Arguing Both Sides at Climate ProgressAugust 27th, 2008
Posted by: Roger Pielke, Jr.
I haven’t engaged much with Joe Romm of late, but I can’t let this one pass. When Tom Wigley, Chris Green and I published our analysis of the spontaneous emissions reductions built into all IPCC scenarios (PDF), Joe Romm put up a post titled: “Why did Nature run Pielke’s pointless, misleading, embarrassing nonsense?”
It turned out in subsequent discussions that Romm didn’t even understand our analysis, failing to appreciate the difference between a reference scenario and a mitigation scenario.
So it was with some surprise that I read over at the Cato-Unbound climate policy debate Joe invoking our Nature paper as evidence in support of the idea that the IPCC scenarios have built in assumptions about aggressive reductions in carbon and energy intensities. I have long argued that Joe and I differ in our interpretation of the significance of the Nature paper’s findings, not the analysis itself.
However, Joe never posted up an apology for mistakenly trashing our paper or a correction noting that in fact, he finds the analysis sound. This leads to the embarrassing circumstance in which Joe Romm is over at the Cato site using our paper to support his arguments while his Climate Progress guest blogger Ken Levenson is arguing on Joe’s behalf at another online debate at the Economist arguing against the analysis in the Nature article, explaining that “Joe actually throughly debunked that Nature article too” linking to several of Joe’s many articles trying (unsuccessfully) to “debunk” our analysis.
Those guys at Climate Progress seem to want things both ways — the analysis in our article is both “debunked” and an authority. Maybe Joe Romm should set the record straight?