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Climate Crisis Education Energy Environment Montana Politics Roger Koopman

Roger Koopman strikes again

PSC Commissioner Roger Koopman

How fortunate we are to have not one but two Roger Koopman columns denying climate change and excoriating the young people who are going to suffer from it.

It was slightly over a month ago when the first installment of Koopman’s tirade against Montana students staging a climate strike hit the newspapers. The same language Koopman used in his first polemic–“far-left event, socialist agenda, radical political activism”–graced the Missoulian Opinion Page on Monday.

I’m not sure what’s more disturbing, that Koopman sits on the Montana Public Service Commission and decides Montana’s energy future, or that he gets even more ink spouting the same nonsense in a major Montana daily.

If Montana newspapers are going to embrace Koopman’s fiction, what’s next: denying the holocaust, saying the moon landing was a hoax, that the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers were actually brought down by controlled demolitions?

He calls critics of his column “the consensus-claiming herd” guilty of “ad hominin (sic) attacks.” Here’s one quote from the column:

The letters were laden with the usual climate lingo (like the totally debunked “97% of scientists” claim), demonstrating how little these folks consider the other side or think for themselves.

Those radical leftists at NASA are the ones who concluded that “multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that 97 percent or more of actively publishing climate scientists agree: climate-warming trends over the past century are extremely likely due to human activities.”

But Koopman is smarter than NASA scientists. As a matter of fact, he’s channelling the likes of “Galileo, Pasteur, Newton, Curie, Edison, Einstein,” saying they’d challenge prevailing climate change orthodoxy. It’s a damn shame they’re not alive today to laugh in Koopman’s face.

There’s this little gem that came over the wires today from the U.K.’s Independent newspaper:

Eleven thousand scientists in 153 countries have declared a climate emergency and warned that “untold human suffering” is unavoidable without huge shifts in the way we live.

When I critiqued Koopman’s first column, I thanked God that he was term limited and couldn’t run for the PSC in 2020. Montana voters, let’s make sure he never holds public office again. (I’ve heard some scary rumors that he will be running for some other seat–perhaps Scott Sales’ Senate District 35?) Please don’t let that happen.

UPDATE: State Sen. Dick Barrett also challenges Koopman’s scientific dichotomy, here. An outtake:

By casting the debate over climate change as a war between heroic individuals and a miserable, conforming mob, Koopman hits all the hot buttons a rightwing politician should.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

About the author

Pete Talbot

'Papa’ Pete Talbot is first and foremost a grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren. Like many Montanans, he has held numerous jobs over the years: film and video producer, a partner in a marketing and advertising firm, a builder and a property manager. He’s served on local and statewide Democratic Party boards. Pete has also been blogging at various sites for over a decade. Ping-pong and skiing are his favorite diversions. He enjoys bourbon.


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  • Thanks for the great rebuttal, Pete. I would laugh at this guy if he didn’t hold such a consequential position for Montana’s energy future. The fact that he does is frightening. He actually has the gall to dismiss the overwhelming findings of scientists who are alive today and then tries to bolster his position by claiming well known but long dead scientists would back him. The truth is that those scientists were just that. Scientists who, were they still alive, would have applied the same techniques as the scientists of today and would have reached the same conclusions. We are in a climate emergency. It is becoming an existential threat because of ideologs like Rogetr Koopman.

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