Ill be on MSNBCs Countdown tonight

The irreplaceable Keith Olbermann is scheduled to interview me at around 8:15 pm on the GOP climate deniers vying to run the House Energy Committee.

Thoughts on messaging are always welcome.

40 Responses to Ill be on MSNBCs Countdown tonight

  1. Artful Dodger says:

    Talk about funding Denial. How can we undo “Citizen’s United”? The Supreme Court does not belong in Politics.

  2. MapleLeaf says:

    Turn the tables on them….the ideology and policies of the Tea Part and Republicans is not conservative, especially when it comes to sustainable energy supply, sustainable living and policies to keep our air and water clean.

    Sustainable energy technologies equals jobs, equals security, and equals savings.

    Such inquires, if certain ideologues insist they go ahead, also need to allow the cross-examination/questioning of ‘skeptics’ and contrarians.

  3. David B. Benson says:

    Mad Hatters are not conservative.

    They have an incredible appitite for serious risk. Show the graph in your
    and quote Dr. Dai: “This is very alarming because if the drying is anything resembling Figure 11, a very large population will be severely affected in the coming decades over the whole United States, southern Europe, Southeast Asia, Brazil, Chile, Australia, and most of Africa.”

    Give ’em hell.

  4. Prospace Environmentalist says:

    Denialists are unpatriotic. The global warming crisis will destroy the United States – super-size dust bowl. On the positive side, support clean high-tech innovative energy solutions (solar, wind, etc.) to reduce unemployment.

  5. Anne says:


    How about —

    Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley


    Jack Gerard, API, “Mr. AstroTurf”


    Senator James Inhofe


    Rep. Joe Barton


    all of the BP CEOs

    the list is endless!

    Oh, and be sure to thank the corporate leaders at MSNBC for coming to their senses!

  6. Aaron Lewis says:

    CO2 in the atmosphere warms the world.
    People add CO2 to the atmosphere.

    Those are two facts that are as observable as the speed of light or the price of gold. Anybody that does not admit those facts is either ignorant, crazy, or evil.

    People that do not admit reality are crazy. AGW is reality. People that have had AGW explained to them, and who do not accept it, are crazy. Tell the voters they have just elected some “crazys” to the congress, and should recall them as soon as possible.

  7. Prokaryotes says:

    A few points i would consider

    When talking about opinions i thought of mentioning “Climate Patriots” or that the pentagon has acknowledged the growing threat of climate change and is doing progress with clean tech. Which also highlights that alternatives are indeed working, reliable, more safe – i.e. algae fuel and solar.

    Then i would point out the opportunities for new job creation. Thus denial actual prevents clean technology – is against job creation.

    Then i would mention that 6 times more than clean tech – $312 Billion of subsidies go to fossil companies. Which in fact shrinks any argument about a price on carbon.

    And further it has been shown that countries which introduced a carbon tax, such as sweden are today top 5 economies.

    On the bottom line there is the fact that no matter what, the GOP can’t win this topic. And actually this is a bipartisan issue, which requires everybody’s support, in order to be solved successfully.

  8. Prokaryotes says:

    And ofc mentioning of climate hawks!

  9. caerbannog says:

    Point out that some of the less-than-polite language in the so-called “climategate” emails was provoked by the publication of horrible papers with freshman “C-student” errors that were then used as political weapons against the scientists.

    The papers that provoked the ire of Mann and Co. contained errors so egregious that college freshmen (or even high-school AP science students) would have no problem understanding the problems with those papers.

    Keeping papers with schoolboy errors out of professional journals isn’t censorship — it’s *professionalism*.

    Emphasize the fact that the GOP hacks don’t know the difference between censorship and professionalism.

  10. David B. Benson says:

    Re my #3: I meant the drought map.

    Show off the drought map.

  11. CW says:

    1. What free-market touting “conservatives” subsidize:

    We’re always rich enough and it’s always the right time to subsidize nuclear power, oil, coal, and war … but somehow never rich enough or it’s never the right time to subsidize renewable energy or smarter cities.

    2. America risks losing the clean tech race:

    China is now leading the race in clean tech.

    3. Think a price on carbon or regulations will hurt the economy? China doesn’t.

    China’s emissions or energy rules and regulations create an “implicit” or “effective” price on carbon. A recent study of a sample of countries shows that China is second only to the U.K. in its effective price on carbon. Three times the U.S. average.

    4. Green jobs are for real.

    Given the job return for every dollar invested in energy efficiency and renewable energy, every dollar spent in subsidizing nuclear and oil instead of these amounts to job losses for Americans.

    5. The Republican “CAN’T DO SPIRIT”.

  12. How about “Make polluters pay”? Start by cracking down on the other pollutants associated particularly with coal. End grandfathering of old coal plants so they require substantial retrofitting. Crack down on coal mine safety and mountaintop removal mining. Make coal extractors and users pay the true societal cost of using it. That social cost is big enough that a fair number of old coal plants will get shut down even without any carbon constraints. And then make it easy to repower coal plants with natural gas. Doing that fuel switch will cut carbon emissions per kWh by more than half, and reduce a lot of other nasty societal externalities in the bargain.

  13. mike roddy says:

    I second the suggestions of charging for coal’s externalities. Also, climate events will lead to mass refugee invasions.

  14. Artful Dodger says:

    Good job, Joe. Very effective funding for the anti-science demagogues. Would Keith let you post extended comments on his website? Thanks for efforts today!

  15. Leif says:

    I like the ten year average US hot to cold ratio graph. Of course you are probably on the air by now.

  16. john atcheson says:

    Too late, I know. but to me, the thing that needs clearing up is that science is not a popularity contest — we don’t get to vote on the reality we want.

    The best way to illustrate this is to talk about having a vote on whether gravity is only “theory” … will we float, if enough of us “vote” that we don’t believe in gravity?

    Of course not — nor will AGW stop simply because scientifically illiterate people claim it’s not true.

  17. Lore says:

    Another good segment on Olbermann Joe. I notice you’re not getting called back to the Neil Cavuto show? I could have told you that if you give a strong articulate defense of your view there, you won’t hear from them again. They like their opponents to be fumbling, quirky, eccentric types that melt in front of the drill from Neil.

  18. David B. Benson says:

    I’ll put it here.
    for more about the part in red, see

    Coming again, I fear.

  19. Rab says:

    Point out that “energy” is a scientific concept. Without physics, we would not even know how to define it. So the control of the Energy Committee, by people who deny science, will be anti-productive.

  20. Pete Dunkelberg says:

    Rab @ 20, even with physics, how do you define energy? ;)

  21. Rab says:

    @21: ?? Is that rhetorical?

    Anyway, good job, Joe.

  22. Prokaryotes says:

    Different forms of energy include kinetic, potential, thermal, gravitational, sound, elastic and electromagnetic energy. The forms of energy are often named after a related force. German physicist Hermann von Helmholtz established that all forms of energy are equivalent — energy in one form can disappear but the same amount of energy will appear in another form. A restatement of this idea is that energy is subject to a conservation law over time.

    In the United States, more than 90% of greenhouse gas emissions come from the combustion of fossil fuels.[18] Combustion of fossil fuels also produces other air pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, volatile organic compounds and heavy metals.

    According to Environment Canada:

    “The electricity sector is unique among industrial sectors in its very large contribution to emissions associated with nearly all air issues. Electricity generation produces a large share of Canadian nitrogen oxides and sulphur dioxide emissions, which contribute to smog and acid rain and the formation of fine particulate matter. It is the largest uncontrolled industrial source of mercury emissions in Canada. Fossil fuel-fired electric power plants also emit carbon dioxide, which may contribute to climate change. In addition, the sector has significant impacts on water and habitat and species. In particular, hydro dams and transmission lines have significant effects on water and biodiversity.”

    Carbon dioxide variations over the last 400,000 years, showing a rise since the industrial revolution.

    According to U.S. Scientist Jerry Mahlman and USA Today: Mahlman, who crafted the IPCC language used to define levels of scientific certainty, says the new report will lay the blame at the feet of fossil fuels with “virtual certainty,” meaning 99% sure. That’s a significant jump from “likely,” or 66% sure, in the group’s last report in 2001, Mahlman says. His role in this year’s effort involved spending two months reviewing the more than 1,600 pages of research that went into the new assessment.

    Combustion of fossil fuels generates sulfuric, carbonic, and nitric acids, which fall to Earth as acid rain, impacting both natural areas and the built environment. Monuments and sculptures made from marble and limestone are particularly vulnerable, as the acids dissolve calcium carbonate.

    Fossil fuels also contain radioactive materials, mainly uranium and thorium, which are released into the atmosphere. In 2000, about 12,000 tonnes of thorium and 5,000 tonnes of uranium were released worldwide from burning coal. It is estimated that during 1982, US coal burning released 155 times as much radioactivity into the atmosphere as the Three Mile Island incident

  23. bgood2creation says:

    Joe, in the interview you said, “I don’t know how you believe in dinosaurs and the Bible…” Young earth creationism (i.e. 6000 year old planet) is a mostly American phenomenon. There many more Christians, practicing Jews and other Bible-believers around the world who accept the basic science of evolution and age of the universe (Roman Catholicism, for example). In the US, Francis Collins started the Biologos Foundation which promotes harmony between science and faith. It is targeted to evangelical Christians. You can check it out at

    I know you have appreciated the commitment of certain evangelical groups to taking responsibility to fight climate change. Your comments, however, seemed to carry the tone that the Bible is bunk, because it teaches that the earth is 6000 years old (which it does not, but I won’t get into that here). This will just provide ammunition to skeptics to say to their Christian brothers and sisters, “See, Joe and his alarmist buddies are disdainful of the Bible, you shouldn’t trust them.” So, as much as Shimkus pisses you off, try to remember that if any action is going to be taken in the USA, millions of Christians will need to support it.

    As for Shimkus’s theology and use of the Bible, he is just making excuses for his irresponsible behaviour. He ticks me off doubly because of his anti-science, and because of his irresponsible use of the Bible. He makes the US look bad, and as an ambassador of Christ, he brings disdain to the name of Jesus.

    Shimkus should read Matthew 4:5-7 where Jesus is tempted by the devil:

    Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down. For it is written:

    “‘He will command his angels concerning you,
    and they will lift you up in their hands,
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’”

    Jesus answered him, “It is also written: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’”

    So the application for Shimkus today would be: “Don’t knowingly throw the country and the planet off the climate change cliff, just because you believe God is going to save you. That would be putting the Lord your God to the test.”

  24. ToddInNorway says:

    Frame the issue in terms of risk management. Even if the probability of complete climate cataclysm is only 15%, it is a sound risk management strategy to invest in preventing this. Use analogies we all know in risk management, like smoke detectors, seat belts, air bags, emergency exits, life vests, yearly check-up at the doctor, designing cars to be “crash-resistant”, sunscreen with high sun protection factor. Furthermore, compare the costs of reducing GHG emissions in the context of GDP and compare this with other national budget posts like large weapons systems, fuel bill for the military, the budget for Homeland Security….

  25. dp says:

    john atcheson @ 16 sed “The best way to illustrate this is to talk about having a vote on whether gravity is only “theory” … will we float, if enough of us “vote” that we don’t believe in gravity?”

    no but we can bring down the cost of flying.

    at the moment too many people are wishing for clean energy to be prohibitively expensive, so that’s what we’re getting.

  26. gecko says:

    Any witch hunts and hearings with the intent to question or deny climate change will be a complete sham many times worse than the McCarthy Hearings subverting the very nature of the governance of the United States of America and totally contrary to the rule of law.

    It is that simple.

  27. Alec Johnson says:

    Joe, I thought you did a great job on Olbermann. My only regret is that you didn’t have more time. Thanks for leading the charge so robustly yet again!

  28. Jeremy says:

    Too late I guess, but I think the messaging needs to appeal to people’s emotions through their sense of fairness.

    I think the question you should ask is whether it is right for the average American to be worse off so that a few billionaires can get richer.

    Banking is a good example.
    “Get a cheap loan so you can get rich like us” …
    BUT … average American found that cheap loan was not really cheap as the bankers said (ARM)
    BUT … average American’s pension funds found that loans were not as safe as the bankers said (AAA ratings)
    BUT … average American found that when they got into difficulty paying the loan that the bank demanded their house even though the bank might not have the right to their house (Forclosuregate)
    … Meanwhile, bankers still receieve their huge bonuses.

    We have the same thing with climate
    “We need to stop regulating our businesses because regulations are unpatriotic” …
    BUT … businesses don’t do what is necessary unless they are forced to (CAFE Fuel standards)
    BUT … average Americans already have to pay because of what the companies are doing (increased flood / hurricane insurance premiums)
    BUT … average Americans will only find out how big the problems are after it is too late (Drought predictions)
    … Meanwhile, the big poluters continue to earn record profits for their hugely wealthy owners.

  29. 1. Republicans are soft on national security.

    2. Republicans prefer to take oil money campaign donations and let the heartland dry up from global warming.

  30. Tim Williams says:

    Chris Huhne’s speach to the Globe forum was interesting…..

    “In the face of fiscal austerity, is it clear that greening our economy is the best way build a more balanced economy – and to secure more sustainable growth. With thousands of jobs in whole new industries, it is one of the brightest prospects not just for economic recovery, but for growth.
    The second reason for our low-carbon transition is security.

    As an island nation with dwindling fossil fuel resources, we are increasingly reliant on imported energy. Our energy import dependence could double by 2020.

    Energy security is a prime concern.

    Our winters are nowhere near as cold as those in Beijing. Nor are our summers as hot as Sichuan.

    But we depend on scarce natural resources to keep our people warm and our economy moving.

    Regardless of the public consensus on climate change, it is clear that relying on increasingly rare fossil fuels is not a long-term option. We cannot be exposed to the risk of resource conflict. Nor can we afford to remain at the mercy of volatile fossil fuel markets.
    Not only are we vulnerable to interruptions in supply, we are also exposed to fluctuations in price. Oil or gas price shocks could reverberate throughout our fragile economy, hampering growth.

    A more sustainable supply of energy is not an expensive luxury. It is a critical component in our national and economic security.”

    There’s certainly a parallel for US the transport sector, quite how appropriate this line is for power generation, I don’t know.

  31. jcwinnie says:

    I’d go with the Green Lantern underwear.

  32. Raul M. says:

    Thanks Joe,
    the objective remains the finesse of
    natural laws.

  33. Thanks for that link there Sam.

    Joe well done, coolly delivered unlike the performances of Marc Morano.

    Shimkus is certainly deluded. How the heck do these people rise to the top?

    I looked him up on Wiki and am a bit puzzled by that ‘page’ and Foley business. What is a page in this context?

    OK I have now read this piece linked to at the foot of the Wiki page:

    Foley Resigns From Congress Over E-Mails

    Which leaves me to believe that a Page is a messenger or announcer of guests, often of tender age, within state government.

  34. Prokaryotes says:

    Science and religion are both fighting for the environment. So whatever people like shimkus pretend or imagine, it is irrelevant in this context. Further this is a historical challrnge when religion and science unite.

    Pope Denounces Failure of Copenhagen Climate Change Negotiations

    Protect God’s creation: Vatican issues new green message for world’s Catholics

    · Pope addresses climate change conference
    · US church leaders lobby Bush on global warming

  35. Brendan Miller says:

    2 points, since you’ll be preaching to the choir, avoid points most watchers are already well versed on and make some new ones:

    1: Clean energy is cheaper when you start accounting for health affects and stop giving the fossil industry a huge SUBSIDY by letting them get you sick but not pay for it. Why do I have to pay for asthma inhalers that I only need to use in polluted places? Shouldn’t the polluters pay for them? There is plenty of case law that says if you poison someone by putting peanuts in their food, knowing they have a severe peanut allergy, you can get sued for your hospital costs and suffering or wrongful death. So why can everyone poison my air for free? No environmental protection should mean no corporate protection from the ill effects of burning fossil fuels – do we really want to unleash all those lawsuits? This is not to mention the direct monetary subsidies that the fossil industry gets far in excess of the renewable industry. We need to shift the Overton Window about the cost of fossil fuels!

    2: While, like the THEORY of gravity, AGW may not be a proven fact, it’s only sensible that we act on it. We cannot say with 100% certainty that sickness is caused directly by “God,” rather than the pathogens; maybe the pathogens are just put there as a trick by God to test one’s faith – God’s really in charge the whole time. However, this doesn’t prevent a vast majority of rational people – religious and non-religious alike – from acting when they become sick, seeing a doctor and taking medicine to kill the virus, if necessary. Ignoring AGW is like ignoring a dangerously high fever “caused by a virus.” There’s a infinitely small chance we’re wrong about the cause, and maybe things will work out OK, but is it really worth the risk? Especially when you consider that the few dollars of penicillin will be more than paid for by the hours at work that you’re not missing and/or the expensive ER care you might end up needing if you ignore it (see point 1)?

  36. Brendan Miller says:

    Oops, looks like I’m a day late, but maybe next time! Also, it’s supposed to be “is not” not “is” in the second sentence of point 2.

  37. Steve L says:

    I just had forwarded to me, and watched!, the autotune the news “bedroom intruder” vid for about the 20th time. Messaging? Somebody needs to produce something funny/interesting/educational that will go viral.

  38. CW says:

    If you check out John Shimkus’s official site, you’ll see that “the Shimkus family are active members of Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Collinsville.”

    Go to the site of that church and school and you’ll see that the school has a recycling program.

    Love to know if Shimkus feels we should stop that program. Or even if he feels that we should all just toss our garbage anywhere because God is going to pick up after us.

    It’s absurd, I know. God picking up our garbage. Crazy.

    But God cleaning up the air after us is not absurd, right?

    Or God re-balancing the carbon cycle is not either, right?