I've been following the hysterical reaction of the Global Warming Church towards the authors of Super Freakonomics. Much of the hysteria was whipped up by Climate Progress blogger Joe Romm who attempted to discredit the book by smearing the authors. As I said before, if you don’t agree with global warming orthodoxy, you face personal attacks.
Reason's Ron Bailey alerts me to another phrase for this kind of intimidation: Climate McCarthyism. The phrase was coined by Ted Nordhaus and Michael Schellenberger, unconventional liberal environmentalists who blog at the Breakthrough Institute, to compare the free speech chilling smear tactics of global warming zealots to the communist witch hunts conducted by Sen. Joe McCarthy during the Cold War. They call Joe Romm the "Climate McCarthyite-in-Chief":
Joe Romm's "Global Warming Deniers and Delayers" play the same role as Joe McCarthy's "Communists and Communist sympathizers." While Romm built a loyal liberal and environmentalist following for attacking right-wing "global warming deniers" -- a designation meant to invoke "Holocaust denier" -- he spends much of his time attacking well-meaning journalists (e.g. here, here, and here), academics (here and here) and activists (here, here and here) who take the issue of global warming seriously, accept climate science, and support immediate action to address it. His aim is to intimidate and prevent increasing numbers of people from questioning climate policy orthodoxy, and especially Democratic efforts to pass cap and trade climate legislation.
... Think about it: If you're an ambitious young Democratic Hill staffer, a liberal policy analyst, or a struggling young reporter, why would you ever stand up to a guy who is famous for first trashing people to their editors, employers and funders in private emails, and then, if that doesn't work, in public blogs? Why would you challenge someone who seems to have so much of the liberal establishment on his side?
... This is the state of liberal debate about climate change. ... Those who stand up to Joe Romm find themselves turned into projection screens by an angry and vindictive bully...There will always be bullies like Joe Romm -- they are not the problem. It is the the establishment figures who goad them on, and the bystanders who could speak up but do not....
Good for Nordhaus and Shellenberger for standing up to it. They have another post here.
- Pre-October 2009