The fantastical falsehoods of Roger Pielke, Jr., Part 143

UPDATE: For a compilation of debunkings of Roger Pielke, Jr. by leading scientists and science bloggers (see “Foreign Policy’s “Guide to Climate Skeptics” includes Roger Pielke, Jr.”)

Now that they* have shut down his original blog, Roger Pielke, Jr., is desperately trying to remain relevant in the blogosphere. Pielke’s preferred strategy — as it has always been — is to utterly misrepresent what people say and then attack that misrepresentation in the hopes of garnering media attention. Baselessly smearing the professional reputation of hundreds of leading U.S. scientists means nothing whatsoever to him — if it gets him press coverage (see details here).

These days, the main “media” paying attention to Pielke, Jr. (as with Pielke, Sr.) are the global warming deniers (see “Uber-denier Inhofe gives big wet Valentine’s kiss to Pielke “” go figure!”). So it’s no surprise that Pielke Jr.’s latest distortion was immediately picked up by Swift Boat smearer Marc Morano, much as the main person pushing Pielke Sr.’s climate disinformation is anti-science blogger Anthony Watts (see “Like father, like son: Roger Pielke Sr. also doesn’t understand the science of global warming “” or just chooses to willfully misrepresent it”) What is (a little) surprising is that Pielke would utterly misrepresent something I wrote when everyone can plainly see what he is doing.

Normally I’d ignore this, but I need to set the record straight when Pielke falsely claims I called Democratic members of Congress “liars about the promise of [green] jobs” — and when Morano trumpets that lie. I advanced the jobs message in the very post Pielke attacked and have blogged repeatedly about the millions of green jobs Democrats are in the process of creating — as Pielke knows.

Also, this post gives me a chance to praise the real leadership that Sen. John Kerry has been showing on the climate and clean energy bill — and his crucial understanding and articulation of both winning messages.

Last night I wrote a post that ended with a discussion of the need for pushing two key messages to advance legislation in the Senate — 1) the threat posed by global warming and 2) the clean energy opportunity. I excerpted a January piece I wrote:

The Obama team needs to spend a considerable amount of time giving public speeches, holding informal meetings with key opinion makers, researching and publicizing major reports on the high cost of inaction and the relatively low cost of solutions.

Then I noted that the political operatives in the White House have been urging folks to downplay the first message (even though they don’t downplay the “high cost of inaction” message for health care).

[I should have added that President Obama himself has always spoken about the cost of inaction in his major speeches (as has Energy Secretary Chu), but the political operatives have generally succeeded in getting others to downplay the message.]

Then I noted “That means most of the messaging will be on clean energy and jobs “” which is a great message, one I’ve pushed for two decades now.” It is a great message — one I advance in a large fraction of the posts here as regular readers know.

But it is only half the message and anyone who only pushes that half is seriously undercutting the rationale for “a 42% reduction in CO2 emissions in two decades and an 83% reduction in four decades, along with all the extensive accompanying regulations,” as I noted. Then I wrote:

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.

I think my meaning was 99.9999% clear. The bill will create millions of clean energy jobs, but that is only one of the two key reasons we’re doing it — and we certainly wouldn’t be doing this cap-and-trade bill if not for global warming.

But there is always that one-in-a-million serial liar.

So if you go to Roger Pielke Jr.’s blog — which I can’t recommend to any non-masochists, although it is cleverly named “Roger Pielke Jr.’s Blog” — you’ll see this laughable post, “Joe Romm vs. John Kerry,” which I’ll repost in its entirety:

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.

Honestly, Roger, is that the best you can do? Or, rather, dishonestly, Roger, is that the best you can do? It takes a certain kind of serial liar to take what I wrote and claim it means that the green jobs message is not true, that I’m calling Democrats liars, and that I’m saying their are “no green jobs.”

Pielke, Jr. knows I wrote in that very post that the clean energy and jobs messages is a great message and that I have blogged repeatedly on the millions of clean energy jobs the climate bill and the stimulus will create. Indeed, I just posted a link to a major resource which details the hundreds of thousands of jobs already created by clean-energy investments and the many more that will be created (see “The Hub: Resources for a Clean-Energy Economy”).

Pielke, Jr. must know this since he apparently reads my blog obsessively. After all, I put up my post at 8:28 pm (East Coast time) and his post is dated 8:03 pm (presumably Colorado time).

[No, I don’t read Pielke’s blog — someone sent me an e-mail to an idiotic Morano post and I noticed Morano’s post “Joe Romm vs. John Kerry on climate bill: ‘Loudest cheerleader for Dems calls them liars about the promise of jobs’ “ and traced it back to the uber-liar.]

Anyway, I added an explanatory note to the original post for the willfully confused:

UPDATE: We are doing this for two inseparable reasons, as anybody who reads CP “” or even this blog post “” knows. We are doing this to transform our economy away from a catastrophically unsustainable emissions path onto a sustainable one and to create millions of green jobs. But in fact the two arguments are inseparable, a point I’ve made many times “” see “Climate competitiveness 2: When the global Ponzi scheme collapses (circa 2030), the only jobs left will be green.”

Let me also note that my post wasn’t even directed at John Kerry, since I know — and everyone else but Pielke knows — that he has never downplayed the climate science message. Sure Kerry has been a leader in championing the jobs message — but even in the brief quote Pielke uses, it’s clear Kerry is talking about “the transformation of the American economy.” Kerry has been a true leader in championing the science message. Just last Monday, he wrote an article in the Providence Journal, “Global-warming disaster,” replying to Palin’s op-ed, that once again gives the lie to Roger Pielke, Jr.:

Yes, she manages to write about the climate-change action in Congress without ever mentioning the reason we are doing this in the first place. It’s like complaining about the cost of repairing a roof without factoring in the leaks destroying your home.

Hear! Hear! [I’m talking to you, political operatives in the White House, and you, Roger Pielke, Jr.]

The global climate change crisis threatens our economy and our national security in profound ways. Governor Palin need look no further than the view from her front porch in Alaska to see how destructive this crisis can be. The small native village of Newtok is being literally wiped off the map because of a melting permafrost and disappearing sea ice.

Around the world, the effects are already being felt. The Himalayan glaciers, source for almost all the major rivers of India and China, are shrinking, putting the future water resources of billions of people in doubt. Shifting weather patterns may turn the American “breadbasket” into a dustbowl. And stronger storms and rising sea levels can devastate coastal communities across our country and around the world.

All of these effects (and many, many more) will have a devastating effect on our economy and threaten our national security. For example, just imagine the situation in India and Pakistan if the rivers on which the region depends for agriculture dry up. Imagine how much worse the problems of poverty, terrorism, and instability would become in that situation.

Governor Palin’s Commentary piece sounds as if the only threats America faces are solely economic. But that’s not what our intelligence experts and military leaders tell us. Gen. Anthony Zinni, a rock-jawed military man and former commander of our forces in the Middle East, who is tough to peg as any sort of climate alarmist, warned that without action “we will pay the price later in military terms. And that will involve human lives. There will be a human toll.”

We can’t afford to ignore this reality “” in an op-ed column or in our public debate over an entire piece on legislation designed to meet these challenges. A Commentary on Guant¡namo policy that fails to acknowledge the existence of terrorists would not be taken seriously. Neither should an op-ed on energy reform that fails to mention the irrefutable reality of climate change.


Nobody could possibly accuse John Kerry of pitching the climate bill only as a jobs bill — even though it is a jobs bill — nobody that is except a serial liar like Roger Pielke, Jr.

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