Breakthrough Institute founders Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus published a post today that finally calls out ClimateProgress' Joseph Romm for his repeated use of bullying and intimidation, ad hominem assaults and character assassination, and highly suspect efforts to prove guilt by association, arguing that it all adds up to one thing: Climate McCarthyism. Here's an excerpt, and you can find the full post here.
The character assassination, the bullying, the psychological projection -- it all adds up to Climate McCarthyism, and Joe Romm is Climate McCarthyite-in-chief. Joe Romm's "Global Warming Deniers and Delayers" play the same role as Joe McCarthy's "Communists and Communist sympathizers." While Romm built a loyal liberal and environmentalist following for attacking right-wing "global warming deniers" -- a designation meant to invoke "Holocaust denier" -- he spends much of his time attacking well-meaning journalists (e.g. here, here, and here), academics (here and here) and activists (here, here and here) who take the issue of global warming seriously, accept climate science, and support immediate action to address it. His aim is to intimidate and prevent increasing numbers of people from questioning climate policy orthodoxy, and especially Democratic efforts to pass cap and trade climate legislation.
As a climate and clean energy activist and analyst who's dedicated the entirety of my career (and countless hours of my personal life) to advocating immediate and effective climate and clean energy solutions, coming under fire from the nation's most-read climate blogger, Joseph Romm, has been one of the most distasteful and saddening parts of my career. And not because I fear for my career or my reputation - although having to undergo such attacks should not be something any young policy analyst should have to endure - but because of what it says about the state of the climate debate, and because of the silence from other quarters of our broad movement for climate solutions.
Dr. Romm has inaccurately slandered my work, at various points accused me and my colleagues of lying and plagiarism, and even labelled me "a leading disinformer" for daring to point out critical shortcomings in the Waxman-Markey climate bill.
Michael and Ted are right: enough is enough, and Romm's Climate McCarthyism should not be tolerated. While I retain a belief that Dr. Romm - motivated as he is by the same desire to see effective solutions to climate action that fuels my own work each day - can once again be a constructive force in the climate debate, it's long past time for him to cease his attacks on reporters, academics, and climate advocates and organizations that dare to differ from Romm's approved set of solutions or criticize the legislation he now champions (and once skewered with far more fervor than I muster in any of my posts). I hope this is the beginning of the end of such distasteful tactics.
As Michael and Ted write:
There will always be bullies like Joe Romm -- they are not the problem. It is the the establishment figures who goad them on, and the bystanders who could speak up but do not, fearing the consequences of doing so. If we are to move to real solutions to global warming, and protect some level of basic human decency, Joe Romm and his enablers must be challenged. For Climate McCarthyism isn't just bad for climate policy, it's anathema to liberal and democratic values.Please read the full post by Michael and Ted here.