Well-known climate analyst, author of ‘The Honest Broker’ urges people “Please Read Climate Progress”

UPDATE:  Roger Pielke, Jr. is a Senior Fellow for an organization that is dedicating all of its resources to killing any chance of either a national or international effort to avert catastrophic global warming and to spreading disinformation about Obama, Gore, Congressional Democrats, and the environmental movement.  My bad.  I keep forgetting how many people who come to CP on any given day aren’t regular readers and so don’t have the full context for some of my posts.  Back to the humor.

Now that they* have shut down his original popular blog Prometheus, I don’t read his new obscure blog, cleverly named “Roger Pielke Jr.’s Blog.”  As an aside, I’m guessing Pielke’s gonna follow up his book, The Honest Broker, with one titled Roger Pielke’s book.  But I digress.

So it wasn’t until googlealerts pinged me this morning that I learned about Pielke’s July 31 plea to his readers to “Please Read Climate Progress.”

Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “he’s got a dwindling number of readers, Joe, so what does it really matter if he asks them to Please Read Climate Progress?”  But I say it does matter when any blogger uses his or her precious real estate to reach out and selflessly urge people — plea with them, really — to read someone else’s blog.

Yes, I still know what you’re thinking, “RPJ, has a tiny little problem with falsehoods — he simply can’t stop uttering them over and over and over again.”

Now you’re just trying to hurt my feelings.  I mean, he even ends his post:

I’m pleased for people to read what I write here and also to read Climate Progress (which I strongly encourage) and come to their own conclusions about the arguments that they encounter.

That’s as sincere RPJ gets!

Yes, I still know what you’re thinking, “RPJ is just trying to pretend that he’s more reasonable than you are, so the media will continue to be suckered into believing his contrarian bullsh!t, believing he is an honest broker.”

To which I reply, I don’t think anybody’s going to be fooled into thinking Roger is reasonable when he still seems to be his old vicious self, writing:

To give Joe a bit of a break, he has a role to play for CAP as a bulldog cheerleader for the Waxman-Markey bill. His salary depends upon playing this role….

Now anyone would say that accusing somebody of not blogging what they believe but merely what they are paid to say or suggesting that what they write is policed by their bosses under threat of firing is the most outrageous form of attack on one’s professional integrity. And of course, an utter falsehood, as anyone who knows me or CAP.  And if I were like RPJ, I’d demand he offer any proof of that libelous statement.

But I’m just going to take that apparent smear to be good ole’ Roger’s obscurely wry sense of humor.   After all, if Pielke really believed half the crap he writes, if he really believed that sentence, for instance, he couldn’t possibly “strongly encourage” people to read my blog.  It would be intellectually dishonest to recommend the blog of someone you really thought was blogging a certain way because “his salary depends” on it.  No honest broker could do that.  And of course my regular readers know that I’m no bulldog cheerleader for the B- Waxman-Markey bill as I’ve noted many times.

No, this is just Pielke having fun with everyone.  He’s a real kidder.

Even funnier, Pielke claims that since I began writing about him, “Sales of The Honest Broker jump as well.”  Who else but Roger would brag that my critiques have sent his book soaring all the way to #279,894 on Amazon.  He cracks me up!

Yeah, Pielke humorously asserts “he has falsely accused my university of violating my academic freedom by shutting down our blog, Prometheus.” But anyone who reads the posts knows that I never did any such thing.  I wrote

Now that they’ve shut down his original blog…

True, I carelessly didn’t explain who I meant by “they” — although I clearly did say in the comments section that I was trying to be snarky, to needle someone who had so viciously humorously misrepresented what I wrote, which I thought would be obvious to anyone with a sense of humor like Roger.  After all, nobody voluntarily shuts down a blog to start a new one with maybe one tenth the readers just for the fun of it.  Since Roger asserts he did so voluntarily, but has never offered a rational explanation for why he did that, let me offer my explanation for what I meant, why I put an asterisk next to “they” in the second paragraph above.

By “they” I meant “all of Rogers different personalities.”  You know, the personality that allows him to say on the one hand that he believes the IPCC science and that we must stabilize around 500 ppm and the other personality who only offers policies that would lead to 1000 ppm and who trashes anybody who suggests policies that would get close to 500 ppm or better.  Or the personality that told Nature “Clearly since 1970 climate change (i.e., defined as by the IPCC to include all sources of change) has shaped the disaster loss record” and later praised a study that finds there is a better than 50% chance that human-emissions are contributing to increased losses from hurricanes since 1971.  That personality is clearly a whole ‘nother person than the one who harshly smears the professional reputation of any scientist who says anything remotely similar and even more harshly attacks the professional reputation of hundreds of scientists who merely sat quietly in an audience listening to someone say something similar.

So whenever I write, “now that they have shut down his original blog,” you’ll all get the joke that I mean “now that Roger’s various personalities have agreed to shut down his original blog” — but of course it won’t be funny anymore now that I’ve explained it.  Darn.

The bottom line is that other than his plea to his readers to read Climate Progress, you should just make it your working assumption that every single thing Roger Pielke Jr. writes is a joke.  That’s why I have filed this under “Humor.”

15 Responses to Well-known climate analyst, author of ‘The Honest Broker’ urges people “Please Read Climate Progress”

  1. thingsbreak says:

    Related- He’s just one-upped his previous accusation against a RC of blogger of “stealing” with a new accusation of “plagiarism”.

  2. Since with both RP’s it’s all about them, why give him more of the attention he so clearly craves?

    [JR: I set the record straight from time to time, that’s all.]

  3. Richard Brenne says:

    Joe, would you be interested in a live discussion with Pielkes Jr and/or Sr? If so I can work toward arranging it.

    [JR: Why? Senior has jumped the shark — or perhaps just come out of the denier closet — by partnering with his new BFF Anthony Watts and pushing the weather is climate meme.

    Junior “concedes” the science — having written here (!) “We define ‘acceptable levels’ in our Nature paper as 500 ppm (the level focused on by IPCC WG III) and 450 ppm (the level focused on by the EU and implicitly in the FCCC).” So nothing to discuss there. And this is CO2eq, and as Junior notes, “450 ppm CO2eq (or about 400 CO2).”

    The only interesting question left to discuss is how to we get to 400 – 450 ppm CO2. That is HARD, but I have spelled out here how to do it. So has IEA and a few others. Roger is not an expert on energy solutions and has refused to spell out his answer. Until he does, there’s nothing to discuss. He just attacks anyone who does spell out an answer and proposes doing stuff that would take us to 1000 ppm (see here).

    Until he proposes his own solution, he has the luxury of saying he believes the science while trashing people who actually propose doing the hard job of actually making serious proposal based on the science. Tiresome.

    Also, Junior owes an apology to 3,000 AAAS scientists, Al Gore, me, and the scientists who wrote the U.S. assessment, for having attacked our professional reputations with no basis in fact whatsoever. Until then, he’s just another de facto naysayer with no real solutions for anyone.]

  4. K Nockels says:

    Hey Richard why bother with all that just have the many Pielkes, since there seems to be enough of them do a round table discussion, just live discuss with themselves, it would have the same outcome and let Joe go on Vacation in peace

  5. Gail says:

    Oh dear I am laughing so hard and I just CANNOT decide which is the more risible, your post or this:

    Have a wonderful vacation in Maine!

  6. hapa says:

    something everyone in the persuasion business has to keep double-checking.

  7. Deep Climate says:

    Thingsbreak said:

    Related- He’s just one-upped his previous accusation against a RC of blogger of “stealing” with a new accusation of “plagiarism”.

    Yes, I noticed that too. Obviously it’s a crock. How tiresome it is to have to keep whacking all those moles – it’s a good thing folks can take turns.

  8. Eli Rabett says:

    The “accusation” is a Moranoism. Direct from Markie’s lips to Roger’s blog, direct.

    As to Watts and Pielke Sr. it should have been obvious to anyone paying attention that they were pulling on the same thread, starting with Sr’s manuscript on weather stations in Colorado. Among the amusement is that the Colorado State (Fort Collins) station the old guy was in charge of was right next to a parking lot, as well as close to a bunch of trees.

  9. Mark Bahner says:

    “Related- He’s just one-upped his previous accusation against a RC of blogger of “stealing” with a new accusation of “plagiarism”.”

    “Yes, I noticed that too. Obviously it’s a crock.”

    How is it “obviously…a crock”?

  10. Richard Brenne says:

    Joe –

    Thanks for your typically eloquent reply about my suggesting a debate between you and Roger Pielke, Jr, who is a obviously a big fan of ClimateProgress because he immediately e-mailed me saying he’d gladly accept an invitation to have a public discussion that I would moderate.

    While I might disagree with Roger in certain key areas, I know him personally and have always found him to be reasonable and civil in discussions. I can’t see him trying to shout you down, interrupting or using other inappropriate and unintelligent tactics.

    We could host the event in Boulder and I know many NOAA, NCAR, CIRES, INSTAAR, NSIDC and NREL directors and senior scientists who would attend and support your positions. In fact my hope is that you and the process could recruit more of them to become uncharacteristically blunt scientists, something I’ve been working on helping them become for many years.

    Although my career has completely shifted to helping communicate climate change and related issues, I’ve been a working, produced and award-winning screenwriter and I know what audiences like, and one of those things is (appropriate) conflict, not the agreement which unfortunately often puts audiences to sleep. I’m sure you’ve noticed how your postings involving conflicts with Roger can get hundreds of comments.

    We could webcast on your website, create links for your audience, and help you get your word out however you’d like.

    Of course I’d need to give Roger the same opportunities to make his points. While I’m still trying to understand your areas of conflict, in many other areas of discussion I’ve seen Roger think more creatively, completely and with more full-cost accounting than I usually see.

    And as the physical science becomes better established, I think we need to hear increasingly from social scientists (Pielke, Jr. is a social scientist, his father is a physical climate scientist) also.

    I think the results would be high-energy, insightful, illuminating, entertaining, and yes, funny. I’d insist the conversation be as engaging as possible without any of us resorting to name-calling, figure-pointing, personal insults or profanity.

    Any number of world-class discussants could be involved in break-out sessions and we could have a truly world-class event that moves the conversation forward, as you’ve done so eloquently in your response and postings.

    In addition to a Boulder event, we’d be happy to also consider D.C., New York, L.A. (where I’m planning events at Cal Tech and UCLA), etc.

    I think if you did this once you’d like it – and grow your already considerable audience, which is something I’d like to see happen also.

    Thanks Joe,

    Richard Brenne

    [JR: I appreciate the offer, but I don’t accept many long-distance speaking engagements these days because I work at home with my 2 1/2 year old daughter; it’s not an efficient use of my time (I communicate to a great many more people through CP — with some 7000 subscribers now and an equal additional number who visit every day), air travel is increasingly unpleasant, and I am trying to minimize my carbon footprint.

    As for Pielke, I don’t view him as a terribly relevant to the debate anymore and I’m not looking for new readers among people who think his perspective is terribly relevant — assuming of course anybody actually knows what his perspective is, other than how he defines it on any given day to attack anyone who proposes something reasonable to do to stabilize near 450 ppm or below. Pielke is probably the most debunked person in the climate science blogosphere who claims to believe in a 450 ppm CO2 target. If you follow any of the exchanges he has had, you’ll know that like “debating” Pielke is like a debating Humpty Dumpty: “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.” So Pielke thinks he has won all of these exchanges where in fact he has been trounced again and again.

    Pielke had a small amount of relevance when Bush was president because Pielke’s proposed do-little climate policies were somewhat closer to the center than Bush’s do-nothing policies. And of course he had a pretty popular blog. Now that both the scientific and political reality have moved sharply toward an understanding of the dire need for action, Pielke I think has been left far behind, like Lomborg. And of course as everyone now knows Pielke “voluntarily” gave up that popular blog to start an obscure one. If he is voluntarily choosing obscurity, perhaps that’s the best place for him.

    So I don’t see any upside for me, CP, or future generations in debating Pielke.]

  11. Deep Climate says:

    Mark B asked:

    How is it “obviously…a crock”?

    I agree with andrewt’s assessment of the accusation of plagiarism made by RPjr:

    “In venues where acknowledgements of people who point out errors are normally included, omission of such an acknowledgement would be impolite and unprofessional but not plagiarism.”

    And of course we don’t know whether Hu McCullough’s correction was received, or if it was, whether it was the first one received. There is even some dispute about whether corrigienda in Nature usually include acknowledgments or not.

    But even if the facts are as alleged, it still doesn’t rise to plagiarism. Not even close.

    Here’s a real example of plagiarism, in case you missed it:

    Now for some reason, RPjr had problems figuring out whether or not the Alan Carlin/Patrick Michaels “suppressed” report was plagiarism. But he seemed to hold that even if it was an unsolicited, plagiarized pastiche of pseudo-scientific nonsense, it should still have been allowed to circulate as an official EPA internal review. Okaaaay …

  12. TokyoTom says:

    Joe, I hope you`re enjoying your vacation.

    While you did say later in your comment thread that you were just trying to be snarky, your earlier comments to Roger on the same thread make it pretty clear that you had thought that “some wise people” were responsible for an essentially non-voluntary closure of Roger`s blog.

    [JR: You can’t be serious. You really can’t tell that the “some very wise people” line was further snarky needling of Roger? my father always said that unless you explicitly label every single snarky or humorous thing you write as humor, you can be sure people will write in angrily.]

    I don`t know why you don`t simply acknowledge that you don`t really have information that his blog closure was anything but voluntary, even while you (and we) ponder why he would close the Prometheus platform and start his own blog. That path would seem to offer greater credibility.

    [JR: I have already done that. How else would you interpret the sentence “Yes, I’m happy to if acknowledge that it seems to have been “semi voluntary” — but like I said, who really voluntarily shuts down a very popular blog to launch an obscure one?” People do lots of things “voluntarily” that they would never do if they had not been motivated by external forces — walking the plank I believe it is called. You are willfully misinterpreting that which I said with humor and willfully ignoring what I have clearly written as a serious. In short, you are beating a dead horse, which makes me wonder about your motivations. It is one of those semantic debates that Pielke enjoys pulling people into as to whether the word “voluntarily” really applies to somebody who shuts down a very popular blog in order to open a more obscure one and offers no logical explanation for that odd behavior? I will leave that to linguists. This horse is dead and I think we can bury it along with Prometheus.]

  13. danl says:

    Joe, I can vouch for your independence from CAP. Also, I’d love to see you debate Pielke.

    [JR: Thanks. All CAP bloggers are independent from editorial oversight. Of course, one of the main reasons I came to CAP is that they had already publicly endorsed the 2°C warming target. Once you have accepted the urgent need to come as close as possible to that target, then I think you have to take the kind of hard-edged approach I do — unless you’re RPJ, in which case your public pronouncements on the science all are merely a head fake. As for the debate, I’m about to post a comment on that.]

  14. Richard Brenne says:

    Joe –

    You’re very kind to respond so completely. Your thoroughness on your blog is just amazing.

    I’ve been looking to see (and support) who the Carl Sagan of climate change can be. Al Gore does a phenomenal job but through no fault of his own his political background polarizes an unfortunately high percentage of the population.

    I just spoke with Neil deGrasse Tyson about speaking more about climate change and he’s smart, funny and can fill any-sized auditorium with his personality and voice, but he doesn’t appear interested.

    You are – and will continue to be – one of my greatest hopes in this area, and I’d like to support your efforts all I can.

    The greatest carbon offset is to be helping all of us kick our carbon habit, so traveling to do that is actually admirable (while there’s much traveling that is not).

    And as a primary caregiver myself, I applaud your decision and devotion. Interestingly, Pielke, Jr also strikes me as a devoted father. And he rides a scooter around Boulder, so I don’t think he’s personally going to get us to 1000 ppm by himself.:) Someday I hope you’ll reconsider this offer – I’m known for moderating discussions where vehement disagreements have ended in hugs and the combatants singing “Kumbaya” with their arms around each other – I’m not kidding.

    Thanks Joe.

  15. Devon says:


    If “Pielke is probably the most debunked person in the climate science blogosphere who claims to believe in a 450 ppm CO2 target”, then you wouldn’t have any problem debunking him in a public debate…right?

    [JR: Wrong question. The question is why waste any time on him at all? He isn’t a scientist and doesn’t dispute the science and asserted on this blog we must stabilize at 400 to 450 ppm CO2. So not much to debate there. And he certainly isn’t an expert on climate solutions. Like I said, he simply isn’t relevant to the debate anymore, and his “voluntary” decision to abandon his more widely read website for a much more obscure one suggests a diminishing audience.

    The fact that he is so widely debunked should tell you that he puts out a lot of misinformation and disinformation. It is a waste of my time to give him a platform to spread mis- and dis-information and then have to use all my time debunking it. Look, I mostly try to ignore him, but he is prolific and popular with a small slice of the media — as is The Breakthrough Insitute — so I devote maybe 1% of my posts to him. But now that he is voluntarily gone into obscurity, I hope to devote far less time to him.]