02 March 2010

End of Week Deadline for Romm to Agree to Debate

[UPDATE: Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus weigh in here.]

The donor who has offered to match up to $10,000 to charity if Joe Romm will participate in a debate with me has placed an end-of-the-week deadline for securing Joe's acceptance. So far, Joe declines the invitation explaining that he doesn't want to give my views any attention, this following on his 4,000-word screed on me that he published this week.

To make things easier, I have shared with Joe Romm the following concessions (which he immediately deleted from his blog):

a) He can have a veto over the debate moderator
b) He can have a veto over the resolution to be debated
c) He can negotiate with me in advance the charity to be awarded the $20,000
d) The debate can be held at a time and location of his choosing
e) We need not have the audience vote on a winner (which he does not like)

It would require only a few hours of his time and we would raise $20,000 for charity. What might $20,000 do? According to MSF it can do a lot:
Your Donation What It Can Provide


Two high-energy meals a day to 200 children


Vaccinations for 50 people against meningitis, measles, polio or other deadly epidemics


Two basic suture kits to repair minor shrapnel wounds


Infection-fighting antibiotics to treat nearly 40 wounded children


A sterilization kit for syringes and needles used in mobile vaccination campaigns


A medical kit containing basic drugs, supplies, equipment, and dressings to treat 1,500 patients for three months


Emergency medical supplies to aid 5,000 disaster victims for an entire month


An emergency health kit to care for 10,000 displaced people for three months

I am offering Joe a chance to come out from behind his blog, where he bullies and systematically misrepresents my views. He has a chance to air his arguments about me in public and where I can respond to them directly. He will have a chance to explain why my views are so very wrong. At the same time, regardless of the outcome of the debate itself, we can do some good for people who need help, thanks to a generous donor.

Romm has written more than 75 posts in which he discusses, mentions or comments on me in the past year. He has demanded that the media not talk to me. He has misrepresented my academic work. Has has called me all sorts of names, even equating me with a murderer.

Should Joe Romm turn down this offer, he will reveal his true colors to all -- a bully who hides behind his blog and who would rather call people names than engage in a serious policy debate on a topic of critical importance to our generation. There is no reason for Joe to turn this offer down, other than knowing that his arguments cannot stand up to scrutiny were he to emerge from behind his blog.

Should Joe Romm turn down this generous offer of a public debate on his terms he will be long-remembered for it. Joe, you have until Friday.