The Romm Treatment

Ben Hale, a philosopher who teaches environmental ethics at the University of Colorado, in Boulder, is “disheartened” by Joe Romm’s body slam of a fellow environmental ethicist. Presumably Hale is well acquainted with Romm’s rhetorical style so I’m not sure why he seems so taken aback.

In fact, Hale seems utterly puzzled that Romm can’t see the value in a legitimate exchange of views. Ben, have you read Romm’s slash & burn attacks on journalists (Andy Revkin is a favorite whipping boy), Roger Pielke Jr., the Breakthrough Institute, among others?  His modus operandi is nothing if not consistent: first he distorts your position (or article), then he builds his criticism of you on that artifice. I happen to think a part of Romm knows just how unstable that foundation is, which may explain why he lards these attacks with ad hominems and guilt-by-association smears. It’s ugly stuff. And for this, he gets wet kisses from the likes of Thomas Friedman and Time magazine. Now that is disheartening.

One Response to “The Romm Treatment”

  1. Steve Bloom says:

    Ah, so the back door to legitimizing an otherwise-illegitmiate point of view is to insist that it has a legitimate place in the debate.  We can even delegitmize a legitmate point of view by implicating it in an unfair closure of debate.  So clever!

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