You may have heard about the controversy surrounding Joe Rogan, Neil Young, and Spotify in the past couple of weeks. It didn’t faze Rogan at all, and he’s jumped from the frying pan and into the fire with a great interview with Steve Koonin, Ph.D. From the podcast description:

Steven E. Koonin is a theoretical physicist, professor, former Chief Scientist for the BP petroleum company, and former Under Secretary for Science at the U.S. Department of Energy under the Obama administration. He’s also the author of “Unsettled: What Climate Science Tells Us, What It Doesn’t, and Why It Matters.

Koonin notes in an email to me:

“[Friday] Joe Rogan released a 2-hour podcast that I had recorded with him on Thursday in Austin. It was a serious, in-depth conversation about climate and energy matters that will reach 11M people (more than NYT, WSJ, WaPo, CNN, and Fox combined).”

You can listen to the entire podcast here at Spotify, but if you don’t have an account, you’ll need to sign up for a free trial to listen.

This podcast will be moved to our “videos” section of WUWT after it leaves the main page.

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February 14, 2022 8:48 am

So far the alarmists don’t seem to have registered this one

CNN really froths at the mouth where Rogan is concerned

Reply to  fretslider
February 14, 2022 8:49 am

Frothing at the mouth seems to be SOP for CNN these days.

Reply to  MarkW
February 14, 2022 8:54 am

“CNN anchor Alisyn Camerota, who lamented the network’s loss of Jeff Zucker last week, quipped on Thursday she doesn’t know what to do with Joe Rogan.

“Well, I admit I’m out of ideas for what to do about Joe Rogan. I’m officially out of ideas,” Camerota declared.”


Last edited 3 months ago by fretslider
Reply to  fretslider
February 14, 2022 9:03 am

Without Zucker it’s questionable whether CNN anchors have the brain power to come up with their own ideas.

Peta of Newark
Reply to  fretslider
February 14, 2022 9:16 am

That link is epic…

She claims she doesn’t know what to do about JR, then sets about putting more words into his mouth than there are in the British Library and uses them to beat him up.
How stupid, ugly and dumb is it possible to be?
<thinks ‘climate science’ and shudders>

What do they say about ‘bad publicity‘ – an advert like she just gave him would have cost $$10’s of Millions

Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 14, 2022 9:26 am

It’s a size thing as much as anything else. CNN gets around 800,000 viewers

“the size of his platform.” 11 million

Ron Long
Reply to  fretslider
February 14, 2022 9:34 am

The corrupt/stupid/crazy commentators at CNN should be alarmed by the comments of DISCOVERY CEO David Zaslav referring to CNN as “leader of news to the left” in a recent (Feb 4, 2022) interview. DISCOVERY is set to become owner of CNN when the merger is completed, and the fake news writ large to the left enablers at CNN might get a Reality Check, you know, sometimes called a Severance Check?

john harmsworth
Reply to  Ron Long
February 15, 2022 8:57 am

I believe Zaslav has already made comments regarding “returning CNN to roots of news veracity and impartiality”. I read them as a clear indictment of their current approach to utter fabrication of news on every issue on the planet.

Reply to  Ron Long
February 15, 2022 11:04 am

I read something about Zaslav saying something like he wanted to get CNN “back to reporting news”. Maybe from the same interview?

Reply to  Ron Long
February 17, 2022 6:31 am

Actually, he said that it was figuratively on the left side of his portfolio, with sports on the right side.

Climate believer
Reply to  fretslider
February 14, 2022 12:14 pm

Yes this whole paradigm that CNN is the mainstream media has to stop, they are partisan and fringe.

It’s so over for them.

I mean who the hell is going to listen to little Brian Stelter? get real.

Robert Hanson
Reply to  Climate believer
February 14, 2022 1:17 pm

It used to be just people held hostage in airports that only played CNN, but that contract died some time ago.

Clay Sanborn
Reply to  fretslider
February 14, 2022 6:47 pm

It is more correct to say that there are around 800,000 Cable Connections that are tuned to CNN. But no one is watching those 800,000 TV sets, so they actually have Zero (0) viewers. Those 800,000 TVs are in supposed BitCoin mining warehouses so that no one is suspicious of all the electricity usage. 🙂

Robert Hanson
Reply to  Peta of Newark
February 14, 2022 1:15 pm

““If you strike me down, I shall become more powerful than you can possibly imagine.” 🙂

john harmsworth
Reply to  fretslider
February 15, 2022 8:53 am

I think the ideas the rest of us have about what to do about CNN will take care of her concerns.

Reply to  MarkW
February 14, 2022 9:59 am

CNN ignores news that doesn’t fit their narrative. Like the fact that Durham seems to have evidence that Hillary paid to have the White House hacked and concocted the entire Trump/Russia story.

Reply to  Thomas
February 14, 2022 10:11 am

They have also managed to miss recent studies regarding how little impact strict lockdowns have had on COVID infection rates.

Robert Hanson
Reply to  MarkW
February 14, 2022 1:19 pm

Not “little impact”, no impact. Well actually negative impact.

dodgy geezer
Reply to  Robert Hanson
February 14, 2022 8:52 pm

That’s OK. The paper has been deemed to be misinformation on the grounds that some newspapers called it a ‘Johns Hopkins’ paper, and only one of the authors is from there….

Reply to  MarkW
February 14, 2022 10:46 am

I got to wondering if it’s really froth.

Reply to  fretslider
February 15, 2022 11:22 am

Maybe the left has finally learned that every time they try to silence a voice, it becomes amplified (see: Jennifer Sey).

Nah, it’s probably expecting too much of them to learn from their mistakes.

Last edited 3 months ago by renbutler
John Garrett
February 14, 2022 9:00 am

For the last ten (10) months, I have had a reservation to borrow a copy of Dr. Koonin’s Unsettled from the local public library.

Never before have I had this much difficulty obtaining a book from this large urban, blue state public library. I’m not one who puts much faith in conspiracy theories— however, they are starting to make me wonder.

The book is apparently out of print. The library claims they have a copy on order.

I wandered into the local independent bookseller last week and asked if they had a copy. Mirabile dictu, they did. I bought it.

After I finish reading it, I’ll donate it to the public library.

Reply to  John Garrett
February 14, 2022 9:04 am

I got the Kindle version. Hard copies are available on Amazon.

John Garrett
Reply to  Yooper
February 14, 2022 9:28 am

Thanks. I appreciate the tips.

I’m “old school.” When I really want to concentrate on the text, only hard copy print will do— I just cannot focus on a screen.

I try to avoid Amazon as much as is humanly possible. I’m in a fight with Bezos.

Similarly, I try to avoid the dominant internet search engine. Those of us who are habitués of WUWT know why.

To the extent possible, I try to direct as much of my trade as I can to my local independent bookseller.

Last edited 3 months ago by John Garrett
Reply to  John Garrett
February 14, 2022 9:56 am

“I try to avoid Amazon as much as is humanly possible. I’m in a fight with Bezos.”

I hope you win.

Dave Fair
Reply to  DonM
February 14, 2022 10:36 am

Not a chance.

michael hart
Reply to  Dave Fair
February 14, 2022 11:39 am

The best way seems to be to marry him then walk away with a few tens of billions in the divorce settlement.

Dave Fair
Reply to  michael hart
February 15, 2022 12:57 am

I’d have to …. As the Vietnamese B-girls would tell me, nebba happen GI.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  John Garrett
February 14, 2022 11:05 am

Sometimes it is possible to get a book direct from the publisher. I do this when I know the publisher deserves the support. However, supporting a local small bookseller that provides a good service will with sufficient support help the bookseller promote many good books.

Reply to  John Garrett
February 14, 2022 11:20 am

To DonM and Dave Fair below…yup, hard to defeat Amazon individually…I use them only as a last resort. I will buy from them if no alternative is available.

So, though by your self hard to fight them, but if we ALL reduce our tithe to Bezos, it will limit his profits and political powers.

Joe Born(@jhborn)
Reply to  Yooper
February 14, 2022 12:29 pm

I would recommend the hard copy; there are quite a few graphs, although he’s reported that graph-averse folks have told him they got a lot of it without looking at the graphs.

Reply to  Yooper
February 15, 2022 11:06 am

Get a hard copy, not as easy to change.

Joe Gordon
Reply to  John Garrett
February 14, 2022 9:05 am

According to directives from the government’s Ministry of Libraries, the proper temperature for storing Koonin’s book, and others deemed worthy of preservation, is 451 degrees.

Michael Mann says they shouldn’t take the trouble, since the average temperature will reach 600 by the middle of next week.

Reply to  Joe Gordon
February 14, 2022 9:13 am

Fahrenheit 451 of course

Reply to  Joe Gordon
February 14, 2022 9:34 am

Well played

John Shotsky
Reply to  John Garrett
February 14, 2022 9:20 am
Reply to  John Garrett
February 14, 2022 9:31 am

They might burn it.

Farmer Ch E retired
Reply to  John Garrett
February 14, 2022 9:48 am

You better hope the public library doesn’t burn it. (Just saw parallel comment)

Last edited 3 months ago by Farmer Ch E retired
John Adams
Reply to  John Garrett
February 14, 2022 11:57 am

Got mine from our local library and read it quickly. Still have it. Going to refer to it again before returning it. I don’t think Koonin is a denier. Just an honest clear thinker.

Curious George(@moudryj)
Reply to  John Garrett
February 14, 2022 2:18 pm

“The book is apparently out of print.” If you carefully avoid the most likely place to find it.

I dislike Jeff Bezos maybe as much as you do, but Amazon is really a Mirabile Dictu.

Reply to  Curious George
February 15, 2022 11:10 am

appears to be available at barnes & noble

Rud Istvan
February 14, 2022 9:23 am

This is a big deal for two reasons.

Koonin has street cred, and he chaired the APS review (transcript available at Judith’s) which led him to write Unsettled when APS did not change its stance after his findings.

Rogan reaches a very large and diverse audience. A major crack in the climate change foundations.

Reply to  Rud Istvan
February 14, 2022 2:36 pm

Thank you, Rud 🙂

Rud Istvan
Reply to  Streetcred
February 14, 2022 3:08 pm


February 14, 2022 9:30 am

All that with his n-word apology tour. A very busy guy!

February 14, 2022 9:35 am

Free speech is under attack indeed.

Last edited 3 months ago by Derg
February 14, 2022 9:49 am

Without knowing the context of his using the ‘N’ word, I have no idea as to whether an apology is needed or not.
BTW, since I couldn’t care less, I haven’t bothered to try and find the context for myself. I am completely burned out regarding the fake outrage from our “friends” on the left over anything to do with race.

Last edited 3 months ago by MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
February 14, 2022 9:53 am

‘Fake’ outrage?

Reply to  griff
February 14, 2022 10:07 am

Fake comment.

Reply to  griff
February 14, 2022 10:08 am

Yes griff, fake outrage.

the left has only one political move to play, racism. They, like you, have no actual factual arguments to put forward supporting their belief system, so always fall back of the same old disproven arguments.

Reply to  griff
February 14, 2022 10:12 am

Completely fake, especially since the biggest racists on the planet are leftists.
There’s also the fact that left routinely excuses behavior from their friends, that is many times worse then the behavior they condemn in those they oppose.

Last edited 3 months ago by MarkW
Reply to  MarkW
February 14, 2022 10:52 am

The history of Radical Republicans is interesting …


Reply to  MarkW
February 14, 2022 10:57 am

A grifftard steals a Canadian flag from a 13 year old girl and ultimately gets what’s coming to him for his terrible behavior.

Tropical Lutefisk
Reply to  griff
February 14, 2022 11:01 am

Yeah, FAKE, totally FAKE. The N word has become so ubiquitous in music, tv and film that I find it hard to believe anyone is truly offended by the word itself any more. Or least more offended by a white person over a black person saying it. Seems its more of a gotcha for white people these days. For heavens sake if a white person merely repeats rap lyrics they are branded a racist. Now, if used directly at a someone as a slur, yes, outrage would be justified.

Michael in Dublin
Reply to  MarkW
February 14, 2022 11:25 am

You are correct in calling it fake outrage. I had a young black man coming to my door collecting for Amnesty International. When I questioned him about the lack of concern of AI for the millions of black people murdered by black people in Africa since the move to independence in the late fifties, he accused me of lying. It was ironic him accusing an old man who has had a keen interest in history for over sixty years.

Last edited 3 months ago by Michael in Dublin
Rick C
February 14, 2022 12:00 pm

As the so-called ‘Fact-Checkers’ would say the n-word attack on Rogan lacks context. The podcasts involved were, as far as I can tell, discussions of the dichotomy of the use of the word by both racists and black entertainers. Rogan could have substituted “the n-word” instead of just saying the word itself and no one would have a complaint. The attack on him implies he used the word as a racist epithet which appears to be an intentional lie. In my opinion using the term n-word and saying the actual word is a distinction without a difference. I suppose someday soon Huckleberry Finn and To Kill a Mocking Bird will be edited to replace the offending word with “the-n-word”.

Reply to  Rick C
February 14, 2022 1:23 pm

I never said anything about his use of the n-word. I think it should be as freely used as blacks themselves use it. If they want the word banned, they need to stop using it.

I said with his APOLOGY TOUR going on he had time to do this too… He gets plenty of kudos for his other things, but I watched his overwrought apology and pushed his value down. Pathetic.

February 16, 2022 6:11 am

Rogan is simply a very nice guy who doesn’t want to offend anyone.
Apologizing for saying the n-word – even when he was not saying it in any type of offensive context – is absolutely not a big deal and has been 100% effective in killing any outrage storm.

Robert Hanson
Reply to  Rick C
February 14, 2022 1:33 pm

No those books will simply be denounced, since if you read them carefully, you will find them to be examples of White folks of the time not being the racists they are accused of having been.

Robert Hanson
February 14, 2022 1:28 pm

Yep, he used the N-word almost as many times in the past as Biden did. Except that Biden has yet to apologise. Of course, SnoppDog used it several times yesterday. So what is your point.

February 14, 2022 10:55 am

Joe Rogan has taken advice now. His initial apology was done in the naive belief that it would end the matter. More than 10 million have now seen him point out the inconsistencies of the government response to the virus.

Reply to  Fran
February 16, 2022 6:17 am

Rogan has said many times he is socially left but is mostly moderate. He’s very not left in being a hunter, being fine with guns and being against most COVID restrictions.
A big part of his popularity is not being rabidly left or rabidly right – but trying to be objective.
Apologizing for perceptions of being anti-vax or whatever is perfectly in line with his past and present direction.
The outrage storm has, if anything, benefited him since it increases his already enormous exposure.
Screw Neil Young – who was pretty much the first 60s era entertainer to literally sell out to the Man.

February 14, 2022 11:01 am

The Koonin interview on Rogan was excellent, well worth multiple plugs on WUWT, but would he appreciate being called a climate skeptic? I grant that he is skeptical of most of the alarmist conclusions from official political sources, but I thought he’d spent at least a quarter of the interview listing points of agreement with anthropogenic changes to the environment.

Joseph Zorzin
Reply to  dk_
February 14, 2022 12:06 pm

Rogan did mention those points but I think not so much because he believes them but because it gave Koonin a chance to respond to them.

Reply to  Joseph Zorzin
February 14, 2022 2:16 pm

Yes, Joseph, it was those responses from Koonin that I was referring to. Koonin seemed most skeptical of many or most non-scientific conclusions of AGW politics, but not of human activity having an effect on the environment.

As far as what Rogan believes, he’s good enough of an interviewer to not lead his guests that way, making all the invective thrown his way more tranparently biased and unfounded. I won’t speculate.

I hope that Rogan gets someone other than the guy who’s cornered the market on batteries to talk on his show about battery-electric cars some day, though.

February 14, 2022 11:01 am

The Koonin interview on Rogan was excellent, well worth multiple plugs on WUWT, but would he appreciate being called a climate skeptic? I grant that he is skeptical of most of the alarmist conclusions from official political sources, but I thought he’d spent at least a quarter of the interview listing points of agreement with anthropogenic changes to the environment.

Reply to  dk_
February 14, 2022 1:59 pm

editor/admin — please delete my duplicate comment.

Harry Passfield
February 14, 2022 11:31 am

Destroy the man – destroy the message.

Joe Born(@jhborn)
February 14, 2022 12:42 pm

In my view this is huge. Just yesterday I was worried that the buzz about Dr. Koonin’s book was in danger of dying out.

I might add that Purdue University president Mitch Daniels interviewed him last year after having called Unsettled possibly the most important book of the year.

Note also that Dr. Koonin filed an amicus brief with William Happer and Richard Lindzen four years ago in that San Francisco climate litigation.

Jim Veenbaas
February 14, 2022 12:46 pm

I thought Koonin was meh. Not a compelling speaker at all. Much better author. I would prefer that Rogan talk to someone like Shellenberger or Lomborg.

Reply to  Jim Veenbaas
February 14, 2022 1:52 pm

Or Dick Lindzen. I like the way he speaks.

Gary Pearse
February 14, 2022 1:03 pm

I’ve been despairing that China and Russia, who are committed to educational excellence while the entire Western block is de-educating and destroying the minds of its young, are becoming the leaders of the world economy, science and technology.

Steve Koonin is a breath of fresh air that makes me realize that my thinking is too dark here. Steve McIntyre, another inspiring mind, commenting on the quality of consensus climate scientists famously said:

“In my opinion, most climate scientists on the Team would have been high school teachers in an earlier generation – if they were lucky. Many/most of them have degrees from minor universities. It’s much easier to picture people like Briffa or Jones as high school teachers than as Oxford dons of a generation ago. Or as minor officials in a municipal government……. the complete mediocrity of the Team makes their work vulnerable to examination by the merely competent.”

– Steve McIntyre, Climate Audit Aug 1, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Yes, of course The Team are also victims of the great dumbing-down! Indeed if the vaunted 3% sceptics faction that is apparently holding back the hordes of civilization destroyers, is peopled by the likes of Koonin, McIntyre, Happer, and a host of other superior minds. Perhaps there is no need for despair.

Reply to  Gary Pearse
February 14, 2022 2:14 pm

A lot of Chinese people, especially young men, have lost ambition and are said to be  躺平; pinyin: tǎng píng (lying flat). This is akin to living in their parent’s basement playing games all the time, except that the Chinese mostly live in small apartments.

In Russia, alcoholism is a leading cause of premature death. It seems that while there are certainly those who are driven to excel everywhere, socialist systems for the greater part destroy the soul and will of many.

So, from the perspective of being out competed by China and Russia, don’t despair too much as they have their own problems.

Reply to  Scissor
February 14, 2022 5:21 pm

Hey Scissor you’re right. I have two children attending the local CU Boulder University (perhaps known as Berkeley of the mountains) and they’re fully cognizant of the education they’re receiving. My daughter has gone through an engineering math/physics curriculum that rivals my own at Purdue University in the 80s. The things that are fluff are the electives. She took Planetary Astronomy expecting to learn about the solar system but it was 75% AGW. She was pissed as we’re many of her classmates.

Fighting against “the man” on CUs campus these days is fighting against Covid mandates and an insistence on left wing thought. The kids hate it because they’re pretty sure crap like “defund the police” is not what they signed up for. Also, they all like Joe Rogan podcasts because he talks about all kinds of weird stuff. As my son said “it’s interesting even if it’s totally stupid”.

Reply to  Jerry
February 15, 2022 4:03 am

I hope your kids will be the norm Jerry. My son is pretty much a Marxist engineering student. Hopefully that changes.

another ian
February 14, 2022 4:00 pm

Around this area

Well, Well, Well … Look Who’s Back on Spotify”

February 14, 2022 5:04 pm

Listened the entire podcast. Koonin was excellent and so was Rogan.

The Emperor's New Mask
February 14, 2022 5:39 pm

Not a comment on the podcast since I find Rogan uninteresting and don’t listen to him. But a little anecdote regarding Steven Koonin’s book.

To demonstrate how utterly corrupt moden leftist instituions of government are, consider the taxpayer funded Chicago Public Library.

How many copies of Bill Gates alarmist book “How to Avoid a Climate Disaster” does CPL have? 81 hardcover, 4 large print, 22 eBook, and 12 audiobook. So 119 copies of Gates literary masterpiece.

And Koonin’s “Unsettled” you ask? How many copies does the Chicago Public Library system have? Exactly zero. None, in any format. It simply does not exist in the nation’s fifth largest library system.
Burning books is far too old school for CPL, it simply “ghosts” ideas it wishes to suppress.

Jason Pratt
Reply to  The Emperor's New Mask
February 15, 2022 10:57 am

A similar search on the Austin Public Library shows 17 physical copies of Gates, zero of Koonin.

February 14, 2022 7:34 pm

If anyone is interested in where all of this “narrative” stuff is coming from, I really recommend this series, as it explains so much:



EXAMPLE: If you want to get a resistant population to smoke (back in the 1920s there was a huge social stigma against women smoking) you call cigarettes “Torches of Freedom” and associate smoking with women’s rights and liberation. 

And the series goes on to explore how this type of psychological manipulation was incorporated into government decision making and policy. Certain cliques in the governing class came to believe that human beings were not rational and therefore could not be relied on to make rational and logical decisions. This put the entire idea of democracy in doubt …and implies that a decision-making “educated” elite is needed to guide society into making the “correct” decisions (@time = 26m36s). And in order to persuade people governments have to manipulate (lie) them to elicit emotional rather than logical responses.

And this sets up what we are seeing today. Why certain groups get labeled “deplorables” and why everything you see in the mainstream media is so manipulative. The series stops at about the year 2000, but if you were clued into the TRUSTED NEWS INITIATIVE, by Dr. Robert Malone, you will realize that the TNI is based on everything detailed in this series. 

And if the “facts don’t matter” the inevitable result will be a free for all of government lies and manipulations… exactly what we are seeing today. IMHO

Last edited 3 months ago by Anon
Pat from kerbob
February 14, 2022 9:12 pm

Was really good
Much prefer the podcast model, much more time to discuss ideas and flesh things out

February 15, 2022 11:20 am

At one point Joe Rogan says that someone called Peter recommended that he should read the book and interview Koonin. I couldn’t catch the last name. Not Peter Thiel I suppose? Something starting with T.

It was striking how little Rogan knew about the climate sceptic position – unlike the Covid/vaccine/Ivermectin debates. So, great that Steve Koonin could explain so much so clearly.

Ronald Myers
February 16, 2022 9:03 am

You don’t need a free trial. It’s totally free to listen to without an account.

February 16, 2022 4:08 pm

I watched the whole thing: Why does Dr. Koonin seem to be a fan of de-carbonizing?

(I believe he said it needs to happen, but isn’t as urgent as we are being lead to believe.)

Jason Pratt
February 17, 2022 6:15 am

Update 16 Feb: Joe Rogan had Dr. Andrew Kessler on the podcast to rebut the claims of Dr. Koonin. Looks like a debate between the two may be forthcoming!

Reply to  Jason Pratt
February 17, 2022 7:48 am

Joe Rogan had Dr. Andrew Kessler on the podcast to rebut the claims of Dr. Koonin.

You mean like a real journalist (if any existed) would do?

No wonder they want to shut him down.

Michael S. Kelly
February 17, 2022 7:31 am

Thanks for linking to this. It’s the second Rogan podcast I’ve watched, the first being his interview of Dr. Robert Malone. Based on a sample of two, I’ve come to some conclusions about Rogan and the Left’s reaction to him. First, he is the best interviewer I’ve ever seen. He asks simple questions up front, listens carefully to the replies, then formulates ever more penetrating questions. The open, honest curiosity he exhibits is just wonderful. His respectful treatment of his interview subjects is wonderfully refreshing. And his agile mind, native intelligence, and almost childlike curiosity make even a three hour long interview riveting. My previous favorite interviewer was Ed Bradley, of 60 Minutes. He exhibited similar virtues, but the fact that his interviews were always edited means that I can’t compare him to Rogan. I don’t know of anyone who is – or was – able to conduct an interview this interesting, unedited, for so long a period of time.

As for the Left’s reaction to him (i.e. wanting him destroyed), it is only partly due to the fact that he talks to people the Left thinks shouldn’t be expressing their ideas in public. I think a larger part of it is that he’s simply better than they are, in every respect.

This guy is a national treasure.

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