27 July 2009

Joe Romm vs. John Kerry

UPDATE 28 July: Welcome Climate Progress readers!

Joe Romm has claimed that someone shut down my original blog. You might ask him, who shut down Pielke's blog? That is a bald-faced lie from Joe. Someone please call him on it.

On whether or not John Kerry (or Nancy Pelosi -- "just remember these four words for what this legislation means: jobs, jobs, jobs, and jobs. Let's vote for jobs.") has "pretended" that the "overwhelming reason" for the legislation is jobs?

Joe and I will have to agree to disagree on that one. The factual record speaks pretty clearly.

Senator John Kerry (D-MA) explains why passing cap-and-trade is so important:
...this bill is really a bill for the transformation of the American economy. This bill is about jobs — clean energy jobs that stay here in America, that pay people decent salaries.
Joe Romm explains that Senator Kerry is insulting his peers and the American public with his pretend arguments:
Frankly, it is an insult to the public — and to members of Congress — to pretend that the overwhelming reason we are doing this bill is clean energy and jobs.
That is all the Democrats need on cap-and-trade, their loudest cheerleader calling them liars about the promise of jobs. No green jobs? Say it ain't so, Joe.


  1. Its hard for me to believe that Congress views the American public as being so stupid as to believe that raising energy prices is good for employment.

  2. Joe must have missed Speaker Pelosi's comments prior to the House vote on the Cap-n-Tax bill. She said, This Bill is about Jobs, Jobs, Jobs,Jobs.

    Plus, now we have Science-Based Jobs Policy, what's not to like about it?

    I do wonder, tho, what the bill would be about if un-employment wasn't pushing 10+%.

  3. If a poll showed that a majority of Americans wanted to learn to moon walk like Michael Jackson, Obama and friends would claim that the bill would teach Americans to moon walk. If the poll turned out to be in error, Obama would claim he was unfamiliar with that provision.

  4. The climate bill will create a huges number of jobs for carbon accountants. Meanwhile all of our brown jobs are going to go to China.

  5. Roger... you are taking Joes quote completely out of context. He is not disagreeing with Kerry at all. Joe is a big beliver in the jobs that the bill will create. What he is saying is that the real reason for this bill is to protect us against global warming and the bill wouldn't be on the table if there wasn't an issue with global warming.

    But to put the two against each other as you have is just dishonest.

  6. -5-j1zo

    I think readers can read Joe's comments in context and Kerry's and conclude that they are diametrically opposed. Kerry is saying that the primary reason for the bill is jobs (read his statement).

    Oh the irony;-)


  7. I must agree with j1zo regarding taking quotes out of context -- I read both Kerry's and Romm's comments and it is absolutely clear that they're BOTH saying cap and trade is essential for BOTH of two reasons: (1) mitigating climate disruption and(2)creating green jobs. Kerry specifically mentions BOTH issues in the Yale Environment 360 interview, and Romm is abundantly clear that he is objecting to the tendency of some Democrats (NOT Kerry) in trying to sell cap and trade ONLY in terms of jobs creation, while avoiding talking seriously to the public about the climate risks. I completely fail to see the supposed conflict, when Romm and Kerry are both specifically emphasizing the importance of green jobs creation AND reducing the climate disruption risk.

  8. -7-L. Carey

    Your point is incoherent. You (and Joe) only want the support of people who agree with your 2 reasons, not one or the other? Politics is such that you take the votes as you can get them.

    Either the bill can be justified based on jobs or it cannot. Which is it?

  9. Apparently, Joe Romm didn't like this post:


    I submitted this at Joe's blog:


    "Now that they’ve shut down his original blog . . ."

    Who shut down my blog?

    Both Kerry and Pelosi have said, in effect, that jobs are an "overwhelming reason" for this bill. Do you dispute that?

  10. Hi Roger,

    Joe also smeared the Breakthrough Institute once again yesterday by attacking them for writing an op-ed about the energy education gap.


    We have responded today with a post explaining how he uses outdated sources and misleading statements (again) to attack us:




  11. Is there an air of frantic desperation about Romm's attacks lately?

    They are always over-the-top, but he usually doesn't just go and make stuff up, or does he?

  12. Joe Romm let my comment through at his blog, and used it as an opportunity to repeat the lie that Prometheus was shut down by some unknown forces.

    Anyway, I followed up with:


    Wow, thanks for letting my comment through.

    To set the record straight, the decision to terminate Prometheus was mine and mine alone. My university has been nothing but supportive of my blogging and even offered to put whatever resources were necessary to keep it going. So your intimations are unfounded, unless of course you are calling me wise.

    Second, I know how much you like to parse semantics, but I am afraid that such debates are unproductive. Are you saying that anyone whose support for the bill is based on jobs is "pretending"?

    I hear you say that you think there are two reasons for the bill. I read Kerry as saying that there are also two reasons, but that jobs are an "overwhelming reason" to support the bill. Now we could debate what it means to say "overwhelming reason" but clearly, Kerry and a lot of Democrats support the bill for jobs, and for many it is first and foremost. I think the evidence on this is pretty clear. Maybe you disagree.

  13. @9 Roger, it is not my reply but your point that I find "incoherent" - I completely fail to see how Kerry and Romm both essentially saying ACES should be supported because (A) it will spur growth of green jobs AND (B) it will mitigate climate disruption somehow pits (A) against (B). It makes no sense to characterize the question (as you apparently have) in a way which suggests that legislation can have only one useful function, and that if one supports goal (A) then one must automatically be opposing those who advance goal (B) and rejecting their support. That is non-sensical.

  14. -13-L. Carey

    It is Romm who says that the legislation has a primary (climate) and a secondary (jobs) function, and those who think that the secondary (jobs) function is primary are "pretending" and insulting the American public.

    I'm very clearly on record as saying that whatever other functions the legislation has, reducing emissions ain't among them.

  15. It is just silly to argue that net job creation will be positive with cap and trade. If it were so, we would raise our standard of living by taxing every resource out of use.

    Those who make the argument that more green jobs will be created than will be destroyed by raising energy cost are just stupid or they think the public is just stupid.

  16. Gosh Roger you too?

    "Unknown forces" also shut down the original version of WUWT.


    But the old content is still there.

    I see the "unknown forces" were just as successful at shutting down your old blog too, as it remains:


    Fanciful conspiratorial dreams from Romm-world don't equate well to the pragmatic reality of just wanting a better blogging platform.

  17. "If it were so, we would raise our standard of living by taxing every resource out of use."

    It makes sense to tax bad things (e.g., pollution) rather than good things (e.g. income). So if legislation involved taxing carbon dioxide and simultaneously lowering income taxes by an equal amount, it would probably be a net good thing.

    Of course, cap and trade is nothing like that. But taxing carbon dioxide isn't necessarily bad for employment (as long as taxes on good things were reduced).

  18. Roger, after reviewing both your post, Joe Romm`s response and the other posts you both reference, I have to admit that it seems that Romm has a legitimate complaint.

    Rather clearly, Romm was criticising what he understands to be the Administration`s decision to downplay the environmental purposes of a climate bill and to focus almost wholly on the jobs justification.

    Romm was not at all criticising Hill politicians, much less specifically addresing (much less attacking) Sen. Kerry. Consequently your statement that "Romm explains that Senator Kerry is insulting his peers" is both inaccurate as a matter of fact and a rhetorical stretch too far.

    While it`s perfectly fine to note what you see as a gap between what Romm and Kerry say, you appear to reporting that Romm intended to criticise Kerry specifically, which was of course wrong and objectionable.

    Sorry to say, but I`m scratching my head to discern your purpose here.

  19. -18-Tom

    If you think Romm's bile-filed complaint as legitimate, and my comparison of two quotes as "wrong and objectionable" then I think it safe to say that there is little point in you and I discussing the substance of the matter.

    You are welcome to express a different opinion than mine here (unlike at some blogs;-)

  20. Mark,

    Taxing carbon/energy is bad for those using energy and good for those who are not.

    A carbon tax that raises the cost of energy will export energy intensive jobs to lower cost energy countries.

  21. This seems to be a bit of a tempest in a teacup, but Dr. Joe Romm is one angry man.

  22. Romm's lies

    First he accuses my university of violating my academic freedom by shutting down my blog (wrong)

    Now he says I don't believe what I actually do believe, writing of me:

    "He pretends to believe in the science so that he can be treated credibly by the media as a policy contrarian."


    I encourage everyone to read what Romm writes, as I could never do such a good job impeaching his views as he does to himself. ;-)

  23. "If you think Romm`s bile-filled complaint is legitimate"

    If, if, if, Roger. Please respond and criticise what I say, instead of your guesses as to what I`m thinking.

    I certain didn`t say I think Romm`s bile is legitimate, but far from simply "compar[ing] two quotes" what you did skate very near stating that Romm expressly criticized Kerry, when he did nothing of the sort. That is the nub of what I think is fair to criticise. You could easily have couched the comparison in a way that didn`t appear to put words in Romm`s mouth.

    "You are welcome to express a different opinion than mine, unlike some other blogs"

    I appreciate the invitation, and generally have no complaint, but I note for the record that unlike Prometheus where comments from registered users were posted immediately, here you screen all posts (and in fact refused to post some of my comments, on this very thread).

    Not sure what other blogs you are comparing yours to, but I do note that Rob Bradley doesn`t allow reasoned disagreement.