How I learned to stop worrying and love the blogosphere

The debate over Waxman-Markey reminds me of what I love most about blogging.

No, it’s not what you think, it’s not the chance to be snarky. I don’t need the blogosphere for that.

No, what I like about the blogosphere is that it ultimately drives a precision in language and a clarity of thought because it is filled with people like The Talented Mr. Pielke, people who are too clever by half [or is that half clever?], people who are ready at a moment’s notice to spin some slightly ambiguous molehill of phrase into a mountainous assault on you, people whose primary blog, the ironically-named “Prometheus,” just died — let us pause for a moment of silence … and weekend of celebration, barbecue, and fireworks.

The problem arises for many reasons, such as malicious mischief, but here I’m going to focus on just one — the generally humorless nature of the global warming deniers and delayers.


My father, a lifelong newspaper editor known for his sense of humor, always said that no matter how blatant the humor he might use, some reader would inevitably take it literally and write him an angry letter. I have endeavored to address that problem here with the “Humor” category — but that doesn’t work for small bits of humor in an otherwise serious post.

So for the first time ever — and I hope the last — I’m going to explain two jokes for the sake of those cheerless cheerleaders for climate chaos, and their head cheerleader [jeerleader?], The Talented Mr. Pielke (Jr).

The motivation for this post is a rather silly little attack on me by Pielke that I first saw on Climate Change Fraud via WordPress’s Technorati-based system that points out who links to me.

Yes, I normally ignore The Talented Mr. Pielke until his misinformation has been picked up by some credulous journalists uninterested in preserving his or her reputation. But Pielke’s post, “Portents of Cap and Trade Doom?” first alerted me to an especially dense line of attack — that my position on Waxman-Markey has somehow radically changed over time.

Yes, I know, it is quite rich that anybody with Pielke’s history of intentional ambiguity and ferocious flip-flopping could possibly accuse anybody else of inconsistency (see Why do deniers like Pielke shout down any talk of a link between climate change and extreme weather? and Pielke in Nature: “Clearly, since 1970 climate change “¦ has shaped the disaster loss record” and “Finally, Roger Pielke admits he supports policies that will take us to 5–7°C warming or more”).


Let me skip the details, since I have discussed the issue at length here. What I want note here is that the first piece of evidence that Pielke and the other deniers offer that I somehow was at one point infaturated with W-M and thus blind to its many faults is my post(s) titled “How I learned to stop worrying and love Waxman-Markey.” They cite Part 2, of course, since Part 1 partly explains the reference for those too young or too classic-film-illiterate or too busy to use Google to get it.

The Waxman-Markey energy and climate bill is certainly not “da bomb.” At best, it’s a B+.

Then again, it is not a total bomb, as some think. So you don’t have to be Dr. Strangelove “” or the bill’s mother “” to love it. You just have to compare it to the alternative (i.e. utter failure and business as usual emissions).

No infatuation, there. Sorry deniers.

Indeed, if the deniers weren’t so humorless, they’d understand that the title of my post is in fact what would normally be called “black humor.” Indeed, it refers to “a 1964 American/British black comedy film” (as Wikipedia puts it in the link I provided), Dr. Strangelove, or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Needless to say, anyone who has actually seen the Kubrick movie or who simply reads the plot summary would know that, by using the phrase “How I learned to stop worrying and love Waxman-Markey,” I am not saying that I “love Waxman-Markey.” Quite the reverse.

Yes, I had already noted in this post, which Pielke linked to, that the “headline was intentionally sardonic.”

And speaking of sardonic movie references going completely over the head of deniers, Pielke actually wrote in response to that post:

[Romm is] giving me a cute new nickname, which I like much better than (“delayer 1000-eq”).

And what is this “cute new nickname” he likes so much?

The Talented Mr. Pielke

Seriously! This in spite of the fact that after using it several times, I gave him the link:

And yes, as cinephiles know, The Talented Mr. Pielke is a too-apt moniker for Roger, Jr.

Ripley, of course, is a man “with a talent to survive by doing whatever is required,” which includes murder, lying, and pretending to be someone else. Yes, his entire life is a lie. That’s his talent.

That’s the cute new nickname Roger Pielke, Jr. likes.

[Note: I’m now inclined to think plain old “denier” is a better moniker for both Pielke and his father. Still, they both pretend to be people who accept climate science, even while they murder it, so in that respect, they are the Talented Mr. Pielkes.]

No wonder “Prometheus” died.

One final ironic note on references missed by deniers. Prometheus, of course, famously “stole fire from Zeus and gave it to mortals.” If by modern fire, one means global warming — that human-caused amplifier of wildfires, heatwaves, and scorching droughts (created primarily by the burning of fossil fuels) — the “hell” in Hell and High Water, then the blog’s name was more apt than Pielke realized.

And that’s why I love the blogosphere — in a Stanley Kubrick sort of way.