Environmental Activist Naomi Klein Trashes Joe Romm for Ignorance

Published September 12, 2013

Environmental activist Naomi Klein published an open letter this week eviscerating Center for American Progress front man Joe Romm for making ignorant statements and irresponsibly making hatchet-job attacks on people with differing points of view.

In an interview published last week by Salon.com, Klein said Big Green environmental groups are engaging in “very deep denialism” that is causing more harm to the goal of limiting carbon dioxide emissions than the efforts of global warming skeptics. Klein said many Big Green groups are soliciting and accepting large amounts of cash from corporations who stand to profit from asserted global warming solutions and then are beholden to the corporations’ quest for corporate welfare, even when they are proposing ineffective or counterproductive programs to address global warming.

“I think it’s a really important question why the green groups have been so unwilling to follow science to its logical conclusions,” Klein added.

The Center for American Progress, funded by renewable energy lobbyists seeking massive taxpayer subsidies and renewable power mandates, apparently felt threatened by Klein’s observations. Center for American Progress front man Joe Romm posted an article on the organization’s website blasting Klein.

“She is not just wrong, she is profoundly wrong. Her revisionist history is wrong, too, and contradicted by her policy prescriptions,” wrote Romm.

“Klein saves much of her wrath for cap-and-trade — the favorite whipping boy of the counterfactual crowd – but to understand why her analysis is so wrong we need to first look at her revisionist history,” wrote Romm, before adding, “There are so many misleading statements packed in there, it is hard to know where to begin.”

“Klein is the queen of conflation and revisionism,” Romm piled on.

Klein responded on her website within hours of Romm’s attack with the following letter:

Dear Joe,

Congratulations on your hasty and unnecessary hatchet job on a book I haven’t even finished yet, based on an edited interview about one-tenth of its content. A book of which you haven’t read a single word.

Disagree with the interview I gave, fine. But to assume you know what evidence is in the book and can therefore dismiss it outright is a new twist on old-school arrogance. Impressive.

Nice work as well on telling people not to see a film that is also far from finished, based on material that is not even planned to be in the documentary at all. (Feel free to call me next time you’d like to check a fact.)

Let’s hope your next work is not subjected to such extreme prejudice.

Joe, we clearly have some disagreements — as well as huge common ground. But if anyone is guilty of taking a sledge hammer to an ally here, I suggest you take a quick glance at what’s in your (bloody) hand.

Once the book is done, I’ll have lots more time to debate the various points in your post. But for now, I’ve got a book to finish. I realize this is a disappointment and that you are spoiling for a fight with me ASAP, but look on the bright side — when the book comes out, you won’t have to write a review. You can just link to yourself.



p.s BTW, you do know I didn’t write the headline, right? Just checking, cuz you seem to know so much.

p.p.s. I could have forgiven a lot, but lumping me in with Lomborg? That one is going to haunt you buddy.