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Stunning Think Progress Climate Silence

December 31st, 2012 · 12 Comments

The Center for American Progress’ Think Progress website is home for one of the strongest and most widely read climate science / clean energy blogs.  Led by Joe Romm, Climate Progress forcefully enters into climate science discussions and provides excellent material about clean energy progress.  For anyone (especially Americans) concerned about fostering the conditions for a prosperous and secure climate-friendly future, Think Progress Climate is on a must read list.

UPDATE: With a welcome to WUWT acolytes (Anthony Watts‘ devotees), a reminder about another must read location for basic truth about climate science, Skeptical Science. The image below about distorting evidence seems particularly relevant. Or, perhaps to spend some time on 10 indicators of global warming. Or perhaps spend some time with hot graphics. Or, perhaps you will consider just a few of 2012’s major climate events/stories. Or, perhaps take a moment to acknowledge that the real consensus on climate change issues. Etc …

With that it mind, an end of year Think Progress post provided rather stunning reading — not due to its contents but due to what it didn’t contain. As the calendar year winds to a close and we look to a ‘fresh start’ into another year, ‘lists’ are on many minds and appear in many publications.

This morning, 31 December 2012, Think Progress provided 12 Progressive Resolutions for 2013.  From better drug policy to immigration reform to enacting gun safety laws, many interesting (if not outright good) items in this list.  Again, however, the telling thing is the absence of a critical set of issues.

Amid these 12, no (zero, nada, nilch) reference to climate change, the climate cliff, environment, clean energy, green jobs, energy efficiency, fossil fuel impacts on the political system, … Clearly, whoever put together this post doesn’t pay attention to Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

NOTE: Something like the following should have been in this post from the get-go …

“Considering that this is 31 December and most people are likely on a vacation, this “Think Progress” post is likely a list done by one staffer who should have signed it w/their name rather than asserting that this list represented the entire Think Progress team.”

Considering the year the United States had re climate change (heat waves, droughts, Derecho, wild fires, Hurricane Sandy, warmest year on record, …), the massive gap between the political parties on climate science and clean energy, the risks of the climate cliff (or, as Toles has it, the climate fissure), and the fact that unchecked climate disruption puts at risk every single element of a “progressive” agenda, the absence of climate and clean energy issues from (and total Climate Silence) a ‘top 12 Progressive Resolutions” seems beyond stunning.

NOTE:  Considering that he truly does seem to ‘get it’ on climate change and clean energy, it seems reasonable to wonder what the Chair of the Center for American Progress John Podesta, might have as a list of “12 Progressive Resolutions”.

The “12 Resolutions” failure to have anything re climate / energy / environment is surprising because: it is far from just Romm and Podesta at the Center for American Progress who write/have written on and discuss(ed) these issues; energy & environment are among CAP‘s main arenas of work; CAP typically is one of the better US institutions at linking climate change / clean energy to other issues; and the Think Progress blog (and not just ThinkProgress Climate Progress) often has posts on climate / clean energy / environmental issues.  The climate silence in the “12 Resolutions” merited comment because it is so at odds with the overall nature of CAP work and Think Progress publishing.

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Tags: climate change · Global Warming

12 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Gail // Dec 31, 2012 at 5:48 pm

    The muffling is cause for concern.

  • 2 richard pauli // Dec 31, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    You nailed it. Thanks for calling out the naked emperor riding the elephant in the room.

    Climate Progress used to blog from outside the beltway. Now it is firmly ensconced in the safe world of approved DC dissent.

    It is really too bad. Judging by past comments, over the years Climate Progress has lost a lot of thoughtful readers.

    We all know that the destabilizing weather of global warming will unfold as it must, unaffected by ineffective critiques and tepid political movements.

  • 3 Humpty Dumpty // Dec 31, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    Well, you know, it’s kinda hard to sell your hysterical world view when the planet has now entered its 16 th year of zero global warming.

    With a “name” like “Humpty Dumpty”, it should surprise no one that your claims and assertions shatter when confronted by truthful discussion. See here.

    The human contribution to global warming over the last 16 years is essentially the same as during the prior 16 years¹. Human-caused greenhouse warming, while partially hidden by natural variations, has continued in line with model projections². Unless greenhouse gas emissions are brought under control, we will see faster warming in the future³.

    Sort of undercuts your claims of disaster, which are, by my count, nearly 100% false. Even the old IPCC and Nature magazine are telling the yokels that weather ain’t climate, and have 100 year’s worth of data to prove it. And, of course, scientists always look to Bloomberg Business Week for the latest pearls of wisdom about climatology,

    Try New Scientist then or … Your screaming diatribes are pushing falsehoods and deception rather than truth. Come with reality to the table for discussion or don’t bother.

    a word which that rag probably couldn’t define with any accuracy, much less understand any of the issues involved in that science. You can only BS the public for so long before they wise up and ignore the Chicken Littles spreading their non-scientific arguments.

  • 4 Minus feedback // Dec 31, 2012 at 10:30 pm

    No it is weather stupid!

    Sigh … have to let through idiocy occasionally.

  • 5 Dreadnought // Dec 31, 2012 at 11:16 pm

    Wow, the articulate and convincing nature of such anti-science drivel.

    The reason it isn’t listed is because the ‘man made global warming’ hoax has been exposed. Game over.

  • 6 GAI // Jan 1, 2013 at 7:12 am

    Looks like the Bankers and Energy companies have decided the “Carbon Credit Bubble” is dead and are moving their money to the next big bubble – FOOD!
    see: “How Goldman Gambled on Starvation” and “Matt Taibbi: The Great American Bubble Machine, Goldman Sachs” and “History HACCP and the Food Safety Con Job”

    You did know CAGW was a banker/energy company scam to fleece the poor now didn’t you? All you have to do is open your eyes and follow the money to see it.

    Look up Shell VP Ged Davis and his appointment to the IPCC or look up the “World Bank” and “IPCC chair Robert Watson”. Look up “World Bank coal funding hits record high as it seeks climate finance control” Look up the the “leaked Danish Text” “World Bank” “Copenhagen”

    If you have any illusions about the World Bank/IMF
    “Mr. Budhoo’s Bombshell” “Today I resigned from the staff of the International Monetary Fund” and “Structural Adjustment Program – The Whirled Bank Group ” should dispel it.

    World Bank Carbon Finance Report for 2007

    “The carbon economy is the fastest growing industry globally with US$84 billion of carbon trading conducted in 2007, doubling to $116 billion in 2008, and expected to reach over $200 billion by 2012 and over $2,000 billion by 2020”

    I really wish Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party would figure out they have the same enemy and that that enemy OWNS (literally) the press.

    Again look up:

    “JP Morgan: Our next big media player?”

    “Comcast and GE Complete Transaction to Form NBCUniversal” ==> J.P. Morgan was lead financial advisor to GE with Goldman Sachs and Citi acting as co-advisors

    “Press Release: Comcast and GE to Create Leading Entertainment Company” ===> NBCU has obtained $9.85 billion of committed financing through a consortium of banks led by J.P. Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, BofA Merrill Lynch and Citi

  • 7 Coldish // Jan 1, 2013 at 7:36 am

    Perhaps Think Progress has tired of Joe Romm’s ‘forceful’ style of blogging.

    Or …

    Perhaps this occurred over the holidays and it was a junior staffer who inappropriately ‘signed’ something as “Think Progress” rather than with their own name … which is an angle/perspective that I should have in the post from the get go.

  • 8 catweazle666 // Jan 1, 2013 at 9:51 am

    That graph is a joke, isn’t it?

    For more laughter:

    Surely not even the most rabid Watermelon could possibly be taken in by anything as clearly disingenuous as that?

    “Watermelon” — oh — hah, hah, hah — ‘green on the outside, red on the inside’ assertions of communist. Sigh, such thoughtful and engaged discussion.

    The graphic above and the one embedded here are actually there to provide some truthful elements to discussion which, it seems, you are unwilling to engage.

    Engage with substance and truthfully or don’t bother.

  • 9 Chris F // Jan 1, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    Maybe that’s because the whole issue has jumped the shark. We’ve been told for years and years now that the only way of life we’ve ever known (and liked) was the scourge of the earth.

    So, the real challenge is you tune out because the truth is uncomfortable … or, as someone put it, inconvenient?

    People completely tune out after being told continuously that they are the scum of the earth for their mere existance.

    Hmmm … creating a false straw man argument in terms of this blog(ger), Think Progress, and the vast majority of people engaged on addressing climate issues.

    Those who actually take the time to look into the issue find out they’ve been sold a bill of goods as you did in this post. Nothing in the weather this year was unprecedented.


    The DC-area Derecho had what precedent in the region?

    The spate of hot temperature records had what precedent?

    That 2012 was the hottest year in US history had what precedent?

    The (im)balance of hot / cold temperature records in 2012 had what precedent?

    Your “nothing” doesn’t stand up to even cursory examination which says what about every other word you wrote?

    The drought was nothing compared to the thirties and worse hurricanes struck the east coast decades ago. This year was one of the best for LACK of wildfires.
    You see, we’re tired of obvious lies like this when it just takes a Google search to find the truth and many like me don’t believe one word people like you say.

    So, simply put, “many like [you] don’t believe one word” from the world’s leading scientific institutions and societies. They are all in a conspiracy, no, to defraud you in their abandonment of scientific principles?

    Maybe the folks at Think Progress have decided to come clean and focus on things that are actually happening and do matter.


    Almost certainly, this was a (junior) staffer working over the holiday.

    As per my post, this clearly is at odds with what Think Progress / CAP does.

  • 10 Leif Knutsen // Jan 1, 2013 at 3:41 pm

    The military has some of the best minds available, ~$700 billion/year in cash off the top of the Nation’s GDP and research abilities that defy imagination, and all for what? KILLING FELLOW MAN… Imagine that effort stopping the pollution of the commons and devoted to the well-being of HUMANITY! Terrorism would be cut off at the knees, instead of reinforced by the likes of Guantanimo and Abu Grab…
    Suicides in the Military has become a serious concern. The best approach, IMO, to prevent suicides is to quit getting involved in wars that are morally unjustifiable. Starting back with Korea and Viet Nahm, to the latest fiascos. Stop carrying water for the Capitalistic system that in turn is destroying the Earth’s life support systems. The existential threat to humanity, Which is morally indefensible. If the Military could “think for themselves” they would GO GREEN in TOOTH AND NAIL and deliver salvation to humanity…”
    ONE and ALL
    None of this atrocity nor the current ecocide of Earth’s life support systems would have happened with proper journalism in place. The facts are clear. Injustice ignored = Injustice condoned. Why give journalists a Constitutional “Freedom of the press” if they just sell out to the highest bidder. In this case a socially enabled capitalistic paradigm that rewards the polluters of the commons and makes “We the People” pay $100+ for throwing a paper cup out the car window. Stop profits from pollution of the commons.

  • 11 Andy Wilkins // Jan 1, 2013 at 6:12 pm

    “The Center for American Progress’ Think Progress website is home for one of the strongest and most widely read climate science / clean energy blogs”.
    Er, no it’s not.
    Let’s look at the Alexa traffic rankings for two sites (the lower the number the more popular a site is):
    Wattsupwiththat (a sceptic blog). Ranking – 22,099
    ThinkProgress (where Joe blogs). Ranking – 1,938,195

    Let’s see, at the moment of responding to your comment, ThinkProgress is actually rated #3905 not your nearly 2 million.

    Since you got the Watts Up With That rating exactly on, have to wonder about how (or why) you sourced your data on Think Progress so poorly.

    According to the data it’s obvious that compared to the sceptical WUWT site, ThinkProgress is nowhere near as popular.

    Actually, BONG, wrong. According to the Alexa data, Think Progress is far more popular than WUWT.

    Even SkepticalScience (perhaps the most widely known CAGW alarmist site) only manages a ranking of 120,382.

    In any event, Alexa is a very questionable system.

    Watts likes Alexa for comparing webstats, but most serious IT folks don’t since it is gameable and hence “unreliable” and “can’t be trusted” as a couple of bloggers have put it (Google “Alexa gameable”). And, again, my webstats and any of the comparison websites don’t calculate the people who get my content through my feed, which makes Watts’ claims more of a high school exercise.
    As for links, Technorati, which is probably the most widely used ranking based on who links to you, says WattsUpWithThat has an “Authority” of 713 (higher is better) and is the 185th ranked blog in the country (lower is better). Climate Progress has a Technorati Authority of 734 and is the 137th ranked blog.

  • 12 Andy Wilkins // Jan 2, 2013 at 6:33 pm

    Whoops! It seems I got my data screwed up – my bad.

    There now, I hope you’ve just learnt a lesson about true scepticism – admitting when you’ve got it wrong. I was wrong, but I think I’ll live another day!

    Andy — Glad to see that you have no problem admitting an error. Have you seen Anthony Watts do this very often?.

    You alarmists should try admitting when you’re wrong – it’s quite a liberating feeling! In fact, why don’t you hold your hands up right now and admit that the global warming models you alarmists all cling to have been proven to be a load of cod’s wallop because they failed to predict the current 17 year long lack of warming?

    1. Yes, the models are wrong.
    2. All models are wrong, some are useful.
    3. Climate science models have been systematically too optimistic.
    4. Just one example where the modeling has been significantly wrong and wrong by being too optimistic: Arctic Ice mass is declining much faster than modeling said it would.

    (Admitting Hansen’s A/B/C scenarios model’ was a complete screw-up would be a great place to start).

    First, again, let’s play the escalator:

    For another image, this NASA graphic impressively provides 131 years of temperature data in 26 seconds.

    The global average surface temperature in 2011 was the ninth warmest since 1880, according to NASA scientists. The finding continues a trend in which nine of the 10 warmest years in the modern meteorological record have occurred since the year 2000.  … The comparison shows how Earth continues to experience warmer temperatures than several decades ago. The average temperature around the globe in 2011 was 0.92 degrees F (0.51 C) warmer than the mid-20th century baseline.

    Here’s hoping this coming year’s not too cold (I hate it when it’s cold, don’t you?)

    Since it hasn’t been “cold” for a year, globally, for some 25+, perhaps it would be nice for all of us to see a lot more blue in the global chart for a few years rather than having global temperatures consistently in the ‘top ten’. Yup, no warming at all and that’s why the 2000s were hotter than the 1990s which were hotter than the 1980s …

    Warmest wishes,