Romm's Slimefest

By Keith Kloor | May 27, 2009 12:14 am

Joe Romm rarely disappoints. Nary a day goes by when he isn’t showcasing his intolerance, inconsistency, and disaster fetishism.

Let’s highlight the most recent best of the worst, starting with the bile he spewed on Friday to kick off the long holiday weekend. You won’t find any disgust expressed by Climate Progress readers (or such comments that make it past Romm’s censor), so check out Tom Yulsman’s reaction and takedown at CEJournal. After that, read the point-by-point rebuttal offered by the Breakthrough folks, the objects of Romm’s ire.

On Sunday, Romm inadvertently revealed why debate over global warming is so often driven by non-related weather conditions or events, when he expressed hope that a vote on Waxman-Markey by the House occurs before the August recess

since the ideal time to debate a global warming bill is probably during the hot summer.

Yeah, nothing focuses people’s minds more than a typical July scorcher.

Oh wait, it turns out that hurricanes are even better, so I suppose it makes sense that Romm continues to play up the specter of future Katrinas, as he did on Monday and Tuesday:

We are stuck with a fair amount of warming over the next few decades no matter what we do. But if we don’t reverse emissions trends soon, then Category 4 and 5 storms smashing into the Gulf coast seem likely to become a rather common in the second half of this century.

Whether you agree or not with his hurricane frequency-global warming connection, you have to at least admire Romm for his measured prescription, when he advises that we simply need to act “soon.”

Oh, scratch that. In the next breath, Romm reverts to style with this kicker:

Preserving the habitability of the Gulf and South Atlantic Coast post-2050 can only occur if we reverse U.S. and global emissions trends immediately.

Sorry, Joe, but “immediately” seems out of the question. Can we settle for “soon”? Or does that still spell doom?

  • Steve Bloom

    And your audience for this poorly thought out material is…?

    You and Tom keep forgetting just who it is that Joe works for and the status of that organization on the Hill and in the White House.  The fact is that when Joe advises policy-makers to ignore the Breakthrough crowd, those policy-makers tend to listen.  Get used to it.
    On the policy substance, W-M is flawed and Joe knows it.  Given the realities in Congress, though, it’s better to pass something that will leave the Administration free to move forward than to pass nothing at all.


  • Keith Kloor

    You’ve emerged as Joe Romm’s most ardent defender. Yet you never, ever engage the criticism of him.

    Your only rejoinder is to say that a post is “poorly thought out” or “weak,” and make the same attacks or simplistic charges (“flawed analysis”) also favored by Romm against those he disagrees with.

    In fact, no matter how legitimate or on-target any criticism of Romm is, you always pop up with the same lines. Nothing seems to get you fired up more than anyone who dares to take Romm on. Are you his cousin or something? Or are you just his self-designated henchman?

  • Steve Bloom

    *I* always pop up with the same lines!?  You may want to go back and re-read your posts on Romm.  Consider your frequent use of phrases like “bile he spewed.”

    How is it I fail to engage the criticism?  In my comment above and on at least one prior occasion, e.g., I note that it would be most peculiar for the Center for American Progress to continue employing someone regarding whom your characterization could be considered to be even somewhat on-point.  Try responding to that.  If you’re unclear about CAP’s status in DC, Paul Krugman will <a href=””>fill you in</a>.

    As for the “substance” of this current post, every bit of it is snark of a rather dull variety.  “Poorly thought out” was probably too polite.      

  • Steve Bloom

    Correct link 

  • Keith Kloor

    How is citing Romm’s employer engaging my criticism of his slash & burn methodology?

    And is that really the best you can do? After all, I bet there are plenty of people you find offensive who are employed by reputable organizations. For example, the Washington Post still runs George Will’s column. I don’t have a problem with that, but I’m assuming you find that troublesome.

    Obviously you’re in denial about Romm. But you’ve learned well from him, that much is clear.


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About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.


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